Thermostat For Heat Pump: Functions,Benefit,Setup Guide

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By Debarghya Roy

Are you looking to reduce energy costs and improve the efficiency of your home heating system? Investing in a thermostat for a heat pump is an economical way to accomplish both.

Heat pumps provide more efficient performance than many traditional systems, allowing users to save money on their monthly energy bills while still maintaining desired temperatures indoors.

In this blog post, we’ll explain the basics of heat pump thermostats and look at some top recommended models.

How do Heat Pump Thermostats Work?

Heat pump thermostats are designed specifically to accurately and efficiently control a heat pump. 

A heat pump thermostat works as a switch that is connected to the indoor and outdoor units of the heat pump such as the condenser coil, reversing valve, compressor, fans, and other detailed electronic parts.

It mainly works to control the reversing valve according to the temperature reading coming from sensors mounted within or outdoors near the premises.

Definition Of Heat Pump Thermostats

Heat pump thermostats are essential components of heat pumps that ensure their proper functioning and successful operation. 

Image Credit: Thermostat by Peter Stevens is licensed under (CC by 2.0)

Function Of Heat Pump Thermostats

They are responsible for regulating the temperature in a home by controlling the heating, cooling, and fan cycles as needed to maintain desired temperatures.

The correct programming helps adjust daily settings that correlate with the homeowner’s ideal comfort levels. 

It is achieved using day-programmable settings where different preferences can be stored for each hour of different weekdays and weekends through both manual switch control as well as digital display settings.

These features include visual feedback confirming whether it is in a heating or cooling cycle mode via colors like blue and red accordingly while also enabling exact temperature settings per the user’s specifications.

Types Of Heat Pump Thermostats

Manual Thermostats

Manual thermostats are traditional, non-programmable thermostats and are similar to analog dial models but allow for more precise temperature adjustment. 

To operate it you turn a small dial to your desired temperature setting while also being able to choose between cooling or heating mode. Though this may provide greater accuracy, the manual settings do not save user preferences and must be reset following each use.

Programmable Thermostats

With these thermostats, you can program settings to match certain activities or specific days. For example, you may choose to have higher warm temperatures during daytime hours when your family is at home and lower temperatures when everyone is away. This way, you save energy and automatically reset the heater according to your daily routine.

Smart Thermostats

These are more expensive models and offer control by integrating with other smart home devices such as Alexa or Google Assistant through Wi-Fi connectivity. 

Through this automated system, users can control their thermostats from anywhere using a smartphone app saving money with much greater efficiency. Some models also feature geofencing technology which detects your presence in relation to your home address and adjusts thermostat settings accordingly.

Dial control thermostats 

These are the most simplistic type of thermostat, with an easy-to-use analog dial to manually adjust the temperature up or down. These can be a convenient and cost-effective option, however, they offer limited customization in terms of temperature setting, energy usage, and other features.

Touchscreen thermostats

These are digital units with large and colorful displays that allow users to access all manner of advanced features depending on the model chosen Perhaps most importantly these let you set backlight and type brightness levels, run system diagnostics, manually override automatic scheduling, and access weather forecasts – all while being very easy to use!

Cost Analysis of Thermostat Heat Pump

The cost of different thermostats varies based on their functions and the purchaser should be aware to choose a suitable thermostat for their household. 

The following graph provided the cost analysis of different thermostats.

Different Shapes of Heat Pump Thermostats

When it comes to the shape and size of a heat pump thermostat, there are three main types – rectangular, curved, and square. Rectangular-shaped thermostats come in both manual as well as programmable versions, while curved and square models tend to only come in pre-programmed versions. Each type has its advantages.

Rectangular Thermostats

Rectangular thermostats offer the most common design with a dial that allows you to easily choose temperature settings or adjust advanced features like programming commands. They are usually battery-powered but some can be connected directly to your home’s electric system once installed correctly by a professional.

Curved Thermostats

Curved models may have buttons or sliders set into the face plate which allow easier access than standard rectangular models when controlling features such as temperature settings and fan speeds. While they are often considered more modern looking than their traditional counterparts, they also tend to cost more initially due to labor-intensive installation costs associated with them.

Square Thermostats

Square models provide similar functionality as other shapes but occupy less wall space due to their compact size allowing for easy integration into homes where space is limited on walls or door frames for standard-sized units.

Features To Look For When Choosing A Heat Pump Thermostat

When selecting a heat pump thermostat, there are certain features to look for to ensure the best performance and user experience.

CompatibilityEnsure that the thermostat you select is compatible with your heat pump or other cooling system. This will enable it to properly regulate temperature.It provides accurate readings for maximum efficiency.
Cost$75 – $800
Programmable SchedulesLook for thermostats with built-in programmable schedules.One can set temperatures and on/off times at different periods throughout the day based on daily routines, preferences, and energy bill goals.
Wi-Fi ConnectivityChoose a thermostat that offers Wi-Fi connectivity so you can control temperature settings remotely from anywhere using an app or website dashboard.Wi-fi connected models of Heat Pump Thermostats are also compatible.It even allows convenient voice commands like “Alexa, set my warmth level to 75 degrees”!
Mobile App ControlMobile app controls are the latest inventions that give users much more control over their heating systems by allowing them to adjust temperatures through mobile.
Ease of Installation & User FriendlinessWhen purchasing a Heat Pump Thermostat check its ease of installation beforehand so the process will be smoother & less painful.Check online reviews and decide to purchase the best.

