HVAC Tech Watch: Smart Thermostats

Smart ThermostatsThe purpose of a home heating and air-conditioning system is to keep you and your family comfortable all year. Part of this is having a high-quality HVAC unit with sufficient output to match the weather in Cincinnati, OH. The other major part of home comfort is your thermostat, the device that controls indoor temperature. One of the most frequent questions people ask our experts is whether they should upgrade to smart thermostats.

What are the benefits of smart thermostats? How much do they cost? Check out this helpful smart thermostat guide to smart thermostats to find all the answers.

What Are Smart Thermostats?

Smart thermostats are digital devices that have a Wi-Fi connection. With a regular thermostat, you have to turn the dial or press a few buttons. Interacting with a smart thermostat is easier; you can use your smartphone, tablet, laptop, smart speaker, or another device.

For example, an app on your smartphone can let you adjust the room temperature while you’re lying down in bed, sitting on the couch, or watching a movie as a family. You can be relaxing in your bedroom, getting work done in the home office, or making supper in the kitchen. You don’t have to interrupt what you’re doing to adjust the room temperature.

The next big reason thermostats are growing in popularity is that you can program temperature changes, even while you’re asleep. You’ve probably noticed that the weather in Cincinnati, OH, follows a pattern during the day. In the morning, it’s usually cooler, but by afternoon, temperatures start to rise. A smart thermostat can adjust to this automatically, lowering the temperature automatically, so you stay comfortable throughout the day.

Finally, smart thermostats can connect over the internet. That means you can adjust the temperature in your home while you’re working at the office. Are you feeling really hot because of a long commute from downtown Cincinnati? Adjust indoor temps from your phone, so the home is extra-cool right when you walk in the door.

Are Smart Thermostats Worth the Investment?

Obviously, a smart thermostat costs more than a traditional model (we’ll talk a little more about price further down). Is it worth the investment? To answer that, you need to look at some of the benefits of smart thermostats.

1. Convenience

With a smart thermostat, you can set it and forget it. You don’t have to worry about getting up constantly to adjust the temperature. There’s no need to remember to turn down the heat in the afternoon or before you leave for work. You can program anything or just tap a button on your smartphone. If you have a Bluetooth speaker that uses Alexa or Google Home, controlling a smart thermostat is as easy as saying, “Alexa, turn the temperature up.”

2. Comfort

When it comes to total home comfort, it’s impossible to beat a smart thermostat. That’s because you can set temperatures to your precise preferences and then let everything happen automatically. For example, do you hate waking up in wintertime to a kitchen floor that is freezing? With smart thermostats, you don’t have to. The system can automatically increase heating right before breakfast, so by the time you get up, the heat in the kitchen is perfect!

3. Customization

Many people sleep better when the bedroom is at a certain temperature. Some people like cuddling with a blanket in a cooler room. Other people have less joint pain if the temperatures are a little warmer at night. Your smart thermostat can adapt entirely to the indoor climate you want in the morning, afternoon, and night. There are even different settings for spring, summer, fall, and winter.

4. Energy Efficiency

Another big reason to invest in a smart thermostat is that it can reduce electricity consumption. This can save you a lot of money. According to Energy Star, just by switching to a smart thermostat, the average consumer can save about $50 a year on energy. This doesn’t even include any rebates, tax credits, or other incentives you may qualify for from your energy utility.

5. Green Living

This lower energy usage is a big benefit for people who are concerned about the environment. An HVAC unit is one of the biggest parts of your energy bill each month, so reducing the amount of electricity it uses can have a significant impact on your total energy consumption.

6. Peace of Mind

Couples who like to travel a lot outside of Cincinnati or spend winter in warmer climates can really benefit from having a smart thermostat. You can keep tabs on your home in Cincinnati wherever you are, adjusting temperatures to save electricity and still avoid problems such as frozen pipes. All you need is an internet connection and a nice pina colada.

What Should You Look For in a Smart Thermostat?

Smart thermostats come with a wide range of prices and features. Here are some things to consider:

  • Learning features: State-of-the-art models often have artificial intelligence features. This allows the thermostat to learn your preferences and adjust temperature and even humidity settings based on what you like.
  • Connectivity: Make sure your favorite smart thermostat is compatible with other devices you want to use. Modern technology lets you control your light fixtures, TV, sound system, and other devices using a home assistant such as Alexa. Why not manage home heating and cooling with voice commands, too?
  • Weather response: Some models check weather reports on the internet throughout the day and adjust your HVAC’s settings automatically based on heat, humidity, and more.
  • Wi-Fi: Some less-expensive thermostats label themselves as “smart,” but they don’t have internet or Wi-Fi features. These aren’t really smart thermostats. They may have a touchpad you can use to program them, but some users find this frustrating. Apps you can control from your smartphone or tablet are much easier to use.
  • Price: There are smart thermostats for every budget. You can expect to pay an average of $200–$300 for most models. Generally speaking, the more automated features they have, the easier they make your life and the more they cost.
  • HVAC brand: Not all smart thermostats are compatible with every HVAC system. Your home needs a certain type of wiring as well. To make sure the smart thermostat you like works with your central air unit, it’s always best to ask an HVAC professional for assistance.

How Can You Pick Out the Best Smart Thermostat for Your Home?

The best smart thermostat for your family depends on your lifestyle and your home. This type of technology can have an amazing result for your comfort level all year long. It can save you money in the long run, too. It’s not surprising that so many families choose to upgrade their old thermostat to a smart version.

At Herrmann Services, we’re experts in HVAC systems and smart thermostats. Our technicians are happy to answer all of your questions, help you choose a smart thermostat that fits your needs, and handle installation completely, so you don’t worry about a thing. Get in touch with us right away for assistance.