Thermostats are essential to any home, and especially a smart home. Simply put, a thermostat is a device that regulates the heating and cooling in a home based on temperature. With the advent of new technologies and The Internet of Things, there are many different choices available today. While traditional thermostats are available, you can now enjoy a variety of different interfaces, you can program thermostats based on specific times to save energy, you can even remotely access some thermostat from a smart phone.

Choosing the right thermostat will require a few different decisions on your part based on your application and preferences.


Identify the type of Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system you have in your home. Most homes have a single heating unit and/or a single air conditioning unit – we refer to these as single-stage (or 1-stage) HVAC systems. These common systems are usually referred to as 1H/1C (1 Heating / 1 Cooling). However other properties will require multi-stage thermostats - homes that have multiple air conditioners, or additional floor heating, baseboard heating or humidifiers. In these cases you will need to look for the appropriate stage combination, 2H/2C (2 Heating / 2 Cooling) or 3H/1C (3 Heating / 1 Cooling) as examples.

Thermostat Types

We classify thermostats into three main categories Non-Programmable (A), Programmable (B) and Remotely Controllable (C). Once you decide on the type that is best for your application, then then it comes down to the feature set. For each thermostat type below, we have recommended a few products that offer different feature sets.


Non-Programmable Thermostats

This is what most people think of when it comes to temperature control. These are the traditional thermostats which require a manual temperature setting and manually switching to heat or cool which will kick on your HVAC unit. Non-programmable thermostats often use a mechanical dial or slider to set the temperature, while these are very reliable than can be somewhat imprecise. Newer non-programmable thermostats use a digital display and push buttons to set the temperature which provide more accurate temperature control. The latest in the non-programmable thermostat are touch screen interfaces which offer very precise temperature control with an aesthetically pleasing look.

Product Image

Robertshaw 24-Volt AC 1 Heat / 1 Cool Deluxe Mechanical Thermostat, SPDT (Horizontal)

Aprilaire Non-Programmable Thermostat

Jackson Systems Comfort System Touchscreen Thermostat

Product SKU 29902H 30204 29918
Heating & Cooling Stages 1C / 1H 1C / 1H,
Heat Pump,
1C / 1H,
Heat Pump,
Fossil Fuel
Thermostat Style Non-Programmable Non-Programmable Non-Programmable,
Temperature Interface Analog Digital LCD Display Digital LCD Display
Settings Control Slide Control Push Button Touch Screen
Programs NA NA NA,
7, 5-2, 5-1-1
Compatibility NA NA NA


Programmable Thermostats

This is the digital evolution of the non-programmable thermostat. Programmable thermostats have the capability of running time period programming, which is a program that allows the thermostat to automatically adjust the heat setpoint temperature and/or the cool setpoint temperature based on the time of the day, also known as scheduling. This is advantageous because you can limit time periods of heating and cooling based on when you may or may not be home, and often they allow for multiple setpoints points per day. The schedules are usually classified by the number of days you can create setpoints for; 7 the setpoint is applicable for everyday day of the week, 5-2 one setpoint is good for Monday through Friday (5) and one setpoint is for Saturday and Sunday (2), 5-1-1 one setpoint is good for Monday through Friday (5) one setpoint is good for Saturday (1) and one setpoint is good for Sunday (1), and 1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1 individual setpoints can be made for every day of the week. Programmable thermostats also com in different displays and interfaces, and often have additional features such as support for remote sensors, voice activation or even storage for pictures to be displayed.

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Innotech Systems Kelvin Voice Activated Talking Programmable Thermostat

Aprilaire Universal Touch Screen Thermostat

Venstar ColorTouch Multi-Functional Programmable Touch Screen Thermostat

Product SKU 30570 30209 30429
Heating & Cooling Stages 1C / 1H 1C / 1H,
Heat Pump,
2C / 4H
Thermostat Style Programmable Programmable Programmable
Temperature Interface Digital LCD Display Digital LCD Display Digital LCD Display
Settings Control Push Button Touch Screen Color Touch Screen
Programs 1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1 7, 5-2, 5-1-1 1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1
Compatibility Voice Activated NA SD Card


Remotely Controllable Thermostats

These are the latest and greatest in thermostats. It should be noted that almost all of the remotely controllable thermostats can be found in the Programmable Thermostat category (as most are digital and programmable), but not all programmable thermostats are remotely controllable, so we have separated them out for you. Remotely controllable thermostats incorporate many of the same options as programmable thermostats with a wide variety of wireless features. We offer thermostats that can be controlled from a typical telephone, adapters that will turn specific thermostats into a wireless capable thermostat, Wi-Fi thermostats that can be controlled from a smartphone or via the web, and thermostats that can be controlled from a home automation system like INSTEON.

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Venstar Comfort Call Wireless Thermostat Telephone Controller

Venstar Skyport Wi-Fi Key for ColorTouch Thermostats

Bay Controls BAYweb Internet Thermostat Advanced, White

Honeywell Lyric Smart Wi-Fi Thermostat

INSTEON Thermostat

Product SKU 30416A 30459 3371W 29939 2441TH
Heating & Cooling Stages NA NA 3H / 2C,
Heat Pump
3H / 2C,
Heat Pump
2C / 2H
Thermostat Style Non-Programmable Thermostat Adapter,
Remotely Controllable
Non-Programmable Thermostat Adapter,
Remotely Controllable
Remotely Controllable
Remotely Controllable
Remotely Controllable
Temperature Interface NA NA Digital LCD Display Digital LCD Display Digital LCD Display
Settings Control "From a Telephone App Web Interface, App Web Interface, App "Push Button,
Web Interface,
Programs NA NA 1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1 1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1 7, 5-2, 5-1-1, 1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1
Compatibility Telephone, Venstar Thermostats with RJ-11 Port,
Venstar Color-Touch Thermostats,
Ethernet Wi-Fi INSTEON,

* INSTEON Hub required and sold separately

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