As the Internet of Things – the network of wirelessly connected smart devices – continues to grow exponentially, homeowners are poised to reap the benefits.
Smart thermostats have been a hot ticket item and for good reason. They can offer significant savings on top of the Energy Star statistic that regular programmable thermostats can save people 10 to 30 percent on their energy bills.
"Your smartphone has just become another sensor your new thermostat."
And yet, there will still be some people wondering why everyone is so excited over the prospect of a fancy thermostat.
So, what is it that makes this new generation of thermostats so worthy of praise?
One of the biggest downfalls of traditional thermostats is their inability to act autonomously and intelligently. Most operate with a simple thermometer sensor and a timer to determine whether to heat or cool a room.
However, setting a thermostat to 70 degrees for 8 a.m. one day might not necessarily be ideal for 8 a.m. the next day. As the old New England saying goes, if you don't like the weather, wait a minute.
Antiquated sensors can misread the temperature of one room, causing wasteful heating or cooling in another. Smart thermostats come with an array of built-in and ancillary sensors that will assess the inside temperature with greater acumen.
Control from any smartphone
If you're interested in having a more hands-on approach to controlling your HVAC system, smart thermostats sport wireless connectivity, bridging the gap between a technology in the home and a person's smartphone. Temperature adjustment from anywhere is just an app away.
Furthermore, the smartphone itself can act as yet another sensor. GPS locational data can alert a smart thermostat as to your whereabouts. The device can then adjust the temperature accordingly. If you're walking away from your property, the thermostat can shut itself off. If you're fast approaching, the thermostat can start running just in time to provide you with the ideal climate upon arrival.
Dollar signs on the mind
Not many people visualize their energy costs in terms of degrees. Most, if not all, only see the dollar figure. Unfortunately, in order to confidently predict future energy costs, homeowner's would need to keep a strict watch over their thermostat and track usage constantly.
The good news is smart thermostats have rewritten the units of measurements normally reserved for setting room temperature. According to Digital Trends, some smart thermostat designers have developed ways to incorporate a strict budget directly into the device's settings.
The Thermoneystat, created by That Makes You Better, allows you to plug in how much you want to spend on heating or cooling your house and develops a schedule according to the criteria. The appliance also comes preloaded with information regarding peak demand times for energy specific to your region. Avoiding these spikes in usage will help curb costs.