Are you shopping for a new thermostat? If so, you are probably hearing a lot about smart thermostats. Even if you aren’t tech savvy, a smart thermostat is the way to go. Simply put, they are more intuitive and easier to use. But, not all smart thermostats are the same. When shopping for a smart thermostat for your home, you need to ask these three questions.
“Are you shopping for a
Not all smart thermostats
are the same.”
Does It Have an App?
Image via Flickr by BitBoy
No smart thermostat is complete without an accompanying app for your smartphone or tablet. Surprisingly, there are still some smart thermostats that don’t offer an app. But, having an app will make controlling your thermostat so much easier. Most thermostats can be set up and programmed by using the buttons on the actual wall unit, but to access the more advanced programming — the truly “smart” features — you need to use the app. Setting the timers and temperature ranges is much easier with a simple mobile app.
A good app for a smart thermostat also allows the user to control their HVAC remotely. That is, as long as you have an internet connection, you can control your system. You could turn up the heat if you’re on your way home on a particularly cold night. You could turn off your AC if you forgot to power it down after leaving town for a few days. A smart app will definitely give you a new level of convenient control over your HVAC system.
You can also use the app to monitor your use. Simple flowcharts can show how and when you are using your most energy to power your heat and AC.
Does It Learn?
Smart thermostats are truly “smart” because they can learn. The best thermostats monitor your settings in accordance with your use. For example, if you are constantly turning down your thermostat in the evening (around the same time) as the temperature cools, your thermostat will take note and offer to automatically make the adjustment for you. Don’t worry, the thermostat won’t take over your system. Instead, it will send push notifications to your app and offer to make the adjustment when a certain temperature is reached.
Smart apps are meant to learn your usage patterns to help reduce household energy consumption. Basically, a smart thermostat should help you reduce your energy bills.
Does It Have Auto Away Settings?
Auto away settings can be one of the most valuable features of a smart thermostat. They are particularly helpful to people who often leave their homes for extended periods. Imagine leaving your home for a month with the thermostat set at 59 during the summer. Even if you have a smart thermostat, you might have forgotten to turn it off using the app. You would end up with an astronomical energy bill.
An auto away setting will detect (via a sensor in the thermostat) that there has been no movement in your house for a couple of days. It will automatically turn on an “away mode” (every brand calls it something different) to help conserve energy.
Have you invested in a smart thermostat for your home?
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