Heating, Air Conditioning, Fridge, HVAC/Thermostats

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Question
Hi--

I have a friend with a thermostat problem.  (I have never been to their house, so I have no idea what type of heating/cooling system is there.)

The house is about forty years old, in Pennsylvania.  She says there are two thermostats -- one downstairs for the heat, and one upstairs for the air conditioning.  The one upstairs does not work, so I was going to shop with her for a new thermostat.

I have never heard of two separate thermostats; my parents have an older house and their thermostat handles both heating and cooling.

I told her about several different types of thermostats and she prefers a programmable one, POSSibly wifi connected, but not sure yet.

When we go looking for a new one, is there a specific type we should be looking for, or would a regular "heating/cooling" thermostat work in place of her current "air only" one?  (I don't know what is actually there now, just that one is used only for heat and another only for A.C.)

Also, how common is it that two separate thermostats are used to heat and cool an average sized house?

Thanks.

Answer
Ed,

Reason you have two thermostats is possible there was no way to run the thermostat wire for the newer A/C system to the existing heat thermostat . ( running thermostat wires going from downstairs to upstairs ) Get a digital non programmable or programmable  one stage heat and one stage coil, it's hard to find a cool only thermostat . Most are heat and cool, you just leave the heat part blank. Get a thermostat with a C or common hookup. I've seen two separate thermostats, mostly in older homes.

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40+ years diversified experience.An HVAC/Refrigeration Self Employed Contractor since 1986. NATE Certifield. Answer questions pertaining to Residential and Commercial Air Conditioning , Warm Air Heating, Heat Pump systems.Mechanical and Electrical troubleshooting of these systems.Be as detailed as possible when describing problem.Packaged unit or split systems.No appliance questions.

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Installation and Troubleshooting, Mechanical and Electrical, in following areas, Refrigeration ( Walk In and Reach In Coolers and Freezers ) Commercial Roof Top and Packaged Heating/Cooling ( Natural Gas,Propane, Electric, and Heat Pumps ) Computer Room Air Conditoning Systems,Commercial Residential Packaged and Split Systems Air Conditoning and Heat Pumps.Warm Air Oil , Natural and Propane Gas Heating systems.

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Graduated from Private Technical School in 1975. An HVAC/Refrigeration Contractor . Have Unlimited Heating/Piping and Cooling Contractor License.Limited Sheetmetal Contractors License.NATE Certifield. York Certifield Master Heat Pump Technician 1986. Served 33 years combination Active Duty Air Force , Air Force Reserves and Air National Guard in the HVAC/Refrigeration Shop/Mechanical Shop. Troubleshooting/Installing HVAC/Refrigeration Equiptment Worldwide. Retiring in 2003 as a Senior NCO ,and a Mechanical Superintendent.

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