Thermostat Installation & Replacement

Configuring a smart thermostat

Your Thermostat Matters More than You Think

A thermostat is the brain of an HVAC system. Or maybe the hypothalamus (the regulator).

It’s a critical and often overlooked factor in HVAC comfort, convenience, and energy efficiency. Smart thermostats, in particular, can save hundreds of dollars annually on energy bills.

So choose your thermostat wisely, grasshopper, and always consider:

  • The type, brand, and age of equipment connected to your thermostat.
  • Your schedule: Are you always home or often away?
  • Ease of use.
  • Degree of automation. Do you enjoy controlling everything from the master console of your smartphone, or do you prefer something old school, like a dial thermostat?
  • Zoning. Do you live in a two-story home where it’s always much warmer upstairs than downstairs? A dual thermostat configuration with area zoning may be the answer.

Chief’s certified technicians install, repair, and replace all types and brands of thermostats, including:

  • Google Nest
  • Honeywell
  • Emerson
  • Wyze
  • And more

Call us to enter your comfort zone.

A home with a smart thermostat

How Do Thermostats Work?

Thermostats are temperature sensors that switch heating and cooling systems on and off to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature. Modern thermostats have electronic controls and digital displays.

Older mechanical thermostats use a bimetallic strip to control the flow of electricity to the furnace or air conditioner. They’re less accurate and energy-efficient than electronic thermostats.

Types of Thermostats

Mechanical Thermostats

These are the tried and true thermostats grandma used to have. They offered no bells or whistles but were so-o-o easy to operate. You flipped the “on” switch, turned the temperature dial, and voilà! — instant heat or air conditioning. In some homes and offices, thermostat wars erupted as people moved the dial up or down.

Mechanical thermostats are on their way out, replaced by more efficient digital models and smart thermostats.

Digital Non-Programmable Thermostats

These are manually operated, just like a mechanical thermostat. The big difference is that they sport a digital readout with a bright LCD — so bright that you can spot it from across the room when someone messes with the thermostat setting.

Digital thermostats are less intuitive than a simple dial but relatively easy to adjust.

Digital Programmable Thermostats

Programmable thermostats make the most sense for most modern homes. While they can be painful to configure, a programmable thermostat’s beauty is that it’s “set and forget.” Once programmed, the only switch you may ever touch is the on and off switch.

Or you can let the thermostat dictate when to turn on the heating and air conditioning and never touch the controls again.

Most of us follow a routine: out of the house from 7 AM to 6 PM on weekdays, home on weekends, in bed from 10 PM to 6 AM, and so on. With a programmable thermostat, you can turn down the temperatures at night for sleep, pause the entire system when you’re away, and so on. You can program the thermostat for optimal comfort and energy efficiency.

Smart Programmable Thermostats

Smart thermostats are the newest type on the market. They use Wi-Fi to connect to the internet and can be controlled with a smartphone or other mobile device. Smart thermostats have many features that programmable thermostats don’t, such as:

  • The ability to learn your temperature preferences and adjust themselves accordingly
  • Remote access so you can control your home’s temperature from anywhere
  • Geofencing, which uses GPS to detect when you’re away from home and adjusts the temperature accordingly
  • Integration with smart home devices such as Amazon Echo and Google Home
  • Energy usage reports help you save money on your energy bill

Learning thermostats are ultra-smart thermostats that create a schedule based on your preferred temperature settings. They learn your preferences based on patterns of behavior.

The Ecobee4 and Nest Learning Thermostat are two examples of learning thermostats.

Multi-zone thermostats are designed for larger homes or buildings with two or more HVAC units and independently control the temperature in different areas.

Note to Los Angeles residents: The LA Department of Water & Power offers free AC optimization, which includes a smart thermostat! Chief participates in this program; please call us to learn more.

An installed smart thermostat

Temperature Zoning Your Home

Commercial buildings are zoned for climate control. Each business within the building can set a preferred temperature, and even within each office, there may be multiple thermostats to keep some areas warmer or cooler than others.

You can zone your home, just like the office. A temperature zoning system is especially useful in homes where:

  • One part of the house has a much warmer or cooler exposure (i.e., upstairs vs. downstairs).
  • An area of the house receives less circulation.
  • Different people have very different temperature preferences.

End the thermostat wars! By zoning your home, you can:

  • Be much more comfortable.
  • Save on energy bills, as warm or cool air is distributed more efficiently.
  • Enjoy your summer evenings. Your AC won’t run constantly!

So Many Thermostats, So Many Choices

Given the sheer number and type of thermostats available today, choosing the right thermostat for your home and budget can be daunting.

That’s where we come in. With over three decades of experience in heating and cooling, we can install the right thermostat for your home, HVAC system, budget, and lifestyle, and even create a temperature zone for your home while we’re at it. 

To learn more, please call us for a free consultation.