Smart Thermostat Comparison
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Smart Thermostat Buying Guide
What is a Smart Thermostat?
Thermostats have transformed in recent years. No longer do you need to use the spin-dial or lever-operated manual thermostat, and now you can enjoy the benefits of Wifi connectivity. With today’s programmable thermostats you can do so much more than you were able to do before. The U.S. Department of Energy guesses that consumers reduce their heating and cooling bills by as much as 15% with use of the new smart thermostats. Also, the cost of a programmable thermostat will vary dependent upon its features, but mostly the extra cost will come back into your wallet with the amount of energy that is saved.
When it comes to choosing the right thermostat, it’s all about knowing what features are most important to you, and finding a device that suits your needs. In this buyer’s guide we’ll walk you through the process of finding the perfect thermostat for your unique requirements.
About Programmable Thermostats
Did you know that American homeowners spend half of their energy costs on heating and cooling each year? You can trim this bill by setting a thermostat to a warmer temperature during the summer and cooler temperature during the winter, and this particularly goes for when there’s no one in the home. The smart thermostat will automate this task and it gives you a way to ensure that your home is comfortable from the moment you get up in the morning until you go to bed at night. You can even use various mobile apps to instantly install the device and make adjustments throughout the day. Some systems will give you instant feedback on energy usage and what savings you’re getting. You’re going to find a variety of devices on the market, from the most simple to the most cutting edge, and all of these will come at different prices dependent upon the features that they offer.
Types of Programmable Thermostats
No matter what manufacturer you choose, most smart thermostats will come in two different categories: the daily and the weekend varieties. There are also some simpler weeklong models as well. No matter which kind you choose, make sure that you select the thermostat that caters to your preferences.
A seven day thermostat gives you the best flexibility and offers you different settings for each day of the week. This is a great choice for those who don’t have the same schedule each and every day.
This is a great model for those who don’t have quite a predictable schedule each day and want to have a similar routine on Saturdays and Sundays.
This is the best system when you require a lot of flexibility, as it allows the same plan on the weekdays but you can make different settings for Saturday and Sunday.
This is the most basic system which doesn’t differentiate between the weekends and weekdays. This is the ideal solution for someone who works at home or doesn’t have a Monday through Friday work schedule.
A learning thermostat is also known as a smart thermostat, and all the top rated devices fall into this category. This kind of device allows you to create programs that are based upon real-life routines, and that makes it the ultimate customized experience. This device can automatically adjust to seasonal changes and changes in your lifestyle.
Usually programmable thermostats will give you four customizable programs that allow you to adjust the temperature during the day. It is suggested that you turn the settings down when no one is in the home to save you money. It’s also suggested that you maintain the temperature at night for at least an 8 to 10 hour block. Keep in mind that with a smart thermostat you can adjust the temperature at any time using your mobile device.
- Wake: You can set the device to begin warming your home just before your usual wakeup time. That puts the home at the ideal temperature by the time that you rise in the morning.
- Day: This setting will elevate the temperature by 10 to 15 degrees when the house is empty during the summer, then lower the temperature during the winter.
- Evening: This feature allows you to either warm or cool the home 30 minutes before you come home at night, so you an experience the ideal temperature when you get home from work.
- Sleep: This is the block of time that is allotted for sleep, so that you can set the ideal temperature throughout the night.
Choosing a Smart Thermostat
There are a lot of options out there when it comes to choosing the right smart thermostat for your home. There’s no reason to pay a fortune on unnecessary features, and there are even some products out there that cost a lot and won’t meet your expectations. That’s why it’s important to know what features are most important to you, and what your budget is.
Take into consideration that you should only purchase a smart thermostat if you have a mobile phone, otherwise you won’t be able to take advantage of the mobile app that allows you to control the thermostat. It’s more budget friendly to get a thermostat that has a traditional screen and buttons, but these can be more difficult to program, and users often give up before they learn to fine-tune the system in order to maximize monthly savings.
Considerations for Smart Thermostats
Begin a list so that you can evaluate features on a must-have and nice-to-have basis. There are some key things that need to be considered as well. One of the things you really want to look out for is ease of use. If a thermostat is difficult to follow then it becomes nearly impossible for the average user to figure out, and they simply give up. With the latest smart thermostats it’s possible to operate the device with simple one-touch operation, and the system guides you through the initial setup. The most basic models are going to have a lot of buttons and a paper manual.
If you want to save money by installing the system yourself then you can watch installation videos or get online support to help you through the process. But keep in mind that some brands require installation by a trained professional. You can only get these kinds of devices from dealers because there are special requirements that are involved.
You’ll find that certain things like alternative heating systems and baseboard heaters are not compatible with these kinds of programmable thermostats. If you want the most energy efficient solution then you may need to get something that has fewer options. You need to find a product that is designed for whatever kind of heating mechanism is installed in your home.
Controversy Surrounding Programmable Thermostats
If you want a product that is approved by Energy Star then you’re going to be shocked to learn that programmable thermostats don't meet the bill. These were once approved by Energy Star, but then studies showed that the typical user didn't get the savings that they expected from them.
This is because there are complicated programming requirements that made consumers frustrated, so they didn’t quite understand how to program them correctly. This has gotten much better recently with the latest smart thermostats because they make the process so much more intuitive. In fact, the latest devices are so user friendly that they make energy savings nearly immediate in effect.
A smart thermostat allows you to maintain the temperature in your home and control it from a mobile device. Smart thermostats represent the very latest technology in terms of indoor cooling and heating, and they’re not as expensive as you might think. Not only are they for the most part affordable, they’re also incredibly easy to install and very user-friendly. When you’re ready to seriously change the way that you control the temperature at home and when away, then it’s time for you to purchase a smart thermostat.
There are so many models on the market, and that’s why it can seem daunting at first when you’re trying to find the right thermostat for you. The top rated thermostats that we mentioned above are the absolute best that you can find, and customers agree that they’re easy to use and built to last.