HVAC Automation: Smart Thermostat Pros & Cons
With the advancements in modern technology, there is an app for everything. Thirty percent of American homes now use some type of smart technology, and this figure is expected to grow. There are smart TVs, smart lighting, smart speakers, and smart thermostats. Everything can be automated and controlled from your smartphone, including your HVAC system.
WHAT IS HVAC AUTOMATION?
HVAC automation simply means that your heating, cooling, and ventilation system is automated. An automated HVAC system is energy-efficient. It can make your life easier and save you money. Automated HVAC systems still have the same functionality as a traditional HVAC system, but instead of using a regular thermostat, they connect to a smart thermostat via WiFi. What this means for you is that you are now able to control the temperature of your home through automatic settings or right from your smartphone.
WHY MAKE THE SWITCH TO HVAC AUTOMATION?
If you’re thinking about making the switch to HVAC automation, you may be wondering whether or not it’s a good idea for your home. If you have a manual thermostat, upgrading to a programmable thermostat or smart thermostat can save you 20 percent on your heating and cooling bills.
You probably know the difference between a manual thermostat and a programmable thermostat. With a manual thermostat, the temperature in the room adjusts to whatever temperature the thermostat is set to. A programmable thermostat is more sophisticated. It allows you to digitally program the thermostat to change the temperature at set times or days. This means the temperature in your home can be set to be cooler or hotter when you’re not there, saving you energy and money. A smart thermostat also lets you program the temperature, but what’s the difference between a smart thermostat and a programmable thermostat? And is a smart thermostat better?
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A PROGRAMMABLE THERMOSTAT AND A SMART THERMOSTAT?
If you’re looking for ways to make your home more energy-efficient or lower your monthly heating or cooling bills, you might be considering upgrading your thermostat to a programmable thermostat or smart thermostat.
A programmable thermostat allows you to program the temperature in your home based on your needs. Programmable thermostats have been around for a while. Some of them are easier to use than others, but they work in much the same way as a smart thermostat but without smart technology.
While you can set customized temperatures with a programmable thermostat, such as when you are away from home or when you are on vacation, programmable thermostats are not always intuitive or easy to use. Homeowners often buy a programmable thermostat with the intention of using it, but many people never actually get around to programming their thermostat, defeating the purpose of buying one.
A smart thermostat is easier to use than a programmable thermostat and has more features. While they both will save you money on your energy bill, a smart thermometer has technology that allows you to easily program them and also adjust the temperature from your smartphone. Have you ever gotten out of work early? You can adjust the temp in your home to cool off while you drive home.
Some smart thermostats like the Control4 Wireless Thermostat by Aprilaire or the Nest Integration thermostat by Google have features that allow your thermostat to learn from your surroundings and behavior. They do much more than a programmable thermostat, they respond to what’s going on in the room, and adapt. They can adjust everything from the temperature to the humidity in your room.
Both smart thermostats can connect with your Google Smart Home or Alexa device, allowing you to use your thermostat easily through your app. You can set up an automatic vacation mode or away from home mode. All of your home’s comfort settings can be controlled directly from your app. An extra perk for tech lovers, when you connect your app to Google Smart Home or your Alexa device, you can control your home’s heating and cooling with voice commands. Something, you just can’t do with a programmable thermostat!
PROS AND CONS OF USING A SMART THERMOSTAT
For the most part, a smart thermostat is an excellent way to upgrade your HVAC system. There is an initial upfront cost when you invest in a smart thermostat, but the savings and convenience make up for it. In the long run, it is a great investment for your home. There are a few circumstances where you might not want to use a smart thermostat, such as if you work from home or if you plan to move soon.
PROS OF USING A SMART THERMOSTAT
- It’s energy-efficient
- It’s convenient. Program it and it does everything for you
- It’s easy to use
- It provides you with useful information about maintenance and energy usage
- It can be controlled from anywhere using your smartphone
- It’s cool!
CONS OF USING A SMART THERMOSTAT
- The initial cost of set up
- You may need to have it professionally installed
- If your home is never vacant, it may be unnecessary
- It only works over wifi
- Some smart thermostats will not work with older HVAC systems
WHY INVEST IN HVAC AUTOMATION?
If you are ready to upgrade your HVAC system, HVAC automation is a great way to turn your home into a smart home. If you have already started using other smart home technology, adding a smart thermostat to your house is just one more way to make your home more energy-efficient.