My Frequently Asked Questions
While I regularly deal with wholesalers, manufacturers and recycling centers, consumers approach me via email, on the phone and even in person. Here are the questions I most frequently hear.
I’ve had the same thermostat for years; do I have to change or upgrade?
No, you don’t have to change or upgrade. If your current unit serves your needs, then change is unnecessary. However, like all things mechanical, they have a life cycle, and ultimately, you will need to replace your current unit.
What do current thermostats offer that older units lack?
A modern thermostat will provide you with more control, flexibility, information, energy efficiency and cost savings. For example, you can lower the temperature when you’re not at home and increase it before you arrive. A modern thermostat will also alert you to any problems that you might have with your HVAC systems.
Is there anything else?
Yes, you can have complete data about your energy usage, and also it allows you to zone your home, which translates into control over a room or as a zone of your home instead of heating or cooling the entire house. All of these attributes, and others, result in better energy efficiency and saving money.
My older unit doesn’t look like it would be that difficult to swap out for a newer model. Can I do it myself?
It depends on your technical skills. For example, be sure to turn off your furnace before you start on the exchange. There are also wiring issues, and you might decide to move the location of the thermostat. The easiest and safest way to change a thermostat is to have a professional HVAC technician make the swap.
Can I just dump the old thermostat into the trash, whether I or a technician does it?
No. PLEASE don’t throw the old thermostat into the trash. If a professional technician installs a new unit, he or she should know the appropriate way to recycle it. Old thermostats often contain mercury, a well-known health hazard. If you do the swap yourself, visit the Thermostat Recycling Corporation’s website for the location nearest you or call 888-266-0550. We have more than 3,400 collection centers in the 48 contiguous states, and the service is free, of course. It’s a great way to keep the environment safe.