What’s the Mystery Behind Smart Thermostats?

Are you embarrassed about how much you don’t know about smart thermostats?

Did you know that some people always look for smart thermostats for their homes and some are not aware of all the benefits?

Why don’t homeowners all over the world know anything about these technology-forward, time-saving little rippas?

Wake up, World! 

It’s time to move into the 21st century and learn to take advantage of modern technology.

Stop being a mug and doing everything manually. This is the future of smart savings in air conditioning!

Mystery Behind Smart Thermostats in Australia

Gone are the days of getting off your ar*e to push a few knobs on a clunky old manual thermostat.

Smart thermostats allow you to control the heating and cooling of your home from your smartphone or tablet.

Even if you’re at work, playing golf, or at the pub. Or you’ve found that ‘sweet spot’ on the couch and refuse to move.

Let’s unpack how they work.

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How Smart Thermostats Work

How Smart Thermostats Work

Smart thermostats take advantage of AI technology to calculate how much time it takes your home to heat up or cool down. 

Not only that, but they also learn your routine and can amend your schedule accordingly. 

While that may sound frighteningly stalker-ish, if you’ve been asking yourself, “do smart thermostats really save money?” the answer is yes. 

This feature actually helps you pay less on your power bills. 

You can also create multiple zones for your smart thermostat. Meaning wherever there’s a sensor, it can adjust the heating or cooling depending on whether it detects human movement. 

These clever puppies can also recognise an open window and switch the heating off.  

We’re all looking for ways to make our lives easier, right? Well, a smart thermostat is a cracking place to start. 

Let’s have a look at the pros and cons of installing a smart thermostat for your home.

Pros of a Smart Thermostat

Remote Access

Why are smart thermostats better? Because you can access and adjust your home temps even if you’re not at home via an app on your phone or tablet. 

You can switch your system as you leave the office, so your home is at the right temperature when you walk through the door. 

Had to bolt out of the house in a hurry and forgot to turn off your unit? No worries. Just tap the app and switch it off.

Remote Access
Multiple Settings

Multiple Settings

Programmable smart thermostats allow you to set your temperatures and schedule based on your routine or lifestyle. 

Program it to turn on each afternoon, so your house will already be at your desired temperature when you arrive home.

No more waiting for the place to cool down or warm up. 

Energy Savings

We all want to pay less on our electricity bill. Because you can set your schedule and control it remotely, smart thermostats help reduce your energy usage. 

In addition, eco-features and smart sensors can detect human movement and lower energy consumption if a room is unoccupied. 

You can also receive usage reports to help make the necessary adjustments to save even more dough.

Energy Savings
Diagnostic Reports

Diagnostic Reports

Smart thermostats can give you a timely reminder when you need to change your air con’s filter or carry out preventative maintenance on your system. 

Cons of a Smart Thermostat

Compatibility

If you’ve come this far and are still unsure if a smart thermostat will work in your home, the answer is … maybe.

Depending on your home heating or cooling system, you may encounter some compatibility issues with a smart thermostat, particularly when it comes to older homes or air-con systems.

Are smart thermostats compatible with Alexa? One important factor we found that significantly impacts functionality — many units don’t support Alexa voice control.

Yet.

Smart Thermostat
For a smart thermostat to function at its best, the home needs to be unoccupied for part of the day.

Someone’s Got to Go

For a smart thermostat to function at its best, the home needs to be unoccupied for part of the day.

Otherwise, the thermostat doesn’t get the chance to adjust to a more energy-efficient environment. 

Cost

You can find plenty of cheap-charlie thermostats on the market. But you get what you pay for. 

If your home is on the older side or has a complicated HVAC system, you may need to hire a professional. Installation could set you back a couple of hundred bucks, depending on the type of smart thermostat.

Cost of Smart Thermostat
Programming Issues

Programming Issues

Many home thermostats are pretty user-friendly, but you will need a little tech knowledge to understand how they work. If you’re tech-sorry, you’ll need professional help for installation.

Or perhaps the nearest millennial can offer their two cents.

Now we’ve discussed the good and the bad, let’s have a look-see at the different types of house thermostats you can buy.

Types of Thermostats

Type of Thermostats

Learning Thermostats

These smarty-pants thermostats study your schedule and retain it to memory. So it’s perfect for people whose focus is all over the shop — you don’t need to remember to turn your unit on and off. 

Instead, they monitor your behaviour and pre-heat or pre-cool your home, ready for your arrival. 