Benefits Of Upgrading To A Heat Pump Thermostat

Upgrading to a heat pump thermostat provides improved energy efficiency, more customized temperature control, programmable features for increased convenience, and distinct differences from traditional thermostats.

Improved Energy Efficiency

Upgrading to a heat pump thermostat is one of the most effective ways to increase your home’s energy efficiency and save on monthly utility bills

Heat pumps are now becoming more common in homes, as they use less electricity than traditional heating and cooling systems, allowing you to maximize savings each month.

With a heat pump thermostat, you can program and control daily temperature settings according to your energy preferences and allowing you to reduce waste and customize efficient heating and cooling.

On average, homeowners can save up to 10-20% off their energy bill when using a properly configured heat pump thermostat system compared with other types of HVAC systems.

More Customized Temperature Control

Utilizing modern technology found in most smart models, online access and app usage allows users to completely customize temperatures down to the degree. 

For instance, many today now offer Wi-Fi-enabled systems which allow people across different rooms or buildings complete access at any time all with a single tap on your device’s display.

As expected, non-smart models are available where programmable features are fixed times for preferences set either through touchscreen controls or digital buttons.

Programmable Features For Increased Convenience

Programmable heat pump thermostats feature pre-set schedules that you can easily adjust with the press of a button or an app on your smartphone. So you can be sure that your home stays at the exact temperature you desire without worrying about wasting energy.

Heat Pump Thermostats offer different programming features like 7-day based scheduling so users can set individual schedules for each day of the week, 5-2 day (weekdays versus weekends) options to tailor plans around their schedule, plus vacation settings making long trips no problem at all.

From popular models such as Honeywell and Ecobee to more budget-friendly options like Google Nest and Heagstat, there is an abundance of quality heat pump thermostats on the market.

Honeywell Home RTH7600D 7-Day Programmable Touchscreen Thermostat

The Honeywell Home RTH7600D 7-Day Programmable Touchscreen Thermostat is an attractive and reliable option for those looking to upgrade their current thermostat to one with more smart features.

Dimensions3.5 x 4.5 x 0.88 in 
Display Size3.5 in
Display Resolution420 x 420 Pixels
ProsEasy to use and provides more efficiencyVacation mode present in it provides the best deal on cost savings.Sends mail alerts in case of a change in connection or temperature.Alexa compatibleWiFi based control
ConsManual programming is required.C-wires are required for a low-voltage return.Requires echo if Alexa doesn’t work

Heagstat H721 Non-Programmable Heat Pump Thermostat

It is a high-quality and cost-effective heat pump thermostat. It has all the features necessary to control a basic heating and cooling system, including those with compatibility for single-stage and two-stage systems as well as low-voltage or no-voltage connectors.

Dimensions4.72 x 3.85 x 0.98 in
Display Size4.5 in
Display Resolution380 x 380 Pixels
ProsEasy to installHigh Energy Savings
ConsNon-programmable and requires manual settingsBattery-powered and constant charging is needed

Google Nest Learning Smart Wifi Thermostat

The Google Nest Learning Smart Wi-Fi Thermostat is one of the most popular and highly recommended thermostats available. It offers several features to help you stay comfortable while saving on energy costs.

Dimensions3.3 x 1.06 in
Display Size2.08 in
Display Resolution480 x 480 Pixels
ProsGoogle AssistantAlexaNestIFTTTWiFi based controlRoom sensorsHigh Energy Savings
ConsExpensiveC-wires are required for proper installationWorks on battery source and constant charging are neededRequires external sensors that are costly

Emerson Sensi Touch Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat

It is a perfect choice for heat pump systems, offering improved energy efficiency and convenience, with customized temperature control. A standout feature of this thermostat is its ability to be controlled remotely via a mobile app – perfect for those needing reassurance that their home environment remains optimal while they are away.

Dimensions5.8 x 3.7 x 1.0 in
Display Size5 in
Display Resolution272 x 480 Pixels
ProsProvides a large display screen.Includes geofencing features.Provides a customizable user interface.Contains automatic detection of temperature and humidity extremes.Alexa compatible
ConsNot easily accessible to electronic applications.It is a little expensive to maintain.

Ecobee SmartThermostat With Voice Control

The Ecobee SmartThermostat features voice control compatibility with smart home devices, as well as a comfortable remote sensor that can measure temperature from different places in your house to ensure optimal air conditioning and heating.

