Smart thermostats seem to be all the buzz these days. Homeowners are seeing and hearing more about this new technology and at the same time, are continuing to ask what really is a smart thermostat and what can it do?
Well let me break it down for you.
In the simple terms, smart thermostats let you remotely control your home's temperature via a smartphone, tablet or computer for greater control over the heating and cooling of your home.
There are two types of smart thermostats … one offers an Internet or wi-fi connection allowing the homeowner to program the thermostat and remotely manage the thermostat from your smartphone, tablet or computer.
The other can learn from your behavior and automatically adjust the temperature in the home accordingly, meaning it can learn your schedule by detecting when your smartphone is in the house. It even takes it a step further by detecting when you're on your usual route home and sets your home to the desired temperature.
Smart thermostats can show you how long it takes to make the temperature change you've requested. So, you can see how effective your HVAC system really is, and it can help discourage homeowners from turning a thermostat all the way down to try "cooling off the house faster" — which never works.
A smart thermostat can also adjust itself based on external and unseen factors, such as humidity inside the home. If the home is experiencing a high level of humidity, the smart thermostat can automatically adjust the temperature in the home.
In addition, a smart thermostat can show you how much you are spending on heating or cooling costs in real-time. Homeowners can use this insight to adjust the smart thermostat programming to help save on energy consumption.
A drawback of smart thermostats is that they tend to be expensive. Most will retail between $200 and $500 and many are designed to be easy for you to install on your own. However, they are not necessarily plug-and-play, so you should factor in the cost of having it installed by an experienced HVAC contractor who will also provide training on how to effectively use the smart thermostat.
Is a smart thermostat right for your home? If you enjoy technology and have a busy lifestyle then a smart thermostat may be right for you. For others, the standard programable thermostat will provide a homeowner with all the functionality they need to schedule when the HVAC system is running and adjust the temperature in their home.