Features to Consider in a Smart Home Thermostat
Technology has greatly evolved from basic HVAC systems that were only meant to heat or cool; to smart systems that can do many more things to keep you comfortable. Today, a smart home thermostat can help Bay Area home owners save energy, reduce their utility bills, contribute to a greener environment and maintain a comfortable ambience for family members to come home to, even after leaving the house empty all day.
Smart home thermostats, or programmable thermostats have many advantages and can work well if you take the time and patience to program them correctly. A smart thermostat may be slightly complicated and you may take some time to understand how to adjust the different variables. But once you do that, and make seasonal changes without forgetting, a smart home system can be highly beneficial and keep you comfortable at home.
What is a Smart Home Thermostat?
A smart home thermostat is named thus because it is ‘smart.’ It is said that the device can think for itself. What this literally means is that it is programmed to detect movement, changes in ambient temperature, it can remember your schedule and, in some cases, even detect occupancy and adjust the temperature in various rooms accordingly.
But the most important feature is that you can control the smart thermostat directly from your smart phone, tablet or laptop, no matter where you are.
If you are planning to invest in a new smart home system or want to move from the current model, it is best to understand certain new features that smart home thermostats come with these days.
- Leaning mode
As you control the thermostat manually for a period of time, it ‘learns’ your schedule, behavior and temperature preferences and adjusts itself accordingly.
Older systems that are switched ON once you are home, take some time to heat or cool. The geofencing feature smartly uses GPS to check your location and switches ON when you are almost home so that you can enjoy a comfortable atmosphere as soon as you enter.
- Energy monitoring and alerts
Comparing bills each month can be cumbersome. Choose a smart thermostat that monitors energy usage and can also gives you usage report over time. You can also receive alerts on your phone.
- Humidity control
Humidity levels differ depending on the season. A smart thermostat with a humidity control feature can detect moisture levels in air and switch ON the air conditioner as and when needed.
- Occupancy sensors
Smart thermostats can have additional sensors in every room to detect occupancy and movement. This will help the system run where and when it is required, saving energy and money.
- Integration with home automation systems
Certain smart thermostats have high-end technology that lets users integrate it with other home automation systems such as lighting or appliances.
- HVAC system compatibility
If you have a special HVAC system; with VRF technology, for example, you need a smart thermostat that is compatible with your current HVAC model. Check the wiring required as well.