Along with other important factors it is also essential to know that what kind of thermostat you currently own i.e. high-voltage thermostat or low-voltage thermostat. It doesn’t matter if you want to upgrade your thermostat or replace it entirely, in both cases voltage information is really important.
You need to consider the voltage factor as well when you are going to purchase a thermostat. Thermostat low voltage wiring is entirely different from high voltage thermostat wiring. So choose such a thermostat that is able to control the amount of voltage from the sources.
HOW TO TELL IF MY THERMOSTAT HAS LOW OR HIGH VOLTAGE?
There are many ways to distinguish between high voltage and low voltage thermostats. I myself wasn’t able to know the difference between the two earlier but now I have enough knowledge for it. I would be more than happy to share that knowledge with you all.
CATEGORIES OF THERMOSTAT VOLTAGE:
Thermostat voltage is categorized in the following two types only.
- Thermostat high voltage
- Thermostat low voltage
All the thermostats will fall into either one of these categories. However, the range of a low voltage thermostat is generally up to 50V. The range higher than this is considered to be the range of a high voltage thermostat.
LOW VOLTAGE – AN OVERVIEW:
Before discussing about the type of your thermostat it is important to get familiarized with certain terms and one of them is low voltage.
Low voltage is basically the amount of voltages that your thermostat is capable to handle. The value of low voltage lies from 12V to 24V. One distinctive factor of low voltage thermostat is that it is incapable to provide power to individual heaters. What they do is control the central HVAC system and heat your home indirectly using control signals.
A signal is sent to HVAC system in order to switch it ON or OFF. According to the signal sent the HVAC system performs the operation. Low voltage thermostats are widely used in the parts of North America.
HIGH VOLTAGE – AN OVERVIEW:
Another term to get familiar with is high voltage. Generally, high voltage thermostats have a range from 120V to 240V. Another word for high voltage is line voltage, these two terms can be used interchangeably.
Unlike low voltage thermostats, these thermostats control the heating unit of your house directly. They control the running time of your heaters. Some of the examples which are included in high voltage thermostats are baseboard, fan-forced heaters, and wall heaters etc.
LINE VOLTAGE – AN OVERVIEW:
If someone asks you what is a high voltage thermostat then you need to provide an answer which includes the mention of line voltage thermostat as well because these two are same things. The word HIGH and LINE are interchangeable. So in short, line voltage is actually high voltage.
HOW TO TELL WHAT VOLTAGE YOUR THERMOSTAT IS?
How to tell if thermostat is high voltage or low voltage is another concerning query that needs to be answered right away. So to conclude this debate all in all, we would say that low voltage thermostats control the temperature of your house indirectly by sending control signals. Their electricity requirement is very low that’s why they are known to be low voltage thermostats.
On the other hand, high voltage thermostats have the responsibility to regulate for how long heating systems are working or will be left turned ON. The heating element converts the electricity into space heating. The energy requirement by these thermostats is from 120V to 240V.
HOW TO CHECK THERMOSTAT VOLTAGE – METHODS EXPLAINED!
There are 4 ways which can help you to distinguish between high voltage and low voltage thermostats.
There are various HVAC systems available to work with your thermostats. In order to know which thermostat you own, the simplest way is to check how do you cool or heat your house.
To analyze this you will have to check the HVAC system. Generally, there are 2 types of HVAC systems available; central HVAC system and electric HVAC system.
CENTRAL HVAC SYSTEM:
These HVAC systems are usually controlled by low voltage thermostats. Central HVAC systems are capable to work with a single cooling or heating source which can be controlled by one thermostat only. Cooling and heating is provided to different parts through thermostat. So if you have multiple thermostats in your home which control central HVAC system then be sure that your thermostat is a low voltage one.
Examples include furnace heating, ducted heat pumps, boilers and forced air.
ELECTRIC HVAC SYSTEM:
Electric HVAC systems are usually controlled by high voltage thermostats. If you are having more than one thermostats in your house which control the electric HVAC system then chances are that the thermostat you own is high voltage thermostat.
Mini split pumps also use electric HVAC systems. Although they use electric system but they are controlled by IR signals. They can be controlled using a wireless smart remote.
Examples include baseboard, in-ceiling radiant heat and fan forced heaters etc.
CHECKING THERMOSTAT VOLTAGE:
What voltage is my thermostat? Well, if you want an answer of this query then read this section of the article carefully. There are many options to check the thermostat voltage, we will be discussing them below.
