Are Smart Thermostats Worth It?
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A smart thermostat is an electronic device that allows you to remotely control your home’s temperature and automatically use sensors to measure ambient temperature. It will not only be able to set the temperature to a particular level when you are away but will also be able to sense that you have arrived home and adjust the temperature accordingly.
A smart thermostat connects to your home’s Wi-Fi network and other internet of things-enabled devices, allowing you to schedule changes in the temperature from wherever you might be. Moreover, it will automatically detect when you are away and change the temperature, meaning that you do not need to change it manually. The temperature will always be comfortable when you arrive home, and this will save energy and money.
HOW DOES A SMART THERMOSTAT WORK?
In order to work, a smart thermostat needs to be connected to either your home Wi-Fi network or a local network. It will then be able to interact with other smart devices and can even use voice commands in order to control the temperature. Some of the smart thermostats on the market are also compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
The smart thermostat uses two main sensors in order to work. The first is an ambient light sensor that will measure how bright it is in the room. This is used to check if it is day or night thus allowing it to anticipate when you will be returning home and adjust accordingly. The second sensor is a temperature sensor that will measure the temperature within the room so that it can make necessary changes. Most smart thermometers also incorporate motion sensors so that they know which parts of your house are occupied.
The great thing about smart thermostats is that they can be compatible with almost any heating or cooling system whether it is a heat pump, radiator or fan-driven system, or even a boiler. It can also work with central air systems. While this may depend on the type of system that you currently have, the thermostat will usually be able to determine which system the devices are linked to before connecting to it. The smart thermostat can then consider your preferences when making adjustments. Alberta Mountain Air Heating and Air Conditioning can assist you with the installation of the smart thermostat in your Calgary home, no matter what type of system you currently have.
CAN SMART THERMOSTATS SAVE YOU MONEY?
The great thing about smart thermostats is that they can save you a lot of money in the long run by adjusting your heating or cooling system properly before you reach home. Your smart thermostat can also help you save on your energy bill as it can program itself to take certain actions during peak times, such as turning down or off the heating or cooling, in order to save on energy costs.
PROS OF SMART THERMOSTATS
Smart thermostats can also be installed easily by a professional at Alberta Mountain Air Heating and Air Conditioning. When a professional from your preferred HVAC maintenance provider installs your new smart thermostat, they will be sure that it connects to your HVAC system and any other ancillary systems that you have. You also want to have a professional install your smart thermostat so that you don’t void any applicable warranties.
Most smart thermostats have zone controls, which is another way that they save you money. Motion sensors installed in each room in your house allow the thermostat to know who’s home and where they are in the house. If everyone who’s home is upstairs in their rooms, your system will only heat or cool those areas. If everyone has left for the day and you’re working from home, the thermostat will adjust itself to only actively heat or cool the area that you’re occupying. It’s truly amazing technology.
Many smart thermostats also include humidity control sensors. If you have a whole-home humidity control system, your smart thermostat will work with it to be sure that your home is always at optimum humidity levels. They can make adjustments based on the weather outside and the season.
Some smart thermostats even provide air quality control measures. These machines will monitor the pollen counts and air quality warnings issued for your zip code and turn on fans or make other adjustments to clean your home’s air — all without you lifting a finger.
Advanced smart thermostats are a data lover’s dream. Many provide statistics that compare energy use and savings over time. They can also provide air quality and humidity reports and tracking over time. With a smart thermostat, you’re truly in control of your home’s HVAC system and can optimize the temperature, humidity, and air quality. Many homeowners love these hands-on capabilities.
CONS OF SMART THERMOSTATS
However, smart thermostats are not perfect. To get the most out of your investment, you have to learn how to use it. Many people who are not comfortable with technology experience a learning curve, but when you have your smart thermostat installed by a professional, they will walk you through how to use it, and you’ll have someone to call if you have any questions.
Another one of the main cons of smart thermostats is that it’s a bit of a steep initial investment. It will be worth it in the long run, but some people do experience a bit of sticker shock at first. You will also have to pay a professional to install it because it must be wired into your home.
Another thing that deters DIY enthusiasts from installing a smart thermostat is that there’s really no way to fix it yourself. It’s a computer system and an HVAC component, so it takes a professional to service these machines. Also, if it breaks, there isn’t really a manual override — you have to get an HVAC professional to come out and fix it right away.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR IN A SMART THERMOSTAT
If you are looking to purchase a smart thermostat, there are a few things that you should keep in mind. First, think about each unit’s features. You don’t need one that controls humidity if you don’t have a whole-home humidity system. By the same token, if you have someone in your home with allergies or respiratory issues and have intense air quality measures installed as a part of your HVAC system, such as UV air cleaning, be sure that the smart thermostat you’re looking at will be able to handle this.
Look for a smart thermostat with a user-friendly interface that is easy to navigate and understand, and be honest with yourself about what’s going to be easy for you and your family members to control. If you’re amazing with technology but your spouse isn’t, you’ll want to take this into account.
Of course, think about your budget. While a smart thermostat is an investment in a decade of having a comfortable home in the easiest way possible, be honest with yourself about which of the bells and whistles would be nice versus which are must-haves.
Alberta Mountain Air Heating and Air Conditioning has installed smart thermostats for homeowners in Calgary and surrounding communities for years. We also offer full service for your home heating and cooling systems. If you are interested in having a smart thermostat installed or have a problem with your current heating or cooling system, contact Alberta Mountain Air Heating and Air Conditioning today.
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