Learning thermostats gradually adjust to any schedule changes and your lifestyle to maintain comfort and save energy.

Programmable Thermostats

While not technically ‘smart’, these types of thermostats allow you to set your temperatures according to your schedule and lifestyle. 

Most models offer 7-day programming with an override function for any last-minute changes. You can select a plan for each day of the week or set different temps for weekdays and weekends. 

Zoned Thermostats

For those wondering, “do I need multiple smart thermostats?” the answer is no. You only need one thermostat, but you can place sensors in individual rooms. 

These little rippers are great for saving energy if you don’t need to heat or cool your entire home. Plus, you can adjust the temps for occupied spaces and exclude any empty areas.

Learning Zoned Thermostats

These thermostats offer all the bells and whistles. They are the most advanced, combining the skills of a learning thermostat and a zoned system. 

These fancy numbers can learn what times each room is usually occupied, then adjust heating or cooling schedules automatically according to the occupant’s usual behaviour.

Not creepy at all.

What Else Do Smart Thermostats Work With?

What Else Do Smart Thermostats Work With?

Do you have other smart devices installed around the house?

Then you may want to look for a house thermostat that integrates as many devices as possible. For example, some smart thermostats can hook up to your security cameras, fans and lighting.

IFTTT (If This Then That) support is a popular feature triggered by other IFTTT-enabled devices. 

To use IFTTT, you download the app then create mini-programs called applets that create cause-and-effect chains. For example, you can create an applet that unlocks the door, turns on the lights, and cranks up the thermostat as soon as you roll down the driveway.

So, how do you choose which one is right for your home? 

What to Look for in a Smart Thermostat

What to Look for in a Smart Thermostat

An excellent place to start is a smart thermostat with Wi-Fi connectivity. 

The most basic models can hook into your home internet. Typically, you can control your house thermostat from a unit on the wall and via an app on your smartphone or tablet. Some models also let you adjust settings from a web browser.

Today, many smart thermostats on the market feature humidity sensors that trigger an alert when it detects a surge or a drop in humidity. Some even give you regular weather updates—isn't it just great?

So, let’s say you need to duck out to the shop. You want to keep your heating or cooling system running, but not at full bore. How good would it be if it automatically lowers when you leave and kicks back on as you arrive home? 

If that sounds right up your alley, look for models with geofencing technology. 

Geofencing technology is a location-based service that uses the GPS on your phone. So, for example, you can set a virtual perimeter around your home, and each time you step into it, your smart thermostat sensors kick in and activate your home heating or cooling unit. 

Other features of interest include system usage history and how long it takes to meet the target temperature to gain ultimate efficiency. Some models also offer holiday scheduling and diagnostic features. They’ll provide maintenance and cleaning reminders or power cycle alerts to tell if your system is acting as mad as a cut snake and needs a service.

But are smart thermostats so technical that you need to get a sparky to install them?

Installing a Smart Thermostat

Installing a Smart Thermostat

Most house thermostats can be used with multi-stage heating and cooling systems and are reasonably easy to install, even if you’re not the ‘handiest’. 

If you’re removing your old thermostat, just note the wiring beforehand — snap a pic if possible. You’ll also need to know what type of system you have for setup. The manufacturer should provide comprehensive yet easy-to-understand instructions with heaps of photos or illustrations to guide you. 

But, if you want to control other devices such as whole-house dehumidifiers, heat pumps, and ventilation systems, you’ll need a thermostat that supports those systems. 

If you have a complex multi-component HVAC system, it's better not to fiddle with your wiring and call a professional.

Some smart thermostats require a C-wire for installation, which older heating systems may not have. Check what’s needed for installation with the manufacturer if you plan to do it yourself.

Issues with the functionality of smart thermostats can arise from a faulty installation and poor Wi-Fi. To ensure you receive the full capabilities of your smart thermostat, you should also check you have a strong Wi-Fi signal.

So which smart thermostat should you buy?

A quick Google search will reveal hundreds of different shapes and makes of home thermostats. 

There’s really only one.

It’s ducted air conditioning with a touch screen.

If you’ve got a leading brand air conditioning system installed in your home, the MyAir Air Conditioning system will integrate seamlessly for climate perfection all year round.

Here at Hello Breeze, we’re home heating and cooling experts, and we’re popping up all over, leaving a bunch of happy little vegemites in our wake.

We’d love to have a chin wag about how MyAir can make your life easier. So call us for a quote on 1300 712 732 today!

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