For today's smart thermostats, indoor temperature regulation is just the beginning. These intelligent devices can manage everything from removing excess humidity to alerting you about a potentially dangerous situation. When used properly, smart devices can deliver maximum comfort at a minimal cost.
Types of Thermostats
Besides old-school devices that simply maintain a steady temperature, there are programmable, Wi-Fi, and smart thermostats.
Programmable thermostats can be set to reduce the output of heated or cooled air when no one is home and while you're asleep. That saves energy while reducing wear and tear on your HVAC equipment. The Department of Energy tells us that by reducing the output of treated air by 10 or 15 degrees, we can shave up to 10 percent from our heating and cooling costs.
Wi-Fi thermostats are programmable devices with internet connectivity. You can program, change, or override thermostat settings from anywhere using any Wi-Fi-enabled device.
Smart thermostats learn from your behavior. They observe how you use the thermostat and then use that information to create an energy-efficient indoor environment that's tailored to your preferences. Smart thermostats are Wi-Fi enabled and can be integrated into a home automation system. Devices that interface with Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa can be regulated by voice.
Bells and Whistles
You can link your phone's GPS to your smart thermostat. The thermostat will then reduce heating or cooling output whenever you leave. When the device senses that you are almost home, it will increase heating or cooling output. You’ll arrive home to find a perfectly comfortable house.
Smart thermostats have built-in motion detectors or multiple room sensors that can determine whether someone is in a room or if people are even at home. If no one is there, the device will reduce heating or cooling output accordingly. An added security bonus is that the motion detectors can alert you if someone enters your home who doesn't belong there.
Some thermostats have an automatic fan feature. They use the AC's fan to blow cool air through your home after the compressor turns off. The principle is similar to that of a ceiling fan. The blower creates a wind-chill effect that makes you feel cooler even though temperatures remain the same.
If you have excessively high humidity, a smart thermostat can fix that, too. Some models are equipped with a special humidity control feature that will keep indoor air dry on even the most humid days.
Does your thermostat receive direct sunlight? Some smart thermostats have a “sunblock" feature that keeps them from adjusting heat or AC output in response to the warmth of the sun.
Some devices provide ongoing local weather forecasts that display real-time conditions on the screen of the thermostat.
Many smart devices generate daily, weekly, and monthly energy reports. These informative briefings can tell you exactly how much energy you're using and when you're using it. The reports can also offer tips on how to conserve energy without sacrificing comfort.
Alerts and Notifications
If a smart thermostat detects a potential threat to your HVAC system, it can warn you to take immediate action. You can call your HVAC contractor for troubleshooting help, get a professional assessment in real-time and schedule HVAC repair before the situation escalates. The thermostat will also notify you when it's time to schedule HVAC maintenance and tell you when you need to change the filter.Bottom line: Smart thermostats are the future. They remove the guesswork from the indoor comfort equation, and they can give your existing HVAC new life. To learn more about these cutting-edge devices, call Mark Carpenter Plumbing at (575) 222-2551 to schedule a consultation free of charge.