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Many advancements have been made in thermostats since the electric tele-thermoscopes hit the market in 1883. Gone are the old coil and mercury switches your grandparents had. Programmable thermostats are so 1980s, and digital is yesterday's technology. The latest technology in cooling and heating your home or office is the smart thermostat.
How the New Kid on the Block Works
There are two types of technologies in smart thermostats.
Geolocation fencing uses your cell phone's location to adjust the temperature in your home or office. When the phone leaves the area, the thermostat switches to the preset temperature, and when your phone is within a few miles from the location, it begins heating or cooling to your comfort level.
The algorithm software type learns your behaviours over several weeks, adjusting automatically to the desired temperature when there is likely to be activity in the house or office.
Things to Consider Before Deciding the Pros and Cons
Before you can weigh the pros and cons of installing a smart thermostat, there are a few things to consider:
- Homes with an AC unit and a furnace may require a more sophisticated setup, and compatibility between these and the smart thermostat could be an issue.
- How long you plan to stay in your house or office space: if you plan to move next year, or you're renting, installing a smart thermostat may not be a good investment for that property.
- Placement of the thermostat is important. If it’s in a hallway, it will register only the temperature in that small space. Next to an electrical or fire-burning heating device can also affect performance, as can being close to an outside door.
- Some smart thermostats require professional installation.
Pros of Installing a Smart Thermostat
Smart thermostats are programmed with multiple settings. Regardless of where you are, you can program the thermostat to turn on the heat or air conditioning an hour before you return or adjust the temperature throughout the day. You can control the temperature in individual rooms with the zoning feature, and program to adjust based on conditions like high humidity. Lowering the heat or turning up the air conditioning when you're not at home or work conserves energy, which of course saves you money.
Set It and Forget It
A smart thermostat lets you be energy-conscious without a lot of effort. Set the days, times, and temperatures then forget about it. Once you have the unit programmed for your specific needs, you can leave it to do all the work.
Fun for Techies
If you have fun with all the technology and enjoy playing with buttons and programs, then a smart thermostat is for you. Compile the in-depth data and track how much energy you use in real time daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly for an analysis of your consumption.
Monitor and control the temperature remotely from your cell phone or computer with a connection to the Internet. Most smart thermostats come with an app for your smartphone, iPhone, iPad, Android, and computer.
Smart thermostats, when programmed and used properly for the space, lower energy consumption. Saving energy means you cut carbon emissions and leave a smaller carbon footprint. The smart thermostat minimize temperature swings by cutting on or off closer to the desired temperature than manual thermostats.
Informs You of Maintenance Needs
A smart thermostat will alert you when it's time to change the filter in your air conditioner and furnace. Find out when the last maintenance check was done with the push of a button. You can choose to receive a text, an email, or have the thermostat beep when it's time to perform preventative maintenance or call a qualified technician. No more worries about costly repairs if you forget to change a filter.
Cut Your Energy Bill
Once everything is set up and programmed, you could save a significant amount of money a year on heating and cooling costs.
Cons of Installing a Smart Thermostat
If Someone Is Always Home
If you work from home, or there is always someone there, then programming the thermostat is tougher. In fact, there’s not much need for a smart thermostat. You won't want to lower and raise the temperature during the day if you run a business from home. Adjusting to other family members’ or co-workers’ schedules is likely not cost-effective in the long run.
Your existing heating and cooling unit may not be compatible with a smart thermostat.
Smart thermostats are more expensive than manual thermostats, and some units require professional installation.
The software and touchscreen display panel can be tricky to learn. If you're not into reading a manual and figuring out all the buttons and software, then a smart thermostat may not be for you. If the smart thermostat system is not installed and set up properly, you may not see any savings. Check with a professional first, estimate your cost and savings, and research your options.
Get a Free Consultation to Help You Decide if a Smart Thermostat is Right for You
Contact Shipton’s today and one of our knowledgeable staff will be glad to help you determine if a smart thermostat is right for your needs.