How Does a Smart Thermostat Work? Should You Get One?

how does a smart thermostat work

Should you get a smart thermostat? We most definitely think so. But like any smart home appliance, it helps to know what you are purchasing before you go ahead and do so.

Before installing one in your home, it’s important to make sure that you know just how they work and why they are a huge improvement on traditional thermostats. How does a smart thermostat work? Find out all you need to know right here.

Traditional Thermostats

With a traditional thermostat, you set your desired temperature on a dial. Your thermostat turns your heating on when the temperature is lower and off when it reaches your set level. While you can set your traditional thermostat to come on at a certain time, programming one is far from easy. Additionally, if you have a change of plans, you’ll have to be pre-set and remember to adjust it accordingly while you’re at home. Easier said than done.

Smart Thermostats

Like traditional models, smart thermostats use a programmable thermostat. Unlike traditional versions, they are much more accurate, highly practical and user-friendly. They allow you to control your home’s climate at the touch of a button, vocally or even remotely. Some self-learning models don’t even need programming at all. They adapt automatically to your routine. How is this all possible?

Thermostat App

Your smart thermostat will have an app that can be used for remote control. It allows you to set your temperature when you’re not home or to adjust your schedule. The app allows you to use your smartphone or other compatible devices to control your home climate and hot water control. It can even give you insights into your heating and cooling usage.

WiFi Connectivity

All smart thermostats require WiFi to function correctly. It enables your smart thermostat to be controlled without you having to be present. When you use a voice command or enter your desired temperature into your app, this information is relayed to your thermostat via your home WiFi system.

When your thermostat receives this information, it then activates your heating or cooling, just as if you were there to adjust it in person.

Automatic Controls

Some smart thermostats have more advanced capabilities and can be used to control your heating or cooling, depending on your location. Your WiFi system and smartphone GPS might allow your thermostat to ‘sense’ your presence, manage your heating and change the temperature in your home climate accordingly. Other models have built-in sensors that detect your physical presence.

Self-learning models go a step further and adjust to save you money on your energy bills by building up a schedule that corresponds to your time spent at home plus your climate preferences.

Heating Zones

Smart thermostats can also be used to create various heating zones in different parts of your home. It can save you a lot of energy, allowing you to keep upstairs unheated during the day while you stay warm downstairs and vice versa at night. These setups use zone controllers that relay information to the main controller via your WiFi system. Combined with smart radiators, even if your home only has one zone, you can independently adjust temperatures in each room to suit your preferences.

Do Smart Thermostats Work With Any Boiler?

Most smart thermostats are compatible with the vast majority of boilers.

Before purchasing, do check that your smart thermostat is fully compatible with your home’s heating system. Generally, there are a few compatibility issues with modern homes. If your boiler runs off your existing thermostat, replacing it with a smart thermostat should be just fine in most cases.

Smart thermostat manufacturers are very responsive and often provide compatibility checkers to let you know if your existing system is fully compatible, including boilers and HVAC systems. If you have any doubts about renovating an old property, we recommend contacting them directly to find out more about your options.

Is It Worth Getting a Smart Thermostat?

With so many new connected home gadgets available on the market, you may be wondering if it’s worth getting a smart thermostat. As the idea of a smart home begins to develop, we most definitely think so. But don’t just take our word for it. Here are some of the main advantages and various features that make a smart thermostat a worthy investment in your home.

Save Money

A smart thermostat will help you save more money on your heating and cooling bills. It gives you full control of your home’s temperature and general climate management even when you’re out of the house. A little like smart meters do for your general electricity consumption. You’ll be able to see exactly when you can make extra savings.

Boost Your Energy Efficiency

Besides being easy on your wallet, installing a smart thermostat will also help you become more energy efficient. It is an important factor for our planet’s future and an easy step everyone can take.

Many people find it difficult to get to grips with their standard programmable thermostat, resulting in a lot of wasted energy. What’s more, if you accidentally leave your heating on or decide to stay over at a friend’s, you have no way of remotely turning off or deactivating your heating.

Variety of Controls

Smart thermostats allow you to fine-tune your home’s temperature settings. Some models allow you even greater control, such as the ability to set different heating zones for different rooms. For example, it can heat your living area in the morning and your bedroom just before bedtime. Others sense your presence and can be set up to adjust the room temperature accordingly. With a smart thermostat, your heating system preferences are easily activated, or you can alter them to suit how you feel right at the moment.

Ease of Use

Renowned for their ease of use, smart thermostats are nothing like the difficult-to-program, old thermostat models they replace. User-friendly and very clear to understand, you can select a model with the features that appeal most to you.

What Makes Smart Thermostats User-Friendly?

Technology has come a long way to make thermostats more intelligent and efficient. Let’s take a look at these advancements in detail.

Remote Control

Using your smartphone or tablet, you can remotely connect to your smart thermostat to alter your heating and cooling levels. Say you get out of work early or late. Bring up the app and start up your heating or delay the start time. It is also handy when you’re busy at home and don’t want to get up to switch your heating on or off.

Voice Control

If you already have a voice assistant at home or are thinking of getting one, why not also add one to your heating and cooling system? This method is much easier than pressing the app on your phone. If you don’t have your phone with you on the sofa, all you need to do is call out to your smart voice assistant and instruct it to raise the temperature via your internet connection. Remotely heating your home has never been simpler!

Self-Learning

We recommend opting for a self-learning smart thermostat for greater energy savings and virtually no setup or programming required. These super-smart models automatically build up a heating and cooling schedule based on your lifestyle, adapting your home’s temperature to mirror your needs and when you’re around.

Geo-Fencing

Many smart thermostats can use a GPS-based feature to tell if you’re around or on your way home. This information is then used to adjust the temperature accordingly. This feature is perfect if you work unusual shifts and come home at varying times or tend to spend all your time in just one or two rooms. All you need to do is connect it to your smartphone, and it will be ready to go.

Looks

While this isn’t the most important aspect, you’ve got to admit that smart thermostats look incredibly cool. With their modern display and discreet yet intuitive controls, they are nothing like yesteryear’s bulky models. If you are renovating your home, a smart thermostat will be the icing on the cake.

All-in-One Unit

As more and more homes install air conditioning, it makes sense to have a dedicated climate control system via a smart thermostat to manage both your cooling and heating preferences. You won’t have to search for your missing remote. Use your phone or your smart thermostat base unit.

Smart thermostats can also let you know what the outside temperature is, as well as the current temperature inside your home. Some units also give you information on your humidity levels. With your home controls in one place, it makes everything much easier to manage!

It Pays to Be Smart

So how does a smart thermostat work? It uses the latest technology to make home management easier and more efficient.

There are plenty of reasons to invest in a smart thermostat. You could save money and energy, but you’ll also be able to fine-tune your home’s climate, even from a distance. Easy to use, with stylishly designed interfaces, smart thermostats are the best way to ensure extra comfort without wasting precious resources or your hard-earned cash.

Does your home have a smart thermostat? Share your experiences with us.

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