Controlled Comfort: What Is a Smart Thermostat?

Smart Thermostats

Air Conditioning costs homeowners 29 billion dollars a year! If lowering your bills is a priority, you may have heard of smart thermostats.

A smart thermostat uses sensors and WiFi to control your temperature. It can even do so remotely. 

If you’re considering smart thermostats as a solution to lowering your bills, read on. 

How Do Smart Thermostats Work?

There are three types of thermostats on the market.

First is a basic thermostat. This one’s simple. You probably grew up with this kind of thermostat.

You tell it what to do manually. A thermostat links to both your heating and cooling systems in the home. When you change the temperature on the thermostat, it connects to your home HVAC.

Next is a Programmable Thermostat. A programmable thermostat is set to turn off and on depending on the day of the week. Or you can program it to follow a pre-determined schedule.

Last is the newer smart thermostat. It also controls the HVAC service in your home. The difference is that a smart thermostat uses a WiFi connection and sensors.

Combining these, it learns more about your schedule and preferences. It then adjusts accordingly.

It can also track weather patterns and make heating or cooling decisions. Or you can control it by using a smart thermostat app. The thermostat calculates in real-time what’s best for your home. 

Room Temperature Sensors

Nearly all the smart thermostat brands allow you to control your temperature via an app. This means you can tweak your temperature even when you’re not home. Most brands also use a separate smart room sensor to detect the temperature more accurately.

This allows the smart thermostat to learn. For example, it learns what time you come home, and can begin cooling or heating the house before you arrive.

Some brands offer a smart room sensor that can detect motion and occupancy of the room. The smart thermostat can then adjust for the number of people present.  

Room temperature sensors mean you aren’t dependent on your thermostat’s internal thermometer. The sensor can be placed in another room, or another part of the room than the thermostat.

If your thermostat comes with a separate sensor, you may benefit from plastic enclosures. These allow for airflow around the sensor. And they prevent children and pets from tampering with the sensor. 

Should You Get a Smart Thermostat?

A smart thermostat gives you flexibility. You can adjust your HVAC even if you’re on vacation or coming home late.

When you use a smart thermostat, your heating and air conditioning bills go down. You save energy because your thermostat only goes on and off when you need it to. No more running the AC all day long to make sure it’s cool when you get home. 

Interested in learning more hacks for saving money at home? Check out more helpful articles on improving your home in our General section.