Technology is designed to make our lives easier and more efficient. There likely aren’t many people in Davis these days who don’t own a smartphone—and feel like they can’t function without it. I know I’m guilty of relying on my cell to make my life easier. We use our smartphones to organize our day, our work, make grocery lists, and even shop. Now, thanks to smart thermostats, you can also use your smartphone to control the temperature in your home—even when you’re out for a meal at The Mustard Seed or Osteria Fasulo.
As the temperatures begin to fall, the convenience of being able to warm your home before you get there reminds us just how far technology has come. With a flick of your wrist, you can ignite your furnace from afar. You can even train it to start and stop according to your daily habits—and take full advantage of all the money and energy-saving benefits smart HVAC controls have to offer your home.
Just How Smart Is That Thermostat?
It might feel a bit like an episode of The Jetsons for some of us, but smart home controls are becoming a common feature of many modern homes because they can easily be integrated into your existing HVAC system to add value and convenience. Learning thermostats, usually known as smart thermostats, allow you to manage the temperature in your home remotely—most people know that by now. But you may not know all the great advantages they have to offer over your traditional thermostat.
The benefits of a smart thermostat for your home include:
- Climate control: Much more than just turning your heater or AC on and off remotely, a smart thermostat can learn your preferred temperature preferences and start to regulate the temperature fluidly. This keeps your unit from working too hard by planning ahead to heat up and cool down your home in a short amount of time.
- Programmable settings: If you leave early in the morning for work, you may just turn your unit off for the day to save money on your heating bill. Of course, when you get back, you might have to shiver for half an hour until your unit is able to warm your house again. But, a learning thermostat can be programmed to turn off and on at certain times, allowing you to program your house to be toasty warm the moment you walk in the door.
- Energy consumption tracking: You may rely on your monthly utility bill to figure out how much energy you consumed the previous month, but, with a smart thermostat, you can track your consumption in real time. This gives you a chance to adjust your thermostat down a few degrees before you get a sky-high energy bill at the end of the month. While the temperatures are still fairly mild in the fall, this is a great opportunity to start saving on your energy bill even before we move into the chilly winter months.
Understanding Different Types of Smart Thermostats
There are two types of smart thermostats, and it’s important to understand the difference so you can pick the perfect fit to modernize your home:
- Intuitive Thermostats: This is the kind of smart thermostat that learns from your behaviors, and adjusts temperatures and settings accordingly. These thermostats gauge when someone is home, or appliances like ovens and dryers are turned on, and makes changes based on the current activity in the home to keep energy consumption down. If your oven is helping to heat up your kitchen, your furnace can catch a break, and you won’t notice a difference—your home will still be heated to your desired temperature.
- Web-Programmable Thermostats: These smart thermostats can interface with an online system so you can program and monitor your home’s HVAC system remotely. They allow you to adjust the temperature in your home when you’re away, giving us forgetful types a second chance to turn the furnace off after we’ve pulled out of the driveway.
There are a lot of options out there these days for smart thermostats that can be integrated into your existing HVAC system—choose the right type based on your preferences and habits as a homeowner. An intuitive thermostat might be great for a single family home, while a web programmable one might work for individuals that have a vacation property they only visit on the weekends. You might not even have to choose between the two—some are truly genius and offer both intuitive and remote control capabilities.
Is a Smart Thermostat a Fit for Your Davis Home?
The wonderful thing about new technologies like smart thermostats is that they give us choices we’ve never had before. But, while helpful for managing energy use in your home, some may view them as more of a luxury than a necessity. When considering installing a learning or smart thermostat, keep these considerations in mind:
- Is it worth the investment? The average prices of smart thermostats on the market today range from $200-$500. But, with more models popping up every year, the prices keep coming down. They do require an upfront investment, but you might be able to recoup the cost in less than a year if they help lower your monthly utility bills. Take a look at your energy bill over the last year to assess whether or not the addition of a smart thermostat would save you money in the long run.
- How many do I need? A small home probably only needs one smart thermostat installed in a central location. But a larger home, or a home with zoned cooling and heating, may need more than one to fully benefit from the technology, as different areas may require separate controls.
- Should I link it to other home automated controls? If you already have a security system you control remotely using your smartphone, it might be worth the price for the convenience of being able to link in your HVAC—this will give you total control of your home with the push of a button from a single phone app.
As you’re busy rushing out the door to fall festivals and holiday parties, adjusting the thermostat may not be at the top of your priority list, especially on fall evenings when the temperature can fluctuate from hot to cold in a matter of hours. Investing in a smart thermostat for your home can save you a bundle on your energy bill—and you’ll walk in to a cozy home after running errands on a chilly night. If you think a smart thermostat is right for your home, contact a local HVAC professional to learn more about your options. They can help you determine just which thermostat will give you the convenience, and money-savings, you’re looking for in your tech-forward Davis home.
For expert advice about smart controls for your HVAC system, contact the trusted HVAC professionals at Bell Brothers, the No Surprise Guys for over 25 years.