Dimensions4 x 4 x 0.8 in
Display Size4.1 in
Display Resolution540 x 540 Pixels
SensorsTemperatureHumidityProximityFreeze detection
ProsAlexa compatibleDecreases strain on the utility gridRecommends changes in the temperature schedule based on routine.Adjust for variations in humidity.
ConsMore expensive than manual programmable thermostats.Does not work better with heating and cooling systems.

How To Properly Install A Heat Pump Thermostat?

Learning how to properly install and maintain a heat pump thermostat is essential for achieving optimal energy efficiency.

Installation of Heat Pump Thermostat

The installation cost of a thermostat varies from $50 – $500 depending on its quality and brand. The important steps to be followed to install a heat pump thermostat are as follows,

  • Inspect the area that provides compatibility to install a new thermostat.
  • Turn off the main panel and remove the old thermostat that is present on the wall using a screw.
  • Label the wires and solder them to the thermostat according to their function.
  • Use a masking tape and mention the codes on each wire that are helpful for future reference.
  • Recheck the wires and then attach the faceplate.
  • Connect the wires to the source and it completes the installation of heat pump thermostats.

Compatibility And Wiring of Heat Pump Thermostat

When installing a heat pump thermostat, proper compatibility and wiring are crucial to ensure safe and efficient performance. The correct wiring of the system is determined by the HVAC unit type and its ability to correctly receive an external signal from the thermostat. 

The important codes for the proper wiring of the heat pump thermostat are given below,

Several types of wiring are required depending on the thermostats capability

  • A basic heat pump system requires at least four wires connected between the thermostat and the HVAC two for powering the unit and two for communicating with it.
  • The eight wires connected to the thermostat should be carefully wired based on color codes or according to the electrician’s instructions to complete the circuit between the system’s electrical source, air handler, compressor, and reversing valve which controls its heating/cooling mode.
  • However, if additional features like remote sensors or automation are integrated this can require up to eleven different wires for them to be fully utilized.
  • To ensure proper installation, those who will perform an installation should have access to both schematics for their equipment and wiring diagrams related to their specific model of thermostat as these provide clear guidance on how everything must be put together for it to work effectively and safely. 
  • Additionally having a multimeter on hand allows one to test that all electrical connections are done also properly ensuring safety in addition to confirming that all signals are being sent back and forth successfully between components.
  • When it comes time to make sure that everything is working properly, inspecting functionality can be simplified by making sure that each wire receives consistent voltage. 

Calibration And Settings of Heat Pump Thermostat

To properly calibrate a heat pump thermostat, enter the calibration mode and adjust the up or down keys for making temperature adjustments as needed; this setting will vary based on individual requirements.

When it comes to adjusting settings such as those related to fan speed, differential displays, and humidity levels you’ll need to look through your instruction manual for guidance or contact an expert. In many cases, these settings may have something pre-programmed.

Calibration of heat pump thermostats works best depending upon environmental factors present with each specific application where areas with longer exposure to outdoor weather policies indoors during summertime need proper heating and cooling management too from events like icy mornings, towards midday sun intensity changes.

Troubleshooting Tips

When it comes to heat pump thermostats, the key to successful troubleshooting is to check settings first and look for loose wiring second. One of the common issues with a heat pump is that it runs constantly if the thermostat is set too high or too low. 

Check your current settingMake sure it’s set as per your desired temperature range and not too high or low.It can result in undesired performance from the system due to frequent cycling on and off again quickly.
Look for loose wiringProper wiring of at least 8 wires is necessary for the thermostat to operate correctly in a heat pump system.Inspect these connections thoroughly for any possible defective parts like damaged cords, blown fuses that cause intermittent contact/power fluctuations,, etc.
Adjusting Heat AnticipatorThe heat anticipator in a thermostat needs also to be aligned properly so that it performs its function without failure.This could mean adjusting dials slightly depending on the model you have but overall should make sure neither overheating nor cooling occurs too frequently before resetting.

How to properly maintain a heat pump thermostat to get optimal performance?

  • Regular maintenance of your heat pump thermostat includes periodic checks, cleanings, and adjustments that can improve both the unit’s lifespan and its annual operating costs.
  • Maintenance should be carried out using a qualified contractor to inspect the heat pump system including all filters, connections, switches, blades, belts, and other mechanical components.
  • They should also check outdoor condenser coils for dirt accumulation that could lead to poor airflow through them (which can cause compressors to overheat) as well as any refrigerant leaks.
  • Check settings on standard manual and programmable units with each season change to ensure they match the indoor temperature settings you have chosen; incorrect temperatures increase energy usage in both summer & winter seasons.
  • Also consider replacing your filter during regular maintenance visits if one is present in the equipment or take care of replacements yourself if needed.

Future Advancement of Thermostat Heat Pump

By looking at the efficiency of various heat pump thermostats, a better future for energy savings is foreseen. The following depicts the growth of thermostats till 2026.


The right thermostat can make a big difference in your home’s energy usage, comfort level, and convenience. A heat pump thermostat is essential for any heating system that utilizes a heat pump and should be chosen carefully according to your needs.

Heat Pump