Wi-Fi Enabled Thermostats vs. Other Thermostats
You may not think too much about it, but that little box on your wall that controls your heating and cooling system is one of the biggest keys to your home’s energy efficiency. In the past, thermostats were simple devices that controlled when your heating and cooling system turned on and off based on a small thermometer. However, today there are options that do so much more than that. Some can control themselves automatically according to the rules you set up, while others can actually make decisions for you and even learn your climate control preferences!
There are three primary types of thermostats: manual, programmable, and smart thermostats. In this blog, we’ll discuss them briefly and help you see why investing in a modern smart thermostat is such an energy-saving benefit.
When was the last time you replaced the thermostat on your wall? 20 years ago? 25? Longer? Never? If this is the case, odds are this is the type of thermostat you have. Manual thermostats are usually completely mechanical and function using a rotating dial or small slider located on the top or bottom. However, there’s not much more to these systems than this. They can’t control themselves, and to make any changes you have to go to the dial itself and adjust it.
A programmable thermostat is a significant step up in thermostat technology, containing a small computer that stores instructions you program into the unit itself. As their name implies, programmable thermostats can be set with your temperature preferences and even given a repeating pattern of instructions to follow day by day, week by week. These systems allow you to turn your air conditioner or heater off during the day to save energy and then turn it on again before you arrive home so you can maintain comfort without having to pay to keep your home at a reasonable temperature.
Some programmable thermostats let you program in just one daily pattern that it follows each day, while others let you have one for each day and a separate one for weekends. This is better, but it’s still better to have four different programs available, one for hot weather and one for cold for both weekdays and weekends.
Wi-Fi Smart Thermostats
Smart thermostats are the latest in thermostat technology, offering convenience and increased functionality that thermostats have never been able to offer before. Smart thermostats have the ability to adjust themselves based on complex algorithms, turning on and off as they see fit in order to save you the most energy while still maintaining your preferences. Some of the most advanced models even have the ability to learn your climate preferences and adjust themselves accordingly so that you’re always comfortable and never have to worry about getting up to adjust the thermostat again.
Speaking of getting up to adjust the thermostat: that’s a thing of the past as well! Wi-Fi-enabled thermostats, such as the Ecobee4 are paired with a smartphone app that puts you in control right from your smartphone or tablet. These apps not only let you adjust the temperature from wherever you are anywhere in the world, but can even give you a full energy-usage readout and adjust their programming in order to save you more energy while still keeping you comfortable.
And the best part about these devices? Even the highest-end thermostats go for about $300 or so. In comparison to most other HVAC technology, the investment to install one of these is minimal. However, they can save you so much on your energy bills that most of the time they pay for themselves in a matter of just a few short months!