Dual fuel systems are a great way to getter higher efficiency heating and cooling for your home. Moving heat around is more efficient than creating heat, so transitioning to this kind of system is a great way to save money and have a lower utility bill.
The problem is that not all thermostats can handle a dual fuel system nearly as efficiently.
If you have a thermostat that doesn’t work well with your dual fuel system, you’re only getting a fraction of the benefits. Getting the ease of control of a smart thermostat combined with a high-efficiency dual fuel system is one of the best ways to make your dual fuel system better.
Here are some of the best smart thermostats for dual fuel systems.
Best Smart Thermostat for Dual Fuel System
Google Nest’s 3rd generation model is one of the most universally compatible thermostats in terms of the range of different kinds of heater and AC systems it can work with. These thermostats work with most standard types of home heater system, including dual fuel heat pump systems.
Since the Nest thermostat line is also widely considered one of the better smart thermostat lines available, it’s naturally also one of the better dual fuel thermostats.
The Nest system also works particularly well since it’s designed to learn how to most effectively and efficiently heat or cool your home over time. That means that it adapts not only to the unique arrangement of your home and it’s heating and cooling needs, but also the response time and power from your temperature control system.
For a dual fuel system, that’s perfect because the thermostat will learn how to make the most efficient use of the heat pump and supplementary heater system, which means that you’re more likely to be able to maximize the benefit of your extremely efficient heat pump.
Nest is also a fantastic option for eco-conscious consumers who want to try and be more environmentally friendly in their homes. The Nest thermostat displays a small green leaf under the indoor temperature anytime you’ve chosen temperature settings that allow the thermostat to save energy and be more efficient than average.
The energy history also gives you a more in-depth view of when you’re using more or less energy so you can tailor your thermostat use to save data and even to predict when your energy use is likely to result in a higher bill.
This smart thermostat is a little different in appearance than most. At first glance, you might think that you were looking at a programmable thermostat instead, without the control and advantages of a smart control system.
However, this plain-looking thermostat is Alexa enabled and designed to work with other smart home systems to make it easier to control your at-home environment.
Like the Nest line of thermostats, Bosch’s connected control wifi thermostat is widely compatible with different styles and brands of heating and cooling systems. It works with most heat pumps, though you may need professional installation depending on the kind of wiring you’re working with.
This thermostat is also compatible with dual fuel heaters that are the same heater using both gas and electric power to control the temperature in your home.
The display on the app and the display on the thermostat both look very similar, which makes the system a lot easier to use overall. You won’t have to deal with two different control systems or layouts.
However, it also means that this thermostat has a more limited set of features and won’t do as much as some other smart thermostats.
This thermostat is well-named as a wi-fi thermostat since its main smart feature is that it’s wifi compatible and has an app. It doesn’t have the other bells and whistles of other kinds of smart devices.
This thermostat is one of the more feature-rich options if you’re looking for a smart thermostat that can do more than just adjust the temperature of your home.
One of the better features with this thermostat is the smart-alert system. A lot of people like to leave the thermostat off during the day when they are at work, and this smart alert system helps to prevent extreme temperature swings that are hard for the thermostat to recover from.
This thermostat is also Energy Star certified, which means that it’s one of the more efficient thermostats out there. That efficiency also impacts your heating and cooling system, boosting the efficiency even of dual fuel systems even further.
Geofencing for your phone also makes it much easier for your thermostat to tell when your home and when you’re away so that it can save the most possible energy for you and your family.
One of the big selling points for this thermostat is that it’s incredibly easy to install and can go in in as little as 30 minutes. Now, that does assume that you have a relatively standard wiring system for your home, alternative wiring may take longer and might need professional installation instead of self-installation.
Despite the possibility that the wiring could cause problems, this thermostat is also incredibly cross-compatible between different heating and cooling systems.
However, despite the wide compatibility with different heating and cooling systems, this thermostat is more restricted when it comes to software compatibility. This thermostat cannot work with Windows mobile products because it’s incompatible with the OS.
It is still compatible with both Apple and Android systems.
The mobile app gives you a lot of direct control over the thermostat and is accessible from anywhere with Wi-Fi or mobile data connection.
All that said, this thermostat is still one of the simpler options for dual fuel systems. It’s not as feature-rich as other models. This brand is also a relatively small thermostat brand, which means it may be more prone to having problems as it ages compared to other better-established manufacturers.
Touchscreen or No Touchscreen?
When it comes to smart thermostats a lot of people wonder if the extra expense of a touch screen is worth it. It all depends on how you use your thermostat and whether you like being able to directly control the thermostat from the unit.
Touchscreens are less useful on smart thermostats than programmable thermostats. But, if you’re more likely to change settings on the thermostat itself you may find that having a touchscreen makes your thermostat much easier to use.
Zoned Thermostat or No?
Different heating zones can give you a lot more control over different areas of your home and can be very useful for home gyms, nurseries and kids’ rooms, and even rooms for certain kinds of pets that need more temperature control like snakes and lizards.
But zoned thermostats can’t work without a zones heating system, and zoned heating systems can’t work without a zoned thermostat.
So, if you have a zoned dual fuel heating system and you want to be able to use the zoning feature, you’ll also need a zoned thermostat. Otherwise zoned thermostats are more expensive and don’t offer any additional features.
The Difference Between a Smart Thermostat and a Programmable Thermostat
The basic difference between smart thermostats is that they are wifi compatible and able to communicate with an app or remote system so you can control them from anywhere. Programmable thermostats still let you customize your temperature and create a temperature schedule, but you need to make changes to the setting directly on the unit.
Smart thermostats tend to be more efficient and can sometimes be easier to use compared to programmable thermostats. However, smart thermostats are also limited by Wi-Fi compatibility and may not work with as many heating and cooling systems as simpler programmable thermostats.
Can You Install a Dual Fuel Smart Thermostat Yourself?
The short answer is yes, maybe. Smart thermostats aren’t universally more difficult to install, and neither are dual fuel thermostats. However, it does take at least some degree of electrical experience, and you may struggle with self-installation if either your heating and cooling wiring or the thermostat are non-standard.
Are Smart Thermostats Really More Energy Efficient?
Most of the time, yes. Smart thermostats don’t run on much more power than a programmable thermostat, but they let you have a lot more control over your energy use for heating and cooling.
The main benefit is that you can use a smart thermostat to turn off temperature control or to turn it to the minimum setting you need to protect your home and your pipes.
Dual fuel systems are usually more energy-efficient and can be a great way to keep your home comfortable all year round. Don’t let your thermostat get in the way of you enjoying a more efficient system for your home.
These options are all effective, compatible with most dual fuel systems, and have their own benefits that let you customize your settings and features to exactly what you and your family need.