Smart thermostats can make your home a cozy haven irrespective of the weather outside and you don’t have to lift a finger for it. Even though they don’t come cheap, a smart unit will end up paying for itself in the long run.
That’s because it will make adjustments to the internal temperature when needed and prevent your HVAC system from working overtime.
What Is A Smart Thermostat?
As a homeowner, you are probably already familiar with the traditional non-programmable thermostat and how it controls the heating in your home. What you may not be aware of is that manual settings do more harm than good when it comes to energy consumption.
In contrast, smart thermostats don’t need to be fiddled with constantly. They are designed to maintain the temperature according to schedules that you can set according to your needs. So whether you are awake, asleep or even away from home, it will shut off, reduce and lower the heating accordingly.
How Smart Thermostats Save Money
They Learn and Make Adjustments Accordingly
What is great about these units is that they are connected to the internet. This means you can control the settings whether you are at home or not using the device you connected the thermostat to. Some come with learning algorithms that allow the system to learn your preferred settings.
In other words, with time (and depending on the brand you opt for) you may not even have to make any manual changes to the settings. The thermostat will make the adjustments to make sure your home is at the perfect temperature. So if you come home from a cold night, you will be enveloped in warmth as soon as you enter.
They Monitor Usage
Smart thermostats that are designed with two way communication will record how they are used. This means that they will collect data constantly and use it to make adjustments where needed. They will also show you how much energy you are consuming and determine the amount you will need to pay at the end of the month.
In other words not only can you determine how much energy you are using but also where you can cut down and save more in real-time. It can be quite fun as well. Seeing those numbers go down as you switch off lights and appliances you don’t use often will be incredibly rewarding as you see the thermostat pay for itself.
They Work Behind Your Back
As mentioned before, some smart thermostats come with a special setting that allows them to make temperature adjustments behind your back. This is done with sensors that determine whether the home is occupied or not by detecting movement. If it doesn’t detect anything, the system reduces energy consumption automatically. In other words, you don’t have to worry about turning off the system if you have to rush out of the house for an emergency.
Some brands also use geo-tracking to track the smart device owners use to connect to the thermostat. For example, if your device is out of range it can automatically go into the eco-mode. So if you go away on a vacation and leave the house unattended, you can use the companion app to turn off the system remotely. Some smart systems can also turn on by themselves if the temperature gets critically high or low.
You Can Control Them Remotely
Speaking of the app did you know that you can use it to set a schedule for your smart thermostat even when you are not at home? Besides providing you more control, it will also prevent your family from making changes in the settings which can increase your energy bill. Consistent temperatures can help you get an accurate reading which you can use to make smart adjustments.
Unlike traditional thermostats, smart units come with clear touch screen interfaces that can be read at a glance. Say goodbye to tired eyes because you won’t have to squint to figure out the numbers. The screen is well lit and the buttons are marked which means you won’t get frustrated and just go with the same energy-guzzling setting you are used to.
While a smart thermostat is designed to learn your habits and create schedules accordingly, it isn’t perfect. Use the app or the interface to make adjustments that the tech can use to maintain the ideal temperature. For example, lower the temperature when you are heading out on a long errand if your thermostat is not outfitted with sensors.
Not All Homes Are Made Equal
The amount you can save using your smart thermostat will differ from the one another homeowner uses. The following are some features and cases where these units will prove the most beneficial:
- You can save more energy by installing separate smart thermostats in different heating zones around your home. For example, your unused basement or attic doesn’t have to be as warm as your bedroom and living room.
- If your area has high energy rates, every percentage of energy you save you can get money for.
What to Consider When Buying a Smart Thermostat
Not all smart thermostats can allow you to save enough energy to make a difference in your energy bill. Here are some features you should investigate when you are looking for one:
To ensure your thermostat can work well with your existing HVAC system and can match the voltage it is compatible with. Units that are between 110V to 240V can handle electrical systems while the 24V variety is ideal for smaller HVAC units that power heat pumps, air conditioners, and boilers. These don’t require electricity to work.
Staged Temperature Adjustments
Most people don’t know this but there are multiple stages to heating and cooling depending on the system you get. However, their performance has more to do with preferences since all of them provide sufficient output.
For example, a single system offers 100% performance, a two-stage device offers 100% and 65% while a lower capacity system balances out temperatures.
Responsive To Weather
Thermostats that are responsive to weather conditions can save you a lot of time, effort and of course, money. That’s because these smart thermostats adjust the temperature according to the weather so you won’t even know if it is chilly outside.
If you have a large home or don’t use a couple of rooms, you should get a programmable thermostat that allows you to set different temperatures there. So for instance, if you are done with the kitchen, you can turn the heating down for that area and redirect it to your bedroom as you turn in for the night.
If you want to use this option you will have to get multiple thermostats or an extra device for other areas of your home. For example, you can get one unit for all the rooms upstairs and a separate one for the rooms downstairs. While the extra ones will cost you more than a single unit, they will end up paying for themselves in the long run. Weigh the cost against the savings to make an informed decision.
Wi-Fi or Non-Wi-Fi
A smart thermostat that comes with Wi-Fi connectivity will be more efficient, convenient and will record the temperature settings you make in the companion app. Rather than going downstairs to tweak the unit, you can make adjustments with your smart device. While a non-Wi-Fi option will be cheaper in comparison it will not be as convenient to use.
Controlling the Hot Water Supply
Some smartphones are designed to control central heating using hot water. If you have a combination boiler that provides a steady supply of hot water you will not need this. You can use the smart thermostat to turn on the hot water and turn it off when it is not in use.
So if you are away from home, you can just turn it off and turn it back on when you are about to return and want to take a hot shower. Depending on the unit you get you can also set a schedule so you will have a warm bath to look forward to even if you forget to turn it on.
The bottom line is that the smart thermostat you choose should make your life easier and more comfortable besides saving you money. Even if you have to spend a bit extra to get it, you will save more money down the line because the temperature control will be at your fingertips. Whichever unit you decide to get make sure that you hire an experienced technician to install it for you. Preferably, it should be one who can tell you how to maximise its use such as those from MP Moran. They can also advise you on the best indoor and outdoor lighting products.
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