There is a labelling present under your thermostat’s cover. The type of thermostat is mentioned there. If you own a high or line voltage thermostat then it will be labelled with “High-Voltage” or other similar warnings. Similarly, some of the low voltage thermostats are also labelled to show their type. But this case is for a few thermostats only and not for all.
Second method involves the usage of a voltmeter. This instrument helps you to measure the voltage of your thermostat. The reading given by the voltage meter can be used to judge whether the thermostat belongs to a high-voltage category or a low-voltage category.
Another cool method to judge whether the thermostat is a high-voltage or a low-voltage is to check the number of wires going into the thermostat. But before checking this make sure to take all the safety precautions because it is bit of a risky job to do.
LOW VOLTAGE WIRING:
Remove the plastic cover of your thermostat and look for the wires. If the wires are colored and small in size then it means you own a low voltage thermostat. Secondly, if the wires are pushed into the drywall through small hole then it also means that the thermostat is a low voltage.
LINE VOLTAGE WIRING:
The wires in high-voltage thermostats are usually grouped into colors. The groups are usually of black and red or black and white. The wires will run to an electrical box in case of line voltage thermostats.
The wiring of your thermostat is extremely important. The faulty wiring could cause issues like your thermostat keep resetting to 85 or when you have set the temperature at 72 but the thermostat reads it as 75.
If you want to know about the type of thermostat you own with the help of wiring then look at its thickness. The thick and large wiring is for high voltage thermostats while the light and small wires are for the low voltage thermostats.
DIFFERENCE TABLE FOR LOW AND HIGH VOLTAGE THERMOSTAT:
Buying a thermostat is a very difficult task to perform especially when you have lots of options available out there. So we would recommend you to consider the table below to know the difference between the low voltage and high voltage thermostats.
|LOW VOLTAGE||HIGH VOLTAGE|
WHICH SMART THERMOSTAT IS BETTER?
If you ask about the TYPE of thermostat then unfortunately there are only 2 types. But if you want to talk about the different models then there are plenty of options available. There are certain things which you need to consider before purchasing a smart thermostat.
The most important factor is to consider the compatibility of your thermostat. The model you are planning to purchase must be compatible with the HVAC system. You might also want to know about max wattage and the number of wires required by your chosen model.
Many websites offer a quiz which tells you whether the thermostat is compatible and recommended to buy or not.
All the related information about the features of your thermostat is available on your Home app. You must know about these features because the working of features in every model is different than the rest. Also you need this information to review whether you are purchasing a good thermostat that is currently in trend or not.
It is an obvious thing to have your thermostat being paired up with one of your favorite devices. Like Alexa, Google assistant and etc. In this case you need to choose a thermostat which actually supports these integrations. Otherwise you won’t be able to use Alexa to do your work.
COMPARISON WITH OTHER MODELS:
At last, compare the chosen model of your thermostat with its competitor. Make a list of pros and cons and choose the one which suits you the best. Talk to different thermostat owners and take their reviews on certain thermostats as well.
HIGH VOLTAGE SMART THERMOSTATS:
The best option to consider when buying a high voltage smart thermostat is Mysa. Smart thermostats of Mysa offer a great compatibility with various home assistants. It also allow its users to use as many energy saving features as required. So you must and should consider the thermostats of this company if you want to buy the best one.
LOW VOLTAGE SMART THERMOSTATS:
If you want to consider smart thermostat options for low voltage thermostats then consider Google Nest, Hive and Ecobee. All these brands offer a wide range of products which are compatible with your HVAC system and thermostat.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Q – How Do I Check The Voltage On My Thermostat?
A – To check the voltage on your thermostat either look at the labelling present under the cover of your thermostat or use a voltage meter to know about the voltage.
Q – What Are The Two Types Of Thermostats?
A – The two types of thermostats are following.
- High voltage thermostat OR Line voltage thermostat
- Low voltage thermostat
Q – How Do I Know What Type Of Thermostat I Have?
A – To know what type of thermostat you own you need to look at the model number of it. For this you will have to find the product ID of your thermostat and then you can know about the type.
Knowing about the type of thermostat which you currently own is really important. You can get restricted from doing many things if you are unsure about the type of your thermostat. However, the above mentioned knowledge will definitely help you in figuring out the type. Give this article a proper read because it will prove very beneficial for you.