What is a Multi Stage Thermostat

You may find yourself asking: what is a multi stage thermostat? Many manufacturers that build HVAC equipment don't build thermostats. Thermostat makers have responded by building many different types of controls, which can be confusing. Getting the right thermostat will help you get the most out of your heating and cooling system.

What Is A Multi Stage Thermostat And Why Do I Need One?
In an effort to boost efficiency and gain a competitive advantage, heating and cooling manufacturers have created multi stage HVAC equipment. A multi stage heater or air conditioners contains more than one burner or compressor. As demand increases, the multi stage unit can respond by bringing extra capacity online to meet the demand.

Multi stage thermostats are designed to take advantage of multi stage HVAC units. There are a number of different multi stage thermostats available. Here's a breakdown of the choices available:

  • Set point - One of the advantages of multi stage heating and cooling is that these units can get the room temperature to a desired level quickly. Set point thermostats look at the current room temperature and the desired setting. If these two temperatures are more than two degrees apart, the thermostat will engage multiple stages to reach the desired temperature using less overall energy. If the two temperatures are less than two degrees apart, the thermostat will engage a single stage, which also saves energy.
  • Time-based - With a time-based thermostat, the second stage is engaged at a set amount of time after the first stage is turned on. The second stage then runs until the proper temperature is achieved. Time-based systems will always get the temperature to the desired level quickly, but sometimes have problems "overshooting" the desired temperature, making the room too hot or cold.
  • Dynamic - Using built in memory and sophisticated math algorithms, dynamic staging thermostats keep a historical record of how long it takes to change the temperature of the room and calculates how long and how many stages to run to reach the desired temperature. You'll pay extra for dynamic staging, but it is the most energy efficient type of multi stage thermostat.
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