Does living in a world of “smart” ever make you feel…not smart? Let’s face it, today’s technology advances so quickly it’s easy to feel left behind. If you’re not “smart” about smart thermostats, never fear, Rescue Your Air & Drain is here. Here are the basics about smart thermostats and, as an added bonus, we’ll cover the most burning questions customers ask when they are considering smart thermostats for their homes.
Basics: What’s So Doggone Smart About Them?
A smart thermostat is sometimes called a “Wi-Fi thermostat,” because it can be controlled remotely with a smartphone and it can be integrated with a smart home system. The smart thermostat performs all the traditional functions expected by your old thermostat, but the technology is what sets it apart from traditional programmable thermostats.
Smart thermostats have capabilities that enable them to adapt to your schedule and even “think” for themselves through enhanced smart-device features. While we don’t make specific recommendations, we can tell you some of the top DIY brands you’ll hear about are Nest, Honeywell and Ecobee3. The three types of thermostats you’ll likely decide between no matter the brand or price are listed below.
Algorithmic-based learning models allow programming of basic parameters into the system, but they also adapt to your changing schedule over time and have features such as Auto Away mode to switch into if the thermostat’s motion and light sensors find you out of range too often when you are normally home.
Geofencing models rely on your phone’s geofencing feature to let them know when you’re home or away based on a predetermined set range of miles or feet. It sets the Away mode accordingly.
Remote Sensor models rely on motion or proximity sensors. Sensors detect when you are gone and the thermostat switches into the Away mode. Likewise, the unit switches back to the Home mode when it detects you are in range.
#1 Burning Question: Do Smart Thermostats Save Money?
The short answer is, yes. A smart thermostat will pay for itself by helping you lower electric bills each month. However, it could take a while, especially if you purchase the higher-end smart models that are in the $150-250 price range, and if you buy multiple thermostats in that range. You will need to replace all of the thermostats throughout your home if you upgrade to a smart thermostat system, so multiple purchases are probable.
#2 Burning Question: Do I Need a Smart Thermostat?
Here lies the tricky part of the whole smart issue. If you are a homeowner who has made a “smart-home” investment, a smart thermostat compatible with the rest of your system may be a wise integration. This is especially true if you are away from your home a lot. If you’re not a globe-trotter, you may not need to upgrade anytime soon. If you’re a person who is consistently home every day and your schedule doesn’t vary, don’t worry about upgrading. In this case, purchasing a seven-day programmable thermostat for much less money makes perfect sense.
While smart thermostats are becoming increasingly popular, don’t feel pressure to upgrade if you’re not ready or are not that into the technology. However, if you’re smart-home savvy and on daily speaking terms with Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant or other smart devices, a compatible smart thermostat may be just the ticket for your in-home comfort. Check out smart-thermostat reviews and do your homework before making any final decisions.
As always, please call Rescue Your Air & Drain for a free consultation on your heating and air system, as well as thermostat recommendations. Our phone number is 870-735-1588. Or, schedule an appointment online for a consultation or free estimate on a new system anytime.