We hear a lot about interconnected homes, smart devices, and microcomputers connected to the internet of things. You might even be tired of hearing about how interconnected and network-dependent our lives are becoming. The good news is, not every smart thermostat has to be connected to the internet. There’s more than one kind of smart thermostat and they range from the super intelligent, internet-linked thermostats to simple programmable devices.
The quick answer is: smart thermostats are an investment that will save you money in the long-run.
All thermostats watch the temperature of your home and regulate when your air conditioner turns on. But HVAC systems really only have one speed, “ON.” A typical thermostat is only going to be able to force a full-power cooldown to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. This grows expensive, as the full cost of running your air conditioner is used every time the thermostat peaks above a certain temperature setting (or drops below during the winter). A smart thermostat can link to a multi-stage unit with advanced energy-efficiency controls, and it can regulate the temperature from multiple rooms instead of a single location.
What Smart Thermostats Can Do
Your basic programmable thermostat does one important thing: you can set times and dates when it should be monitoring the temperature. A lot of energy is expended keeping your home comfortable. By programming a thermostat to a higher temperature while you’re absent (during the workday or while on vacation) you can keep your home relatively cool for very little effort. Plus, the programmed time means you can tell your thermostat to cool down your home before you get back from work each day.
The savings here are twofold:
- You spend fewer dollars on cooling each day as your system only has to keep your home cool while you’re there.
- You spend less on repairs since you aren’t forcing your A/C unit to work as hard when you return home from work.
Of course, internet-based thermostats give you the option of monitoring and controlling the temperature of your home remotely. This way you can turn on the cooling if a heatwave hits while you’re gone and you want to keep things comfortable for pets.
There’s always the option of building a zoned-system, which almost requires a smart thermostat. Multiple temperature sensors to be placed around the home to control such a system. But once it’s in place, your home will remain cool for less than the traditional cost as it only has to work to cool problem areas, rather than freezing out your entire home.