The Pro’s and Con’s of Installing a Smart Thermostat
Most of us know how to use a manual thermostat. However, it lacks the accuracy and automatic control that today’s newest models do. A smart thermostat can not only be programmed, but allows you to control your HVAC system remotely.
You can install one if you have an internet connection. It can work via geofencing, or by tracking your smartphone’s GPS or RFID signal to determine your proximity to home, or using algorithm software to learn your behavior, and adjust the temperature automatically. It’s also able to adjust to the seasons and, depending on the model, outside weather conditions.
A smart thermostat can be a worthwhile investment, depending on your needs. But that doesn’t mean it’s an advantage for everyone. Read our pro’s and con’s to help decide whether one may be right for you.
Pro’s of a Smart Thermostat
- Ease of Installation: If you have the proper wiring, replacing an old unit with a smart device is simple. The unit requires a C wire for installation; it allows the most advanced features to work. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the specific model. Generally, you’ll need to turn off the power to the old thermostat, remove it, and connect the wires to the new one before you install the faceplate, restore power, and program the device.
- Energy Savings: Running your HVAC system on a schedule means it’ll run less when you’re not home, reducing energy consumption. If you forget to turn off your AC or heater, you can do so remotely. Over the long run, this can yield significant savings on your energy bills.
- Improved Comfort: You can program the thermostat or control it remotely, so your home is the right temperature once you return. Some smart thermostats allow for zoning, enabling you to control temperature room by room.
- Monitoring and Analysis: The thermostat stores data on your daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly energy usage. You can use this to track trends and make adjustments to save even more on energy.
- Maintenance Reminders: You no longer have to remember when it’s time to change an air filter. The thermostat can remind you via text message, email, or an audible alert directly on the unit. If your smart thermostat beeps, it’s likely time for a new filter.
Con’s of a Smart Thermostat
- Installation Is More Expensive: The equipment costs more than a standard thermostat. Depending on the wiring in your home, you may need electrical work. A professional technician is often required to install the system. Expect to spend a few hundred dollars for equipment and installation.
- Compatibility: Not every HVAC system is compatible with a smart thermostat. Even if yours is, check the product specifications to verify whether a particular thermostat will work with your AC make and model.
- Learning to Use It Can Take Time: Most modern systems are user-friendly. However, they can require some technical ability compared to traditional thermostats. For some, there’s a learning curve for mastering advanced features, including the user-interface software on your smartphone, scheduling, and tracking functions.
- It Takes Time for the Investment to Pay Off: It takes around five years for a smart thermostat to pay for itself. Unless you plan on living in your current home for the long term, this might not be a practical update. Renters may require the landlord’s permission.
- Only Provides Efficiency If Nobody Is Home: There’s no need for the advanced features if someone is usually present or works from home. The AC or heater will then always be on anyway. But if you commute to work or are often away for extended periods of time, you can save.
Serving all of Southern California, we install the latest digital, programmable, and smart thermostats. These include leading models from Honeywell as well as the Google Nest. We are available 24/7 to address your questions and concerns. Feel free to book an appointment online or call 833-729-9735 today.