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September 25, 2018

Should You Buy A Smart Thermostat?

Smart thermostats are the latest rage in household technologies. The market is flooded with many different models with all sorts of features. Are they worth the expense?

Back in the 20th century, thermostats could only do a few things. They could be set to run the home heating unit or the air conditioner until it reached a particular temperature. A homeowner would have to reset the device by hand to change anything. They haven’t changed much since they were invented, aside from the looks and display. Until the last few years, that is. Now, the market is being flooded with “smart thermostats,” an internet-connected device with all sorts of features.

Smart thermostats give the homeowner a remarkable amount of control over when and how much a home is cooled or heated. Some models can actually use machine learning and artificial intelligence to learn when people are likely to be home and adjust the temperature accordingly.

The Pros

Most smart thermostats can be connected to a smart phone so that they can be programmed from anywhere. Some models let you control it from anywhere in the world, while others are only able to control it over your home’s wi-fi. Let us suppose that the house is empty from about eight in the morning to five in the afternoon. The temperature can then be adjusted to save electricity when people are not at home. However, as the kids start to come home from school and the parents from work, a smart thermostat can be programmed to start adjusting the temperature to something more comfortable.

Some models of smart thermostats will record information about a home’s temperature control system. They will record the inside and outside temperatures, how long the HVAC system typically runs, and even alert the homeowner when the filters need to be changed or cleaned. This can help homeowners save significant amounts of money, and prolong the life of their HVAC unit and systems throughout the building.

The Cons

If programmed correctly, the proper use of a smart thermostat can save a homeowner an immense amount on the electrical bill. However, smart thermostats can be very complicated for some people to learn how to use, and improper programming can actually cause your bill to rise. In addition, they usually require the use of a smartphone. If you do not have a device capable of controlling your thermostat remotely, you probably shouldn’t purchase one.

Another concern with smart thermostats is wireless security – not something most people think about. Smart thermostats are IoT (Internet Of Things) devices, meaning they connect wirelessly to your router and then to the outside world in order to communicate and be programmed remotely. Since these devices usually aren’t that expensive, they don’t typically come with a lot of security software installed, which can make your thermostat and entire network more vulnerable to hacking and viruses.

If you’re trying to decide if you should install a smart thermostat in your home, we may be able to help. If you live in the Pottstown or Boyertown areas in Pennsylvania, we are your HVAC experts. Contact us, and we’ll help you make the right decision and install it in your home.

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