You have probably heard the hype about smart thermostats in the recent years. They are the newest method to control your air conditioner and furnace. Yet before you take the plunge and buy one for your home, you’ll want to understand what these thermostats have that existing programmable thermostats don’t have. Will they offer all the benefits you desire, or should you stick with the current programmable thermostats?
What is the Difference Between Smart Thermostats and Programmable Thermostats?
A programmable thermostat is a step up from the old-fashioned thermostats that were found in your grandparent’s home. These thermostats have a digital display where you can control the home’s temperature with a push of a button. You also have the convenience in pre-programming how the air conditioner and furnace functions at all hours.
You can set the systems to turn off when you leave the house to go to work. Then the thermostat could turn on the system about 15 minutes before you come home. The indoor air temperature is perfect the moment you walk through the door. In addition, the temperature settings offer more accuracy versus the old-time dial versions.
Smart thermostats are similar in design to the programmable ones. They have a display that shows you the current temperature, and many models also display the time. The difference is that some smart thermostats have touchscreens to control the systems while others have more user-friendly interfaces. A smart thermostat still lets you schedule when your heating and cooling systems turn on and off.
They also allow access to the thermostat through any connected Wi-Fi device, such as a smartphone, tablet or laptop. Another fantastic feature is that you can track energy use in real time. There are several different manufacturers out there that make smart thermostats: Nest, EcoBee, Honeywell Prestige Series, and Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat.
Pros and Cons to Smart Thermostats
The major advantage is that they are easy to use. Being able to access the thermostat on Wi-Fi devices allows you to activate it anytime and anywhere. Also, the energy cost savings can allow you to save more money by using less energy with your heating and cooling system.
Yet there are a few disadvantages to these thermostats. The price is higher than what you would find when buying a programmable thermostat. In addition, you may not immediately see any energy savings if your heating and cooling systems are outdated or inefficient.