At Tex-Perts Cooling & Heating, we hear a lot about interconnected homes, smart devices, and microcomputers connected to the internet of things. For many homeowners, you might even be tired of hearing about how interconnected and network-dependent our lives are becoming. The good news is, not every smart thermostat has to be connected to the internet. There’s more than one kind of smart thermostat and they range from the super intelligent, internet-linked thermostats to simple programmable devices.
If your current home does not have a smart thermostat, you may be wondering what some of the benefits are of upgrading. To put it simply, smart thermostats are an investment that will save you money in the long run. While all thermostats watch the temperature of your home and regulate when your air conditioner turns on, HVAC systems really only have one speed, “ON.” A typical thermostat is only going to be able to force a full-power cool down to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. This grows expensive, as the full cost of running your air conditioner is used every time the thermostat peaks above a certain temperature setting (or drops below during the winter). A smart thermostat can link to a multi-stage unit with advanced energy-efficiency controls, and it can regulate the temperature from multiple rooms instead of a single location.
Additionally, your basic programmable thermostat does one important thing: you can set times and dates when it should be monitoring the temperature. A lot of energy is expended keeping your home comfortable. By programming a thermostat to a higher temperature while you’re absent (during the workday or while on vacation) you can keep your home relatively cool for very little effort. Plus, the programmed time means you can tell your thermostat to cool down your home before you get back from work each day. The savings here are two fold. First, you spend fewer dollars on cooling each day as your system only has to keep your home cool while you’re there. Second, you spend less on repairs since you aren’t forcing your A/C unit to work as hard when you return home from work.
Of course, internet-based thermostats give you the option of monitoring and controlling the temperature of your home remotely. This way you can turn on the cooling if a heat wave hits while you’re gone and you want to keep things comfortable for pets. There’s always the option of building a zoned-system, which almost requires a smart thermostat—multiple temperature sensors need to be placed around the home to control such a system. But once it’s in place, your home will remain cool for less than the traditional cost as it only has to work to cool problem areas, rather than freezing out your entire home. Once you have a zoned system installed into your home you’ll find that the benefits of an efficient system, with an smart thermostat are boosted by only having to regulate temperature in rooms that are actively being used.