Smart thermostats (or wifi-thermostats) are a type of thermostat with wireless internet connectivity. They allow you to connect to your HVAC system through your smartphone, tablet, or computer to control your settings whether you’re at home or away. Smart thermostats learn your preferences so they can automatically build energy efficient heating and cooling settings for year-round comfort.
Why Go Smart?
With programmable, smart thermostats, you have the benefit of scheduling your home’s temperature around your needs and routine. And doing so allows you to save energy.
These thermostats offer options beyond that of its standard programmable counterpart. They let you stay connected and informed of your comfort and energy levels. With these features, you can easily stay informed of your energy consumption and how you use your HVAC system. Then you can develop a home environment that’s the most comfortable and energy efficient for you and your family with little effort on your part.
And if you are a traveler and spend time away from your home (especially in the winter months), a wifi thermostat would be particularly useful. They allow you to check in on your system remotely so you can make sure everything is running smoothly – there’s not much worse than a furnace break-down while you’re away, leading to frozen pipes and water damage to welcome you home.
Smart Thermostat Features
Wifi, smart thermostats “learn” your preference and routine. This makes it easier for you to stay comfortable without needing to remember when to adjust the temperature every time you leave the house.
Some models even offer what’s called a “geofence” feature. It can track the location of your smartphone, and if you are outside or inside a certain radius of your home, it can recall your setback settings. So if you’re called away on an emergency, it can bring up the “away” settings; or if you’re coming home from vacation, it can kick on the furnace so you are greeted by a nice, warm home.
You can easily control your smart thermostat from your smartphone or tablet apps or your computer. And that includes if you’re home or away. If you feel a little overheated but don’t want to get up from your comfortable couch or bed, just grab your smartphone to lower the temperature to your preference.
Data on Your Usage
Because your thermostat gathers your energy-usage data for you to look over, you can tweak your system to maximize your comfort and savings.
Alerts and Diagnostics
Smart thermostats will send you maintenance alerts for things like when you should change your filter. They will also give you diagnostics that can help during a system repair.
Everyone has different comfort levels and different schedules, and that accounts for a large part of energy savings. But a smart thermostat has the possibility to save you significantly on energy costs.
Energy Star says that if you use a programmable thermostat correctly, it can save you about $180/year. But that’s IF you use it correctly. Programmable thermostats leave quite a bit of room for error. A wifi thermostat removes the possibility of user error which results in you saving money.
Granted, it’s going to cost you a little more upfront than a standard programmable thermostat. But some smart thermostats have an easy installation set up which means your technician will take less time in your home, saving you on the bill.
And the energy you save means the equipment will pay for itself in time. If you still have an old-style, manual thermostat, an upgrade is unquestionably going to make a difference. You’ll gain energy savings simply by letting the system handle its own adjustments – user forgetfulness makes up a large part of unnecessary energy consumption. But if you already have a programmable thermostat in your home and are using it as intended, you can still save with a wifi one. It presents monitored data and added features which can help you improve your family’s energy use. However, it may take you just a little longer to see a return on your investment.
One side note: consider working with your HVAC technician from the get-go. Some wifi thermostats may not work with older systems or could void the equipment warranty. If you partner with your technician from the very beginning to find the right smart thermostat that works for your family and with your system, you can avoid any of those issues. And if your furnace or boiler is at the end of its life, it’s often better to replace your heating system at the same time.
So when you’re ready to upgrade your thermostat and save energy with a smart one, let us know. We can help you find the right one for your home and get you set up so you can start saving.