A Guide To The SMART HOME

Smart Thermostats

Smart thermostats can help save money on your heating and cooling bill. Some claim that you can expect to see savings of up to 25%.

Mobile apps, remote access and intelligent automation are some key features of these devices, which become even more powerful as part of a smart home.


How to Choose

A Smart Thermostat

Smart thermostats are a popular connected device purchase. There are a lot of great options but also a lot of variation, so understand the differences as you make the leap.

Devices range in sophistication from basic schedules, to learning, to location-based automation. There are even a few options that can do it all. If you’re thinking about buying one, you’ll want to know a little more about how they work and what to look for so you can make a smart choice.



1
Know the Key Features to Look for


SMART SCHEDULES

Being able to set schedules based on day of week, or time of day, helps you save a lot compared to having a set temperature. An important consideration is how easy a schedule is to create, change and override when your routine changes. This comes down to the mobile app and other tools that help you make adjustments.

ACTIVITY BASED LEARNING

A standalone device sits in one room and has limited information about what’s happening around the rest of the home. Better solutions connect to a smart home solution, where sensors throughout the home make it smarter. The most common advanced thermostats are integrated into a security system, which knows when a door opens, motion is detected and when a panel is armed and disarmed. This accurate pattern of activity in the home helps optimize the thermostat schedule to reduce energy waste.

GEO-SERVICES

Location based automation is a powerful feature for thermostats. Your thermostat automatically adjusts into an energy saving mode when no one is home and returns to comfort mode when you return.

TRIGGERED AUTOMATION

When integrated into the rest of the smart home, the thermostat can be triggered based on other activity. When you arm your security system to ‘away’, for example, the system understands that you’re not home and automatically adjusts your thermostat to an energy saving mode.

GOAL SETTING

More sophisticated solutions will allow you to set savings goals based on kWhr or dollars. You can see your actual usage and get alerts when you are running over your pre-defined goal.



2
Know That Installation Can Be Complex


With a smart thermostat, installation can be tricky. If you’re installing one yourself, you should know your way around a tool belt, have knowledge of your home’s heating and cooling systems and be comfortable working with your home’s wiring.

Know what type of system you have before you install a thermostat. If you install the wrong device or the wrong settings you could damage your HVAC system resulting in significant costs.

Like any technology purchase, consider who you can turn to for support if the product doesn’t install properly or you run into trouble down the road. This is really important when you’re giving a gift like a smart thermostat at the beginning of the winter season.

There are great smart home solution providers who can install smart thermostats. To connect with one, click here

Key Considerations
  • Does your system use a common wire?
  • Does your system have a heat pump?
  • Does your system use dual fuel?
  • Does it have a humidifier or dehumidifier?
  • How many stages of heat and cool do you have?
  • Do you have electric or gas/oil heat?
  • Is your thermostat wiring 24 V?


3
Smart Homes Make Smarter Thermostats


To get the most from a smart thermostat, look for one that connects to the rest of the smart home. You’ll get more features that make it even easier to save energy without sacrificing comfort. Look for thermostats that support Z-Wave and work with a smart home platform like Alarm.com.

  • Mobile App
  • Installation and support
  • Automation features
    • Smart Schedules
    • Activity Learning
    • Geo-Services Location Based Automation
    • Triggered Automation
    • Energy Saving Goal Setting
  • Works with the rest of the Smart Home
Interested in a smart thermostat as part of a complete smart home solution?
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