08:00a - 4:30p
24hr Emergency Service
View Our Financing
Magnolia, NJ 08049
Mon-Fri: 08:00a - 4:30p
24hr Emergency Service
View Our Financing
Magnolia, NJ 08049

A Guide Through The World of Thermostats

Written by Vaughan Comfort Services on . Posted in .

Key Takeaways:

  • Thermostats come in low voltage and line voltage varieties.
  • Electrical and mechanical thermostats are available for each variety.
  • It’s best to have a professional install your thermostat.
  • New thermostats must be compatible with your heating system.
  • Smart thermostats can complement a smart home.
  • Programmable thermostats offer energy savings.

Your HVAC system is an essential component of your home. You may not realize it in your day-to-day life, but it becomes extremely noticeable when there’s a problem with it. With winter coming, making sure that your HVAC system is prepped to deal with the incoming cold is necessary to properly winterize your home’s heating.

At Vaughan Comfort Services, our industry experts have been working with thermostats and HVAC systems since 1937, though our approach to systems these days is much more modern than it was decades ago. Take a look at what you need to know about your thermostat, and discover how Vaughan Comfort Services can help.

Understanding the Two Types of Thermostats

Throughout the United States and in New Jersey homes, you will generally find two kinds of thermostats. For the most part, homes are heated with a furnace, which can run on natural gas, oil, wood, or propane. Other homes utilize electricity as their primary heating and cooling system power source.

Electric-Powered Line Voltage Thermostats

A line voltage thermostat is typically what is used alongside electric-powered HVAC systems such as radiant, convection, or resistance heaters. As the name suggests, it works by using your line voltage and converting the electricity into heat. This voltage is typically 120 to 240 volts, depending on how your home is set up. These thermostats come in single-pole and double-pole variants, and that dictates how many wires will be coming out of the back.

  • Operates using electricity
  • Includes heaters like wall heaters and baseboard heaters
  • Single pole thermostats have two wires.
  • Double pole thermostats have four wires.

Furnace and Boiler Low Voltage Thermostat

A low-voltage thermostat works with a furnace or boiler in your HVAC system. Because a furnace is being used for the heat, the thermostat does not use as much electricity as its line voltage counterpart would. These kinds of thermostats typically function with just 24 volts and mainly dictate how the blowers, fans, and heat pumps are operating, with their direction sometimes being as simple as an on/off switch.

  • Operates with furnace systems
  • Usually uses 24 volts
  • Controls systems rather than powers them

4 Things to Consider Before Purchasing a Thermostat

man adjusting thermostat wearing orange shirt

Knowing which new thermostat will work best for your home involves much more than just understanding the different types. There are an array of factors to keep in mind before you finalize your decision for your heating and air conditioning.

  • Compatibility: Your thermostat will need to be compatible with your HVAC system to function properly. Fortunately, most manufacturers provide their own compatibility checkers, though deferring to HVAC professionals is a safe bet, too.
  • Remote sensor ability: Remote sensors are a key aspect of how modern HVAC systems work. With remote sensors, your thermostat can even out the heating and cooling throughout your home for a consistent temperature.
  • Control options: While all thermostats allow you to control their temperature settings from the unit itself, more modern thermostats have more options available. Consider thermostats that work via smartphone apps or are compatible with services like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
  • Geofencing: With geolocation enabled on a thermostat, you can let it know automatically when you are at home or away. When you are away, it can adjust its settings to limit energy usage while bringing the temperature back to your preferred area when you return home.

The Benefits of Smart Thermostats

A smart thermostat is the latest advancement in thermostat technology that allows you to enjoy a variety of additional features. A smart thermostat can actively learn your living habits and create schedules based on when you are home. That’s only the beginning, however, as they offer a variety of additional automation features for your air conditioner and heater alongside smart home systems.

  • Save on energy: By learning your schedule, a smart thermostat can alter temperatures automatically to save energy without sacrificing your comfort. Put simply, it can automatically change the temperature to a level that’s easier on your energy bill when you’re at work. Plus, you may be entitled to some rebates depending on where you live when using smart thermostat settings.
  • Program with ease: Older thermostats are notoriously difficult to navigate, often having just two or three buttons that control everything. With a smart thermostat, you have an intuitive screen with a user-friendly interface that makes it easy to take advantage of the thermostat’s numerous features.
  • No learning curve: Even if you have a programmable thermostat, it can still take time to input your schedule properly. With a smart thermostat, this happens automatically via geolocation and algorithm learning.
  • Wi-Fi accessibility: With Wi-Fi connectivity, you can control your thermostat from anywhere in your home, so you don’t have to worry about making your way to the thermostat itself. Plus, it’s useful when you are at home outside of your typical schedule and want to make sure your home is at the desired temperature. Additionally, you can receive relevant notifications.
  • Voice control solutions: Smart thermostats technically don’t require a smartphone to use. With Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa, you can control it with voice commands. This is especially helpful when you are sick or tired.

Opting for Electronic Thermostats

Electronic thermostats are often low voltage, but line voltage options are available as well. They function by using a sensor that detects when temperatures fluctuate beyond the desired room temperature. As opposed to mechanical thermostats, these are typically much more responsive when reacting to temperature changes. Plus, they are more likely to be programmable.

Low Voltage System Smart Thermostats That We Recommend

Here are a few low voltage thermostats that we recommend. Remember to speak with a professional about compatibility before finalizing any decisions about what the best smart thermostat is for you.

The Google Nest Learning Thermostat With a Nest Temperature Sensor

The smart Nest Thermostat has a lot to offer, especially if you already make use of the Google Home app in your household.

  • Learns your schedule
  • Turns down energy use when you’re away to reduce utility bills
  • Remote control from Google Home app
  • Easy installation
  • Prioritizes energy efficiency

The Ecobee3 Lite

With the Ecobee3 Lite, you can enjoy an Energy Star-certified thermostat that can save you up to 23% on annual energy costs.

