Choosing a smart thermostat for your home can feel more intimidating than asking your high school crush to prom. But don’t be afraid; with this guide, we will help you understand smart heating like a pro.
Smart thermostats are great because they give many extra options for keeping things comfy without leaving the house – things like saving money by learning your habits.
Different models offer smart features, so consider what is important for you. Are you interested in self-learning? Or perhaps you need zonal control because your house is big?
More importantly, choose a smart heating thermostat and ensure that it is compatible with your current home heating setup—there would be no point in spending money if it doesn’t work well with what you already have. And, of course, budget plays a factor, too, even though some more expensive options may pay for themselves eventually, thanks to energy savings.
Choose a Smart Heating Thermostat: Smart Features
Selecting a smart heating thermostat is all about finding the features that will work best with your lifestyle.
Here are some to consider as you decide:
Geofencing: This feature lets you create an imaginary boundary around your home. Once you pass this border, your smart thermostat can automatically change the temperature settings, like decreasing the warmth or activating central heating. As a result, having geofencing also helps save money on energy bills by only running when necessary.
Automatic Scheduling: All smart thermostats provide scheduling options, allowing you to adjust temperatures throughout the day or week. This way, not only will there always be a pleasant atmosphere inside your house, but it will also use less energy!
Self-Learning: The more you use your smart thermostat, the better it gets to know you and what temperature settings are best for you. Over time, it starts to understand when you want things nice and warm by noticing at which times of the week you adjust your thermostat. It knows that you like to relax on Wednesday nights with a movie, so keep it toasty. But you rush out the door on Friday mornings, so it dials it back while you sleep.
Presence Detection: Detect movement and temperature changes so the thermostat knows when someone is home. When no activity is registered for some time, it may assume everyone’s away and adjust accordingly to save energy costs. On the flip side, when somebody moves around inside the house again – meaning there are people present –it will make sure everything feels nice & cozy.
Energy Tracking & Reporting: Gives you visibility into how much electricity is used for heating or cooling. Collecting data smart thermostats can generate reports about when and how much power is needed to maintain the desired temperature – this information enables us to modify the heating to save money while preserving natural resources.
Reminders and Alerts: It always has its eye open, sending helpful reminders when it’s time to take care of your heating system – like reminding you to change filters, conduct maintenance, or alert if there are too high/low temperatures at home. By heeding those warnings, we ensure our HVAC appliance functions properly and efficiently all year round.
Voice Control: Most smart thermostats are compatible with voice control through smart home assistants, letting you modify the temperature level utilizing vocal commands using devices like Amazon Alexa, Google Home, or Apple HomeKit. This adds another layer of comfortability and accessibility to your smart home setup.
Select Approach to Achieve Zonal Control
Zonal control allows you to regulate temperature independently in different rooms of your home.
This allows you to customize the heating for each space depending on what feels most comfortable and practical for you. Keep the living room nice and warm while reducing temperatures in less occupied areas.
Certain smart thermostats come with temperature sensors that can be installed in each zone, allowing them to understand individual requirements better by constantly monitoring every area’s warmth levels so they can adjust settings accordingly when needed.
On the other hand, smart thermostat systems can utilize smart radiator valves installed on a radiator. These smart valves can be operated and programmed remotely to manage how much hot water flows into each radiator. This leads to more accurate temperature control in each area without needing separate temperature sensors. These solutions provide great zonal regulation, ensuring comfortable, specifically tailored settings and energy efficiency for your home.
Take Compatibility With Your Current System Into Account
Before buying a smart heating thermostat, ensure it is compatible with your existing HVAC setup. Different types of HVAC systems may have different compatibility needs. Most smart thermostats will state for which type of system they work best in.
Wiring and Voltage
Another important element when discussing compatibility is the wires and voltages you need for installation.
Does your system require a common wire (C-wire)? You should ensure that your chosen model has this connection or an alternative approach, like a C-Wire adapter. Even if you don’t find one, certain models of smart heating systems can still manage without it, but keep in mind that this will limit some features.
Considering Cost and Energy Efficiency of Smart Thermostats
When considering buying a smart heating thermostat, cost and energy efficiency should be at the top of your list.
Most models are designed to save you money on power bills over time, so researching how much they could help reduce your costs is worth researching. On average, people can expect savings between 8-15% on their heating and cooling expenses – however, this depends largely on where they live and how efficiently they can utilize all the smart features.
Energy Star-certified smart thermostats, for example, can help you save an average of $200 per year on energy bills.
Not only do these devices make a difference in your wallet, but they also have the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions dramatically. If everyone used ENERGY STAR-certified thermostats, we’d save 56 trillion BTUs annually, which would offset 13 billion pounds of greenhouse gases yearly.
Several things can make a smart thermostat energy-efficient, like:
Scheduling: Setting personalized temperature schedules based on your lifestyle helps you save energy. This includes setting certain temperatures for various times of the day and changing the heat when you’re away from home.
Perception: Smart thermostats offer valuable information about how much power you use. By checking out your consumption patterns, you can make informed decisions regarding enhancing your heating/cooling systems, which leads to more energy savings.
When you invest in a smart thermostat, rebates and savings are available to sweeten the pot. Many utilities offer rebates for customers who buy ENERGY STAR-certified units, so check with your local utility company about any potential incentives.
It’s important to balance what different models can provide you before deciding. High-end products like Ecobee Smart Thermostat come loaded with perks such as built-in Amazon Alexa, remote sensors, and humidity control – but even more affordable units like Google Nest still bring significant cost efficiency.
Consider Existing Smart Home Integration
When picking a smart heating thermostat, one of the essential things to consider is how well it integrates with your existing smart home gadgets. Doing this will make managing your heating system more convenient, and you can synchronize everything easily to provide a better smart home experience.
Many modern thermostats are compatible with popular intelligent house platforms such as Alexa from Amazon, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit, which let you control your device conveniently through simple verbal instructions.
As for more advanced integrations, some smart thermostats are compatible with SmartThings via provided or community-created integrations.
Having all the devices synchronized into a single platform will allow unique and complex home automation that otherwise wouldn’t be possible if devices were compatible with different platforms.