How do I Choose the Best Wireless Heating Thermostat?

Terrie Brockmann

When buying a wireless heating thermostat, you should consider how easy the new system is to control. Some of the desirable features include an easy-to-read and backlit screen display, estimated battery life or low-battery indicator, and multiple day and time settings. Some people prefer to use tabletop thermostats, while others prefer wall-mounted controls, especially if they have small children. When choosing the best wireless heating thermostat, a person usually will find a better unit by comparing different manufacturers' products.

A wireless thermostat.
A wireless thermostat.

Generally, a wireless heating thermostat can control either one heating unit to heat an entire building or may be a multi-zone controller that can control up to eight zones. A buyer should check each multi-zone product's specifications because some units control only two units or zones. A house heated with individual baseboard heaters is one example of how a multi-zone wireless thermostat can be useful. To choose the best wireless thermostat for your home or office, you should consider how many heating units you want to control. Some units can control appliances through their electrical plug, giving you an option to run a window cooling unit in the hotter months.

Some of the features that most people want in a wireless heating thermostat include touch-screen programming, the ability to override the preset program easily, and a multi-lingual user guide and easy-to-understand display icons. Many of the newest wireless thermostats have larger numbers, which are easier to see. One of the complaints about the first digital thermometers was that the displays were hard to see.

One of the advantages of the wireless technology is that it is easy to integrate the wireless devices with the computer. If you want to control your heating and cooling system through your computer, check out which manufacturers offer PC-linkable units. Many of these units allow a person to control the heating unit remotely through a telephone. An example of how this can be useful is if you own a cabin, you can remotely control the heating system through your telephone or computer. Not all wireless heating thermostats have this capability.

When buying a wireless heating thermostat, you should learn how the program override system works. Some designers set up the system to have the program override the remote unit's command. Others use the hand-held thermostat's control as the primary command.

When buying a wireless heating thermostat online or through discount stores, you should make sure the unit meets required codes, such as the National Electric Code, or has the Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. (UL) label. The best warranty for a wireless thermostat generally is a five-year warranty, but many manufacturers offer a one-year warranty.

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