What are the Types of Smart Thermostats?
Since heating and cooling your Athens home makes up one of the largest portions of your energy use, it makes sense to limit the time your HVAC system spends running. While there are several good methods for improving the efficiency of your HVAC system, one of the most straightforward is to upgrade your thermostat.
While a mechanical thermostat requires manually changing the set temperature, a smart thermostat constantly calibrates the settings to your needs. Thanks to the increasing popularity of smart thermostats, there are now several options available.
The Basics of Smart Thermostats
Before we dive into the different types of smart thermostats, it’s a good idea to take a moment to fully understand what makes them so convenient. The main advantage that smart thermostats offer over other types of thermostats is the ability to sense when you’re home. Thus, even if you forget to change your settings, your smart thermostat can compensate for you, ensuring your HVAC system is always running at optimum efficiency.
Another benefit is the ability to operate the thermostat from anywhere through an app on your phone. Used correctly, these two features can help you save quite a bit of money on utility costs to help make up for the higher initial cost of the thermostat.
A geofence is an invisible electronic boundary that’s placed around a certain location. When you pass through this boundary, an app on your phone senses your location, triggering any number of actions.
In the case of a geofencing thermostat, the idea is to turn your HVAC system on or off when you pass through the boundary. Geofencing is an effective method to tell your thermostat that you’re truly away from home and not just taking a long nap in another room. Plus, since it uses your phone to sense your location, it’s one less thing you’ll have to worry about.
The potential downsides to a geofencing thermostat all involve your relative location as you go throughout your day. To provide an adequate amount of time for the HVAC system to respond, most geofencing thermostats use a circle that is a few miles in diameter. This could pose a problem if you’re visiting a neighbor within that circle.
When most people think of a smart thermostat, they’re likely thinking of a behavioral learning thermostat. This is one of the most popular types of smart thermostats that we at Clockwork Heating and Air install.
These thermostats use motion sensors that are built directly into the thermostat to try and determine when your home is occupied. They back up this motion sensing with algorithmic learning that can automatically adjust the temperature of your home based on living patterns that the thermostat notices you follow.
This prevents any missed opportunities for energy savings if you change your daily routine but forget to change your thermostat to match. The one downside of a behavioral learning thermostat is that if you aren’t in the same room as the device for a long period of time, the system may shut down. Of course, if you have the app on your phone, this is an easy fix.
To help overcome the weakness of behavioral learning thermostats, some thermostats use multiple motion sensors in several rooms.
Multiple sensors allow these thermostats to detect fairly accurately if you’re home. You’ll likely never have to correct the thermostat by checking in on the app. Given this different approach to motion detection, some thermostats with multiple motion sensors do not employ algorithmic learning to make changes for you if you change your daily routine.
In most cases, smart thermostats are marketed as a do-it-yourself installation. To ensure proper operation, however, we at Clockwork Heating and Air recommend having a professional install your new thermostat. This is especially crucial if you have an older four-wire thermostat as an incorrect installation could harm your system.
In addition to installing thermostats, we at Clockwork Heating and Air can take care of just about any other home comfort need that you may have. We can maintain, repair, and install all types of air conditioners and furnaces. Our team can also test your indoor air quality to ensure you’re breathing healthy air. If it’s time to upgrade your thermostat, don’t hesitate to give us a call at Clockwork Heating and Air today.