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Chattguy 09-13-2008 12:26 AM

What kind of system do I have?
I'm new to the forums. I just moved into an 1100 sq ft townhome that was built in the 1970's. I am trying to make it as energy efficient as possible. One of my near-future endeavors is to install a programmable thermostat. What I need to know is how do I figure out what kind of system do I have, where would I look to find out? I'm just wanting to make the right thermostat choice the first time around. Thanks!

Kizzl775 09-13-2008 09:03 AM

well your t stat wether programble or not its purpose is to maintain the temp that it is set for and with programs you can lower or raise the temp during the day or night so that you dont have to physicaly do it so i dont see why it matters if you have hot air or hot water (besides the a/c deal) but basicaly why do you need to know what system you have?

Chattguy 09-13-2008 09:39 AM

Okay...first of all, I know what a programmable thermostat is, so I don't need help there, thank you. Second, I never mentioned "hot water" so I don't really know why you went there. Finally, to be clear what I mean by the "kind of system I have" means, do I have a single stage, dual stage, is it 24 volt, and how do I find out? Is the wiring on the thermostat standardized or is it case-specific to each brand/style of the A/C system, etc. These are the things I need to find out. Like, is it pretty cut and dry or do I need to do more research? Since you've been so "helpful", lets hear from someone else. Thanks!

Kizzl775 09-13-2008 10:18 AM

wow dude take a chill pill lol maybe next time you can explain and be a little more descriptive on what you were looking for other then "What system do i have?" maybe you could have said "How do i know if i have a single stage unit?" that might have been a little better and also YEAH its most likely 24 volts "how do i find out?" pull out a damn voltmeter, wire size would also be a dead giveaway. and also most likely a single stage "how do i find out?" its a little thing called READING theres labels on every unit and 99% of the time if you look around the unit somewhere the tech who installed it in left the manual for it. How do it know? BECAUSE THATS WHAT WE DO! next time you wanna be a little turd make sure you got your whole deal is "cut and dry" as you so well put it. have a happy rest of the day pal

8 Ball 09-14-2008 05:25 AM

There are three common types of residential heating systems:

Forced air, Hydronic, and radiant.

Forced air would be the most common, utilizing a gas, oil, LP or electric heating furnace, and a remote or "split" system A/C. Geo Thermal and air to air heat pumps are included in this catagory. If your outdoor condensor operates in the cool or cold weather, and provides some level of heat, that would be a heat pump. Your thermostat O terminal would have a wire on it also. These would also be refered to as a ducted system, having supply and return diffusers, and ductwork in the basement or attic to direct the airflow to and from the funace/airhandler. Most are 24v control systems, with the most common exception being electric heat which may be a 120v control, and thermostat.

Hydronic would utilize a boiler, and piping instead of ductwork to supply and return heated water to baseboard radiation. Most control systems and thermostats are 24v.

I have separated radiant because they sometimes incorporate boilers and electric heat, but the parameters for supplying the heat are very different. Most are infloor, and radiate the heat up through the floor, or panels that do the same from a side wall or ceiling. They generaly operate at lower temperatures and voltages, but most are still controlled with 24v.

There are exceptions to everything, and you could have any combination of these systems, but these are the most common. If your home was built in the 70s and 1100 sqft I doubt it would be a dual stage unit, and the stat would have w1 and w2 for heat and y1 and y2 for cooling with wiring attatched to the terminals if it were. If you have a newer furnace/Ac with variable speed, the stat would already have the setback feature and very well could be brand specific. Most older stats are not brand specific, and have a standard terminal strip, Rw,Ry,W,Y,G. Most wont have a C terminal.

Hope this helps, 24v is the most common. Take the thermostat off the wall and take it with you when you select a new one, that will help you match up and select the right stat for your application.

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