If you are thinking about buying a smart thermostat, then it’s important to know how they work. Here is everything you need to know about smart thermostats.
Table of contents
Understanding Smart Thermostats
To get started, let’s look at the basic functions that make a thermostat smart.
These devices connect to your home wifi and interact with a companion app that allows you to make adjustments from your phone or computer. They can also connect to various devices in your homes like Alexa or Google Home.
Further, one staple of a smart thermostat is the fact that it can create heating and cooling schedules. You can set these schedules manually, but the device can also detect when individuals are home or not home, leading to a schedule that doesn’t use unnecessary energy.
For example, when you’re not home, the device won’t run the air conditioning. It can start up to heat or cool the home in time for you to be comfortable when you regularly come home as well.
The smart device also compiles reports and analytics on how your home is doing in terms of energy consumption, heating and cooling schedules, and more.
As you’ll see, the benefits of the smart thermostat can have a larger impact than you might expect. Not only will your home be more comfortable, but you’ll save a great deal of money over years with an optimized heating and cooling system.
Compatibility With Your Current HVAC System
You’re probably wondering if a smart thermostat has the ability to connect to the air conditioning system of an old home. In most cases, you’ll be able to find a smart device that can pair with your home’s system.
That said, it’s not always easy to identify the required device and install it. Different homes have a different HVAC system setup, so it’s important that you understand what you’re working with before you invest in a device.
For that reason, it’s smart to go through the process with an HVAC professional. These individuals can look at your system, identify the right smart device to go along with it, and carry out the installation safely.
The last thing you want is to purchase a smart device, try to set it up, and find that you’ve actually damaged the existing system. Insight from a professional can tie all of those loose ends up quickly and leave you with a beautiful home system.
One of the most interesting pieces of a smart thermostat is the occupancy sensor. This is a feature of the device that uses an infrared sensor to determine the personal occupancy in the area that it’s placed.
So, if you have a smart thermostat in your basement, it will take note when there are individuals in the room. What’s more, is that it will develop a schedule of the normal times that there are people in certain areas of the home. It can then postpone heating and cooling to adjust to those schedules and save you money.
That said, a person has to walk past the device for it to register occupancy. This can make it tricky if you position the unit in a part of the room that doesn’t get a lot of attention. There’s also the fact that you might be in different areas of the home without the device knowing.
So, the sensor is an excellent feature if the thermostat is placed somewhere you pass through on your way in and out of the home. You can also override that feature and manage the settings on your own terms.
If you have a unique schedule or there are a number of people in your home at any given time, it’s usually best to create your own heating and cooling schedules.
Connection To an Application
You might wonder why in the world a thermostat needs to have a connection to the internet. The main point is that you’re able to make adjustments to the device wherever you are in the world.
The companion application on your phone allows you to adjust almost any factor of your heating and cooling system remotely. This is great for instances when you forget to turn off the heat when you leave for work, for example. It’s also useful if someone is stopping by while you’re out and you want them to feel comfortable.
Whatever the purpose you use it for, it’s nice to have complete control of the temperature of your home at all times.
Smart thermostats may also send information to their company for analytics. Data on the heating and cooling patterns of individuals is useful for a number of scientific purposes, mostly related to energy consumption and climate change.
That said, many people don’t enjoy data about their personal lives being leaked to corporations. Further, they don’t like being monitored by devices on their walls. It’s understandable!
That’s why you can choose whether or not you’d like that information to be used on most devices.
Another aspect of smart thermostats is the fact that they can be used to zone different areas of your home. In other words, you can adjust the temperatures of specific rooms and areas of your home without heating or cooling the entire house.
This technology has existed for a while, but many homes are still stuck with the option to heat or cool the entire home at once. At best, most of us can choose to air-condition a particular floor. Many of us just use portable heaters or window air conditioning units to optimize specific rooms.
These devices are energy-intensive and can be very costly when they’re run around the clock.
So, zoning is an excellent way to personalize the heating and cooling of your home. Different people have unique preferences for the temperature of their room, and it’s important to find ways to accommodate that without running up your energy bill.
