For years, the humble thermostat was an effective, yet simple, piece of technology in the home. It was so simple that most people wouldn’t have considered it technology at all, just a simple interface to your home’s heating and cooling systems.
Over the last couple years, thermostats have gotten more complex. And in the 2010s, an entirely new class of thermostat began popping up in homes across the country: the smart thermostat.
You may be interested in a smart thermostat for a number of reasons, including gaining better control over heating and cooling or just saving money on your utility bills. We’ll cover how smart thermostats work, how they save you money, and – most importantly – how you can protect your smart thermostat investment.
What Is a Smart Thermostat?
Any thermostat that can be controlled via the internet from a smartphone, tablet, computer, etc. is called a smart thermostat. Smart thermostats are just one member in a broader category of smart home devices
, all of which are internet-connected and controllable from other devices.
Most smart thermostat devices allow the user to directly control the temperature from the device itself like your current thermostat does. But users can also change settings on their smart thermostats from their phones, whether they are physically present at home or not.
Most smart thermostats are also programmable, in similar ways to how high-end traditional thermostats can be. A programmable smart thermostat can be configured (usually within its accompanying app) to change temperatures according to a predetermined schedule.
Using this feature, you can keep your home a little warmer in summer when vacant and program your smart thermostat to start cooling down 30 minutes before you get home. And in the winter, you can do the exact opposite.
Unsure which smart thermostat to choose? Reviewing top models is outside the scope of today’s post, but PC Mag has a pretty solid review of the top smart thermostats for 2020
Now that we’re on the same page about what smart thermostats are, let’s take a look at how they work.
How Smart Thermostats Work
The thermostat contains instruments that sense the temperature in the room (and sometimes the humidity). Then the thermostat reacts accordingly based on the user’s inputs. If you set your thermostat to kick in at 70 degrees, at the moment that it senses that temperature, it will send a signal to your heater or AC to kick on.
Once the desired temperature has been reached, the thermostat registers that change and sends another signal to shut off the heater or AC.
Smart thermostats simply add Wi-Fi to the mix. This opens up many new avenues and use cases. A smart thermostat could wirelessly connect to additional sensors in other parts of the house. Users can control the thermostat from anywhere – even remotely. And some smart thermostats (like the Nest Learning Thermostat) can use the power of the cloud to analyze your usage and preferences. It will then predict and automatically make the adjustments you want.
How a Smart Thermostat Can Save You Money
Most residential heating and cooling systems severely over treat their homes. Think about it: some homes sit empty from morning until the afternoon or even early evening. Homeowners pay to heat or cool an empty building because they don’t want to return to a home that’s frigid or sweltering, depending on the season.
With a smart thermostat, you can raise or lower the temperature at will and from a distance or even set a schedule so it happens automatically. If no one’s home, go ahead and turn off or raise the temperature on that AC through the hot summer. A smart thermostat can cool your house down in time for your family to return home from school or work.
Adjustments like these, multiplied out over an entire year, can make a significant impact on your utility bills. Curious how much you could save? Check out one industry authority’s take
How to Protect Your Investment
Smart thermostats are not the sorts of devices that are at a particularly high risk of failure or damage, but still, they aren’t cheap. It’s a good idea to protect your investment. If something goes wrong with yours, you don’t want to be on the hook for a $200+ replacement unit.
The best protection you can get for your smart thermostat investment is a home tech warranty from Upsie
. For a modest one-time cost, you can protect your smart thermostat from the following areas:
- Mechanical failure
- Speaker or sound failure
- Power failure
- Wi-Fi connectivity failure
The best part? There’s no deductible with Upsie home tech warranties! If your claim is approved, Upsie will repair or replace the device, with no additional cost to you.
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