The Mt. Vernon thermostat controls all functions of the unit, I believe you have to use the one that comes with it. It won't be alot of work. I expect to be able to do it in under an hour. I just gotta drill a hole in the floor next to my hearth for the wire to come up from my crawlspace. I'll just drop the wire down through the wall into the crawlspace, run it over to the hole and push it through.