The Home Depot, Lowe's and Ace Hardware offer both manual and programmable thermostats. These units work with gas, electric or oil furnaces. Programmable thermostats help to save energy by lowering the temperature when the home is unoccupied.
When selecting a thermostat, the homeowner should take time to read the package. Before buying, they should know if the unit is a single-stage or multistage unit. Multistage heating and cooling systems have different operating properties that make them more energy efficient but require a special thermostat.
Direct line voltage thermostats are for use with resistance heaters, such as baseboard or other radiant heaters. They are not for use with gas furnaces.
A seven-day programmable thermostat works well for residents with busy schedules that vary daily. These units allow homeowners to set the furnace to change temperatures at different times every day of the week. Most people choose a thermostat that allows setting the program for one schedule through the week and another on the weekend. Manual thermostats require the user to change settings for the greatest energy efficiency.
Most homeowners are able to change the thermostat for themselves by observing the markings on the old thermostat and moving the wires to the same connection on the new unit. A photo with a cell phone helps to ensure the homeowner does not mix up the wires.