Differences Between the Two Types of Thermostats

When you’re considering the installation of a new heating system, you may hear about two types of thermostats: Line Voltage and Low Voltage. What’s the difference, and why does it truly matter which you choose to purchase? Heating companies in Calgary can help you understand the difference between the two major types of thermostats so you can find which will work best for your unique situation.

Fortunately, both types of thermostats have a lot of pros — and only a few cons — to consider. Whether you’re building a new home or you’re installing an updated heating and/or cooling system in your current house, you’ll need to choose the type based on your circuit line capability, usage, and costs. (Some homeowners will use both thermostats if more than one kind of heating distribution method is used.)

Line Voltage Thermostat

Line Voltage thermostats use direct current: 120V or 240V (AC) and can be found in your home’s outlets. They’re considered high voltage thermostats. Forced-fan heaters and baseboard heaters usually use Line Voltage thermostats.

  • There’s a larger variety of Line Voltage thermostat products to choose from.
  • They’re easiest to install.
  • They’re affordable.

Of course, Line Voltage thermostats do have a few drawbacks:

  • Their temperature control isn’t as precise as Low Voltage thermostats.
  • They use more energy.
  • Higher voltages are more dangerous.

Low Voltage Thermostat

Low Voltage thermostats are thermostats that use 50V or less. Most homeowners will find Low Voltage thermostats are most common. You, as well as your neighbors, probably use oil, wood, propane, or natural gas as heating fuel. According to TheHomeHacksDIY.com “This means that people most likely use a hydronic based heating system, such as radiators or a duct-based system. So if you have one of these two systems, you use Low Voltage thermostats to heat your home.”

  • Generally, these use about 24V to operate, so you’ll save money over time in energy costs.
  • Low Voltage thermostats pair better with new smart technologies like smartphones and Wi-Fi.

There are a few cons though:

  • They’re more difficult to install since they need a step-down transformer and use more wires than Line Voltage.
  • Installation costs more.

Usage and costs should factor into your new thermostat decision. Ultimately, the choice of Line or Low Voltage in an older home will depend heavily on which kind of circuitry is already there. Heating companies in Calgary can take a look and help you with your decision. Call Westhills today to get your quote.

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