Thermostats have come a long way since their inception. Some of the oldest are mercury thermostats, which use needles to control the temperature. These aren’t very accurate and have only two functions: heating and cooling. Programmable or digital thermostats are better, as they allow you to set your desired temperature and have the thermostat make adjustments throughout the day based on your programed settings. Smart thermostats can be managed and adjusted in real-time and remotely from any connected device or app, but the benefits don’t end there.
Image via Flickr by 401(K) 2013
One of the greatest features of smart thermostats is that they’re designed specifically to save money. Working with your programs and learning from your daily behaviors using technology like movement sensors, your smart thermostat makes its own adjustments throughout the day according to the ambient environment, and can show you how much energy is being used in real-time.
Another advantage is that your system isn’t working overtime trying to heat or cool the whole house when no one’s home, and zoning capabilities allow your system to heat or cool separate areas of your home independently. This saves you money on your energy bills and minimizes wear and tear on your HVAC system as a whole, allowing you to go longer without having to make costly repairs.
It’s really comforting to come home to perfect temperatures after a long day. Unfortunately, running your HVAC system at ideal temperatures all day while no one’s there wastes energy and subsequently your money. Smart thermostats are connected to WiFi and as long as there’s an internet connection where you are, you can set and adjust the climate at home from anywhere, even internationally. Some are even equipped with voice command technology. For example, with Amazon‘s Alexa, you can simply ask your thermostat to raise or lower the temperature without getting out of bed, or up from the dinner table.
Improved Air Quality
A smart thermostat on its own won’t improve the air you’re breathing at home, of course. It will, however, alert you as to when it’s time to change a filter or schedule a maintenance visit. Clean filters are essential if you want to breathe clean air at home, and neglected ones can actually contaminate your air. Filters that are left unchecked for too long can continue to gather dust and debris, eventually harboring bacteria. Mold can also accumulate and be pushed into your air circulation, resulting in health concerns for your family.
Many smart thermostats come equipped with humidity sensors. Not only is it important to keep humidity levels at 50 percent or lower for comfort, it’s also recommended for health reasons. Too much humidity in the air encourages the growth of mildew, bacteria, dust mites, and other allergens. Dust mites are particularly problematic in humid climates and can trigger allergies and asthma attacks. Air that’s too dry can irritate the sinuses and throat and lead to non-allergic rhinitis. Smart thermostats can also be synced to other devices within the home, so if you have a whole-home humidifier, you’ll achieve optimal benefits.
Whether you’re motivated by sustainability, saving money, living healthy, or having ultimate control over the conditions in your home, an accurate, money-saving, informative smart thermostat is most likely a worthwhile investment.