What are the Types of Smart Thermostats?

Programmable thermostats are a step up from the old analog or dial styles of thermostats. They allow you to set different temperatures for different times of the day and days of the week. A smart thermostat is another step up from a programmable thermostat. A smart thermostat connects to your Meridian, ID, home’s Wi-Fi and offers more features and functionality. Knowing about the types of smart thermostats and their features allows you to make an informed decision about which one is the best for your Meridian-area home.

Basic Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat

Nest, EcoBee, Honeywell and other manufacturers all make basic smart thermostats. These thermostats connect to your home’s Wi-Fi network. They work with compatible central heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. They also work with ductless and mini-split HVAC systems. All smart thermostats make use of algorithms.

They get new algorithms and updates to existing algorithms on a regular basis through your Wi-Fi. These software updates are important because they allow the smart thermostat to optimize your home’s energy usage.

Smart thermostats also include an app for use on your smartphone. There are iOS and Android versions of each manufacturer’s app. This allows you to update your temperature settings from anywhere. The algorithms allow the smart thermostat to notice when you are not home, so they learn your schedule and adjust the temperature accordingly.

Smart Thermostat With Remote Control Functions

Honeywell and EcoBee offer smart thermostats with remote sensors. They include a remote control and an app. The system comes with one remote sensor, but you can buy additional units to place in a convenient location in your home. It is best to place the unit in a high-traffic area, such as the kitchen.

When the sensor detects movement or body heat, it enables your “at-home” settings. When no movement or body heat is detected, it goes to the “away” settings. These thermostats also allow you to change the “at-home” or “away” settings with a remote control. This is helpful if you are at home and resting in bed and the remote sensor is not detecting your presence.

Geofencing Smart Thermostats

Another type of smart thermostat is a geofencing unit. Honeywell and Lyric make these systems. The geofencing technology refers to using the location of your phone in order to determine if you are at home or away. They allow you to set the away range to either be 500 feet or 7 miles. Once the away setting is triggered, the smart thermostat reverts to your “away” temperature settings. This helps you save energy, and you do not have to worry about resetting your thermostat or telling it that you are away.

Smart Thermostats and Automated Vent Controllers

You could also choose a smart thermostat that has the ability to control your home’s air vents. Ecovent, Linq and Keen are manufacturers of these systems. The smart vents use automated sensors to detect whether or not anyone is in the room. If nobody is in the room, the system closes the vent and redirects the heated or cooled air to the rooms that are occupied. This type of smart thermostat can also be set up to only open the air vents in rooms that are cooler or warmer than desired.

Smart Thermostat Home-Automation Systems

If you are building a new home in Meridian or upgrading all your appliances, electrical, security and mechanical systems, consider installing a smart thermostat that is part of a home-automation system. Several manufacturers make these.

They feature a primary wall-mounted unit as well as an app for your smartphone. With a home-automation system, you get all of the features of a smart thermostat. You can also use the app and thermostat touchscreen to control your home’s Wi-Fi-enabled audio and visual systems, lights, security system, window shades or blinds, fence gate, oven, coffee maker and other compatible appliances. These systems have frequent algorithm and software updates, and you will need to keep both your app and the unit updated for safety and full functionality.

Our NATE-certified technicians at A-1 Heating and Air Conditioning can explain more about the different types of smart thermostats. We also offer heating and cooling maintenance, repair, replacement and installation services. You can rely on us for electrical services, geothermal HVAC systems, solar power systems, indoor air quality solutions, air cleaners and water heaters. To learn more about smart thermostats and how they could benefit your Meridian-area home, contact us at A-1 Heating and Air Conditioning today.