The Internet of Things is making homes across America smarter. Wi-Fi connected devices, like automated voice assistants (Echo, Alexa), home security systems, and smart thermostats have given homeowners more control over their home life than ever before.
While many of these smart devices are designed to make life easier, smart thermostats can offer money savings as well.
Besides the convenience factor, smart thermostats lower energy costs while also helping you enjoy a more comfortable temperature. You’ll also find many states and utilities include them in their energy efficiency rebate programs.
33 million homes in North American are expected to have smart thermostats by 2020. (Statista)
Smart thermostats have become a popular home energy efficiency upgrade. They’re fairly inexpensive and easy to use. The number of North American homes using smart thermostats to control their HVAC systems has increased by 10 million in just the last two years.
At Air Tech of Central Florida, we’ve seen this transition while providing top-notch HVAC services in Orlando and the surrounding area. We’ve helped many homeowners install and learn how to use smart thermostats to control their HVAC system and lower their energy costs.
Have you seen Nest or Ecobee thermometers in the store and wondered how they worked? It’s not uncommon to be unsure about switching until you know all the facts about a new technology.
If you’ve been considering using a smart thermometer to control your heating and air-conditioning, we’ve got a primer for you below that will tell you everything you need to know before you buy.
What is a Smart Thermostat?
Let’s start by discussing what a smart thermostat is and how it differs from the thermostat you already have that controls your HVAC system.
Smart thermostats are used to control your home’s heating and air-conditioning system. Like programmable thermostats, they allow you to automatically adjust temperature settings throughout the day using a timing schedule.
But that’s where the similarities stop. Here are some of the added extras a smart thermostat has that a programmable one does not.
- Wi-Fi connectivity
- Controllable via a Computer or Smartphone App
- Sensors that can record and store internal & external temperatures
- Charts energy use by time of day
- Voice activated controls
- Communicates with other smart home devices
What Benefits Do Smart Thermostats Offer?
If you can already manually program your thermostat to change temperatures during the day, you may wonder, “Why use a smart thermostat?”.
A joint government and university study found that 89% of people rarely or never programmed their thermostat for preset temperature adjustments, and many found it just too complicated. Smart thermometers are designed for ease of use and programming themselves.
Here are several eye-opening reasons you may want to consider installing a smart home thermostat.
The reason you’ll see a push for smart thermometers by organizations like the U.S. Energy Department and Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC) is because they help homeowners use less energy.
How much can they reduce your energy costs? According to Nest, their thermostat lowers heating bills an average of 10% to 12% and lowers cooling bills an average of 15%.
They Teach Themselves
Because they’re self-programmable, you don’t have to wait until you have time to program it yourself to start reaping the benefits. With geo-fencing, the thermostat can start learning when you’re away and when you’re home and what temperatures to adjust to at which times of day. It typically takes a week of learning time.
Easy to Control from Anywhere
Have an elderly parent at home who’s feeling cold, but doesn’t want to “mess with the thermostat?” You can easily pull out your smartphone or laptop and adjust the temperature remotely. There are also units that accept voice commands for even easier control.
Integrate with Other Smart Home Devices
Smart thermostats are designed to integrate with other smart home devices for safety and convenience. For example, if you’ve connected a smart carbon monoxide detector to a smart thermostat, if the first unit detects a carbon monoxide leak, it can tell the thermostat to turn off the heat in case the heating unit is the source of the leak.
What Should You Do Before You Buy a Smart Thermostat?
Before you purchase a smart thermostat, you’ll want to be sure your HVAC system is compatible with it. They generally require a low voltage (24v) system.
Unless you know exactly how to switch out the thermostats and wiring, it’s best to call a professional, like Air Tech of Central Florida, to install it. We’ll also teach you how to use it and can help ensure it’s working properly.
Need Help Installing a Smart Thermostat?
When in doubt, it’s best to call a professional. We have affordable rates and can ensure your new smart thermostat is installed and connected correctly in no time.
Schedule your installation online today or call us at 407-696-9876.