Benefits of a Wi-Fi Thermostat
Thermostats have been around as long as mechanical climate control systems, but today’s models are far more advanced than the manual analog versions of old. Even modern programmable thermostats can’t compete with the extra features packed into Wi-Fi “smart” thermostats. This affordable upgrade maximizes comfort, safety, and efficiency—if you use it correctly. Take a look at the many benefits of thermostats with Wi-Fi and tips for using a smart thermostat to the fullest.
8 Benefits of Smart Thermostats
1. Lower Energy Costs
For many people, the biggest reason to upgrade from a manual thermostat is to save money on heating and cooling bills. As long as you program the device correctly, you can expect immediate savings of 10% or more. (See the tips in the section below for help operating your smart thermostat.)
2. Learning Capabilities
Many Wi-Fi thermostats have built-in learning capabilities that pair with motion sensors throughout the house. These sensors, which detect when your family is at home or away, work with the device’s learning functions to make small adjustments based on your schedule and habits. This saves time when initially programming your new thermostat, promotes ideal comfort, and boosts your energy savings as the seasons change.
3. Remote Control
Wi-Fi thermostats are connected to the internet, allowing you to monitor and adjust your home’s temperature from anywhere using your mobile device. This is worthwhile in several scenarios.
For instance, you might have an irregular work schedule, making it impossible to program the ideal temperatures at set times in advance. Maybe you travel frequently and want the option to restore a comfortable temperature before you get home. Or perhaps you simply want a way to adjust the thermostat without getting up.
In all of these situations, it’s incredibly convenient to use your phone, tablet, or laptop to change the thermostat setting, whether you’re lounging on the sofa or on a business trip in China.
4. Better User Interfaces & Apps
Color touch screens, backlit displays, stylized temperature readouts, and easy-to-navigate interfaces make programming a Wi-Fi thermostat fast and easy. You can also create and modify your heating and cooling schedules directly from the mobile app to maximize user-friendliness.
5. Energy Tracking
Smart thermostat manufacturers often include energy usage reports within the app, telling you how much electricity and natural gas you use and when. You can also find efficiency tips within the report to help you save even more. Many smart thermostat apps auto-generate an energy profile that becomes increasingly accurate the longer you have your thermostat. This weighs your energy usage against other similarly sized homes in the area to provide a point of comparison.
6. Home Automation
If you have other smart home devices, your Wi-Fi thermostat may be able to communicate with them. For instance, you can check or change the temperature with your voice using a compatible smart speaker, such as Amazon Alexa or Google Nest. Smart humidifiers and air purifiers can also be controlled via a Wi-Fi thermostat if the models are compatible.
7. Weather Tracking
Smart thermostats can access weather forecasts and outdoor thermometers, telling you at a glance when it’s getting hot outside or if a cold front is coming through. With the ability to tailor the indoor temperature to the current and forecasted weather conditions, your thermostat helps the HVAC system perform at its peak with no extra effort on your part.
8. Zoning Capabilities
Zoning is the practice of heating and cooling certain rooms throughout the day. This requires smart comfort sensors throughout the house and dampers in the ductwork to control airflow. Zoning can achieve incredible energy savings and maximize comfort, especially when combined with a Wi-Fi thermostat.
For instance, you can program the comfort sensors in the kitchen and living room to direct conditioned air to these spaces when they are occupied during the day. Then, you can program the system to send airflow to the bedrooms at night. This way, you only pay to heat and cool rooms when you need them.
Occupants can also control the temperature in specific rooms, ending family arguments over how to set the thermostat. For example, Dad can lower the temperature in his office so he doesn’t overheat, even as the baby naps in the toasty nursery upstairs.
Wi-Fi Thermostat Operating Tips
- Set a reasonable temperature: In Florida’s hot, humid climate, cooling bills can quickly get out of hand, even with a Wi-Fi thermostat. To balance comfort and savings, the Department of Energy recommends setting the temperature “as high as is comfortable” while you’re at home in the summer. Dress for the season and run a ceiling fan to reduce how much your air conditioner runs.
- Use energy-saving setbacks: Set the temperature back by 7 to 10 degrees when the house is vacant during the day and while everyone is sleeping at night. A Wi-Fi thermostat allows you to set it and forget it, ensuring a comfortable temperature resumes in time for you to wake up or return home. You’ll achieve the most savings from this technique if you program setback periods lasting eight hours or more.
- Override settings sparingly: Programmable and smart thermostats let you override any preprogrammed setting, but you negate energy savings each time you do. Try changing your clothes or turning on a fan before you touch the thermostat.
- Use the correct hold setting: When overriding a setting from day to day, use the temporary hold. This resumes the regularly scheduled program when the time comes. For extended absences and family vacations, use the permanent/vacation hold. This cancels all future programs until you tell the thermostat otherwise. With a Wi-Fi thermostat, you can adjust the setting remotely on your way home from a trip, so a comfortable temperature greets you when you walk through the door.
- Change the temperature by only a degree or two: It’s tempting to crank the temperature down to 60 degrees when you’re uncomfortable, but this doesn’t cool your home any faster. It only wastes energy when the temperature falls below your comfort zone. To prevent this, try adjusting the temperature by just one or two degrees. You’ll be surprised what a difference this can make.
- Change the batteries: If you upgrade to a battery-powered smart thermostat, change the batteries once a year so you’re never left without heating and cooling when you need it most. Some models have an indicator light telling you when the battery is low, so keep an eye on that as well.
Schedule HVAC Services in Orlando or Orange City, FL
If you’re ready to upgrade your thermostat or need other heating and cooling services in Central Florida, turn to Certified Climate Control. We are A+ rated with the BBB and have earned the Angie’s List Super Service Award for 11 years running. We’re happy to answer all your questions about Wi-Fi thermostats, help you pick out a compatible model, and install it to your satisfaction. To get started, please contact us at (407) 888-0678 if you live in Orange or Seminole County, or call (386) 675-6963 if you’re a Volusia County resident.