Most Americans are quick to invest in the latest smartphone technology, yet drag their feet in other arenas, such as smart thermostats, much to their detriment. More than simply an app-driven way to control temperatures, new thermostat technology offers an array of advantages…
The Wave of the Future
Smart thermostats may soon become the only option when an old thermostat bites the dust and it’s time for an upgrade. Like their predecessors, programmable thermostats, a smart programmable thermostat with WiFi can allow you to create a schedule to adjust temperatures, saving you the expense of heating and cooling an empty home. Unlike their predecessors, however, easily installed thermostat apps offer the convenience to do this remotely from a smartphone or tablet, anytime, anywhere. And that’s not all. In addition to saving you 10-20% on heating and cooling bills annually, enough to quickly recoup a thermostat investment, these high tech thermostats can help your family reduce its environmental impact, boosting efficiency via energy usage data and relevant operational tips.
What New Technology is Popping Up in 2017’s Top Thermostat Models?
As technology rockets forward, advancements and added features showcase how today’s smart thermostats outshine their predecessors….
- Nest Learning ThermostatLink opens in a new tab(Gen3)
For a little over $200, the new-and-improved third-generation Nest Learning Thermostat features a 40% larger screen and display than its predecessors. The leading smart model on the market and the first to earn Energy Star certification, this fully-featured thermostat is one of the easiest smart thermostats to use and install. Operable via WiFi or Bluetooth, or integrated into your smart home ecosystem for operation via Amazon Alexa voice-control, the Nest features an occupancy sensor and geofencing capabilities that turn down the temperature when you leave, then tune it back to your comfort level upon return. New family account feature tracks the whereabouts of each family member with the thermostat app on their phone. ‘Furnace Heads-up’ keeps your home comfy, tracking when your forced-air heating system turns off. And the new ‘Farsight’ feature prevents squinting, displaying easily readable time and temperature information in digital or analog mode.
- Honeywell WiFi Smart ThermostatLink opens in a new tab
Don’t let its traditional looks confuse you. A bit more affordable than the Nest at just under $200, the Honeywell RTH9580WF gives the Nest a run for the money, with flexibility in programming to help you meet your family’s specific needs. Set temperature adjustments by time or occupancy, counting on the system to easily adjust your system so you never experience an uncomfortable home. Control settings via smartphone app or Amazon Alexa voice control, knowing your system is secure courtesy of the advanced locking feature and password options. Change the thermostat’s screen color to match your home’s décor, using it to monitor not just indoor temperature, but local weather.
Note: Not compatible with heat pump or electric baseboard systems.
- EcoBee 3 Smarter Wi-Fi ThermostatLink opens in a new tab
Though a pricier option at around $249, the EcoBee redefines temperature control and efficiency. Delivering up to 23% on annual heating and cooling costs, it is more advanced than other models: The EcoBee comes with a remote sensor to place anywhere in the home, allowing you to purchase and add up to 32 additional sensors for precise temperature control. Driven via smartphone, mobile device, computer, Siri or Alexa voice operable commands, the system takes into account thousands of factors beyond indoor temperature and outside weather to create a complete energy profile for your home, allowing you track energy savings. Its only downside: Installation is not recommended for novices, as it requires a C-wire, with an installation that is difficult when one is absent.
- Sensi WiFi ThermostatLink opens in a new tab
Similar to more traditional programmable thermostat models, the budget-friendly Sensi, coming in at just over $100, runs on 2-AA batteries. It doesn’t need a C-wire (unless you’re running a 2-wire AC-only or heat-only system), making it compatible with 9-of-10 homes, including older houses and those with non-standard HVAC systems. The Sensi app even guides you through self-installation, allowing you to easily adjust settings via mobile device, or setup a 7-day schedule capable of saving you up to 30% in energy costs.
A Smart Future
As smart home technology continues to achieve new heights, look to additional voice-operable thermostat functionality to enter the market, without the need for AI-assistance through Alexa, Siri and others. As technology evolves to encompass more centralized, secure networks, some may even leave the Bluetooth/WiFi arena to better address security concerns. Systems feedback advancements could also safeguard your system, albeit from an operational standpoint, alerting you to potentially costly maintenance and repair issues before they occur. Future GPS technology advancement and integration, with thermostat and other smart home applications offering the capacity to prepare for you as near, is also expected, helping you achieve new levels of comfort and energy savings with ease.
Wising up to smart thermostat tech? Get up and running fast with the help of your friendly Aire Serv tech today. For helping with heating repair, replacement and maintenance, visit our service page.
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