The expert HVAC technicians at Richmond’s Air give Houston homeowners the ins-and-outs of smart thermostats
Just a few years ago, tech lovers were abuzz with the newest craze: the Nest learning thermostat that you could operate from your smartphone. While it may have seemed like just a fad then, smart thermostats from various manufacturers have really taken the market by storm and are becoming a kind of new normal upgrade for residential HVAC systems.
If you’re curious, but not yet convinced, about smart thermostats, read on to learn about the scope of their benefits and shortfalls, and if they’re something your household should consider.
Smart Thermostat Capabilities
The biggest touted advantage of smart thermostats is that they can "learn" the heating and cooling patterns in your home, as well as how long it takes your home to reach a desired temperature. These two inputs can help save homeowners money by reducing the cooling load when household members are away or inactive and increase comfort, since you’ll never have to turn up the air after you get home.
The other big advantage is that you can control the thermostat from your phone, which is a benefit for people who may forget to turn down their air before they leave home, or who frequently travel and want to save money by lowering demand while out of town but still come back to a climate controlled house.
There are other potential features of smart thermostats, depending on which brand you purchase. Some smart thermostats have multiple remote sensors that you can place in different places in a larger home to get a true measure of the temperature of your home, allowing you to assess and control for temperature beyond the area surrounding the thermostat.
One feature of some smart thermostats that may appeal to homeowners in steamy Houston is the ability to consider humidity when choosing the appropriate temperature for the house.
Smart Thermostat Considerations
Some of the most basic benefits of smart thermostats – predictable climactic conditions and saving money – can be achieved with a programmable thermostat, a device that costs less than $50 instead of $250 or more. Having a smart thermostat installed by a professional can further drive up the cost of your initial investment.
Another consideration is that since smart thermostats are technology linked to other technology, they will eventually need to be upgraded, just like your cell phone. You may not want to deal with any more upgrades in your life.
Additionally, you’ll need a very secure home network to ensure your smart thermostat isn’t hacked (which could lead, for example, to people knowing when you’re not home).
Is a Smart Thermostat For You?
With many alluring advantages, smart thermostats can be tempting, but their potential drawbacks must also be considered. In the end, you’ll need to think about how helpful a smart thermostat will be in your situation, and compare it to the more cost efficient benefits of a well-used programmable thermostat. If you’re interested, there’s a variety of smart thermostats to sift through, from the breakthroughs like Nest and Ecobee to ones made by well-known companies including American Standard, Honeywell, Trane and Lennox.
At Richmond’s AC, we’re happy to help those in Katy, Spring, Perry and the surrounding Houston areas with their thermostat installation and other updates and repairs involving HVAC systems. Contact us today if you need an appointment, or visit our blog to keep up with the latest news about heating and cooling in the Houston area.