Zoning might be one of the most effective ways to reduce your energy bill when it comes to heating and cooling. So much excess power is used to heat entire homes that are scarcely used.
Think of all of the time that particular rooms of your home aren’t in use. If you live alone, the only room that needs to be the perfect temperature is the room you’re in. If you have a dated system, that means that most of your home is heated or cooled 24 hours a day without anyone occupying those spaces.
Integration with Current Smart System
Another beautiful thing about smart thermostats is that they’re able to integrate with the other smart devices in your home. You have to make sure that the device you choose is compatible with the other smart devices you own, but there are sure to be a number of options that work.
This integration helps with managing energy consumption and gives you options to control various devices from the same application or platform.
All of the factors above help to ensure that you’re not spending more than you have to on energy bills. The price of installing a smart thermostat is marginal in comparison to the amount of money that you’ll save over the time that you use it.
It’s hard to say precisely how much you’ll save with a smart device, but a well-optimized system will cut costs significantly. If you’re heating your entire home day after day, you will be surprised by the difference that zoning makes.
Some estimates suggest that saving on heating and cooling can be upwards of 20 percent, depending on the region that you live in. The specific value will depend on your current heating habits, your preferred temperature, and the insulation of your home.
That said, those savings compile over time. After a few years, you might find that you save thousands of dollars with the aid of a smart thermostat.
Home savings and comfort aren’t the only impacts that smart devices have. Climate change is a very real threat that faces individuals as much anywhere else on the globe.
While systemic factors are some of the largest contributors to climate change, our personal choices make a big difference as well. Adjusting our lifestyles to use less energy can help to shift the scales and benefit nature.
It may seem as though incorporating a smart thermostat is a very small contribution, but it does make a difference in the fight against climate change. The beautiful thing is that many choices that benefit the environment benefit human beings on a personal level.
Investing in a little comfort and climate control in your home, for example, turns out to be an investment in mother nature as well.
Need To Improve Your Home HVAC System?
Many of us fail to give our HVAC system the love that it needs. It’s important to keep up on maintenance and repairs, though.
Note that your heating and cooling system has a direct impact on the air quality of your home. Comfort isn’t the only thing that these systems offer. They’re keys to the health and wellness of you and your family.
Many old homes are equipped with systems containing old parts, potential pollutants, and aspects that lose you a lot of money. Installing a new system or adapting the one that you currently have might be a smart move for the future of your home.
Additionally, some adjustments might need to be made to your current system in order to install a smart thermostat. It never hurts to have an HVAC professional inspect your system to see if everything is safe and up to code.
Things to Look for in HVAC Companies
If you’re looking to make a few changes, you might be wondering how to find the right HVAC company for your needs.
Not all companies have the same track record, and it’s important that you find the best-quality team to do work in your home. The first thing to check for is the presence of licensing and certification. HVAC work isn’t something that you should trust with someone who hasn’t been properly trained.
Great professionals also tend to have additional training from specific manufacturers. For example, a professional might have specific knowledge of your home’s existing system and know precisely how to repair it. They may also have insight into the best smart thermostats to fit your home.
The company you work with should also offer some degree of insurance for the work they do. This insurance should cover active repairs as well as potential hazards after the work is thought to be done.
Dangerous issues after a project is completed are rare, but they do occur. It’s nice to have peace of mind knowing that you’re covered if anything does go wrong.
You should also look into the reviews of the company. Ensure that their customers have had good experiences and recommend their services.
A good HVAC provider will also give you a clear idea of what you’re expected to pay and stick to that quote. It can be tricky to trust online quotes, though, because there are a lot of ways that companies create fake reviews to draw customers.
We’re here to help you find the right company to work with, though.
Looking for a Great HVAC Provider?
Smart thermostats are an excellent choice for any new HVAC system. Finding the people to work with is the hard part, though. We take pride in helping people find the right provider for their home, offering excellent comparisons and reviews of various companies.
Explore our site to find a great HVAC provider and get a quote today.