  • Controllable from iOS and Android
  • Can integrate into Apple HomeKit
  • Compatible with SmartSensor
  • Balances home temperature with occupancy detection

The Honeywell WiFi Thermostat

The Honeywell WiFi Smart Color Thermostat lets you tailor your climate control to your liking in more ways than one. Not only can you customize its functionality to create a comfortable temperature while reducing energy consumption, but you can also customize the display color and the devices used to control it.

  • Compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant
  • Color touchscreen interface
  • Programmable through Total Connect Comfort App
  • Monitor indoor humidity with room sensors

Exploring Mechanical Thermostats for New Jersey Homes

woman adjusting thermostat wearing a blue shirt

Mechanical thermostats are notably different from electronic variants, but they have their own benefits. They operate using metal bars that move based on the temperature and alert the system to turn on or off. Just keep in mind that you need to talk to a professional about compatibility before moving forward with installation.

  • Mechanical thermostat pros:
    • Easy to install
    • Relatively inexpensive with initial cost savings
  • Mechanical thermostat cons:
    • Slower response times
    • Not programmable

White Rodgers 1f56n-444

The White Rodgers 1f56n-444 mechanical thermostat has a lot to offer if you are looking for a simple thermostat that can get the job done on a budget.

  • Easy to install
  • Three-wire zone mounting plate included
  • Uses enclosed contacts for increased reliability and temperature accuracy
  • Low voltage

Honeywell Home CT87N1001

When you opt for the Honeywell Home CT87N1001, you can enjoy a timeless design that uses a twisting action to set your temperature preferences.

  • Five-year warranty
  • Clicks for every 2-degree change
  • Raised markings

Choosing the Right Non-Programmable Thermostats

Non-programmable thermostats lack the ability to be programmed like smart thermostats, but they still offer a digital display to make it easy to adjust the settings you prefer.

The Honeywell TH5110D1022 FocusPRO 5000

With this thermostat, you can enjoy a battery-powered and simple design that blends well with most home decor while getting the job done.

  • Easy to install
  • Accurate readings
  • Large display with legible readings

The Honeywell RTH111B1024

Opt for this thermostat, and you can enjoy impressive responsiveness alongside a simple design that’s complemented by a sleek digital display.

  • Precision control
  • Soft-touch buttons
  • Easy-access battery compartment

The Emerson 80 Series Classic Non-Programmable Thermostat

This Emerson thermostat offers the simplicity that many homeowners are looking for in their thermostats.

  • Permanent memory backup
  • Works with single-stage systems
  • Precise temperature control of +/- 1°F

Why New Jersey Homeowners Partner With Vaughan Comfort Services

At Vaughan Comfort Services, we specialize in offering unique and reliable solutions for your household’s needs. With our decades of experience and constant education of our technicians in the latest developments regarding HVAC technology, you can upgrade your home with confidence. Take a look at how some of our previous clients have felt about our custom solutions for their homes.


“We needed to update/replace the sewage cast iron pipes in the basement that were showing rust blisters and leakage. We reached out to several contractors. Vaughan quickly emerged at the forefront of our options because of their professionalism, responsiveness, and expertise. Their itemized invoice clearly outlined the scope of work to be performed. Believe it or not, our other options quoted blanket estimates which left us wondering how the numbers emerged/were calculated. With Vaughan and Jules (technician), the process was very forthcoming. No upselling. No pressure sales. Just to the point. Vaughan provided us two (2) price points from which to select. We decided to move forward with the more extensive/expensive option. We were able to get on the schedule in a timely manner. Jules, who came to provide the estimate, was also the technician who performed the work. He communicated to us his estimated arrival. He was very respectful of the home – made sure to prep and clean up after the work was complete. We are happy that we can rest easy knowing that our pipes are replaced. We encourage you to reach out to Vaughan for your plumbing needs!” — Linda S.

“Vaughan Comfort Services is a super top notch HVAC business. I had a problem with my AC, called Vaughan at 8:15AM on a Saturday morning, received a reply in 10 minutes, repair man was there by 9:30AM !!! No kidding, I’m not making this up, can you believe it!!! The work was covered by the warranty, NO CHARGE!!! Again, can you believe it!!! The repair man whose name escapes me was polite, knowledgeable and quickly got the AC up and running. I could not be more pleased, a great big thank you to everybody at Vaughan!!!!” — Paul M.

Frequently Asked Questions About Thermostats

Is It Safe to Install a Thermostat By Yourself?

Some thermostats are designed for easy DIY installation, but it is always best to opt for a professional just to be sure that nothing goes wrong.

Can I Replace My Thermostat With Any Thermostat?

No, any new thermostat you opt for must be compatible with your HVAC system, and not all thermostats are universally compatible. A professional can help you determine compatibility.

How Can I Tell What Kind of Thermostat I Need?

The easiest way to tell what kind of thermostat you need is to see which category your current thermostat falls in. Still, consulting a professional is the best way to ensure compatibility.

Contact Vaughan Comfort Services for All of Your Thermostat Needs in New Jersey

When you are ready to upgrade your thermostat in your New Jersey home, Vaughan Comfort Services is happy to help. Our professionals can ensure compatibility and find a new thermostat that works well for your needs and budget. Plus, we can install it all and get it working for you. Get started by giving us a call at 856-627-0303 or by using our online contact form to speak to our team.

NJ LIC. NO.13VH01727600
Robert W. Vaughan,
Master HVACR Contractor Lic. # 5842
Thomas J. Weaver,
Master Plumber Lic # 9521

Contact Info
212 Barrett Avenue
Magnolia, NJ 08049

© Vaughan Comfort Services