Modern houses are now growing in complexity as more and more devices and equipment for comfort, function, and convenience, are integrated into our homes. As such, automating homes and transitioning from a conventional house to a smart, integrated living space is now crucial to manage all these new components and maximize their functions.
Smart TVs, security doors and gates, automated lighting, windows, blinds, etc. are just some of the things that can be found in modern smart homes. Household HVAC (heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems) are also subject to a great degree of automation as a new generation of thermostats enter the market offering more features to provide greater thermal comfort and energy savings. But what exactly are these features and are they suitable for your household?
In this article, I’ll talk about how to choose the best wifi thermostat for your home.
– Acts as the control center for your home’s HVAC system
– Through its interface, occupants can control the temperature set points of the various heating and cooling equipment (air conditioners, furnaces, heat pumps)
– Offer greater level of control
– Can automate your home’s HVAC system
– More advanced models are capable of learning the habits of residents and utilize this data to predict where and when heating or cooling is needed.
Wi-Fi ENABLED PROGRAMMABLE THERMOSTAT
– Can be integrated with smartphones and other smart devices in your home
– Can be controlled remotely i.e. anywhere, even on the other side of the planet!
– Logs data on temperature settings, energy consumption, and energy savings which can be uploaded and analyzed
– Can receive weather info online and adjust accordingly
The Wi-Fi enabled programmable thermostat offers plenty of features that can be used to maximize home comfort and cut energy consumption. But it does have a hefty initial cost, around $100 to $500 depending on which model and what features come with it.
However, the advanced thermostat can make up for its price with the energy savings. When it will break even depends on how well it is utilized.
Almost all thermostats of this type are fast and easy to install. You don’t have to be tech-savvy to install such a thermostat and it should take no longer than 15 minutes.
For my home, I installed Emerson’s Sensi Wi-Fi thermostat using the free Sensi app which can be downloaded online. It provided a user-friendly and interactive step-by-step installation guide. The box even had wire labels which proved incredibly useful when replacing the old thermostat. It was a quick and hassle-free setup and the thermostat was in control in a matter of minutes.
Other models may have different features and installation procedures but they should provide similar tools and should be just as easy.
Maximizing your thermostat’s features
Familiarizing with the thermostat interface
After installation, the next most important step is to figure out your thermostat’s user interface, which can be done on the thermostat screen itself or on the smartphone app.
Setting the temperature is straightforward enough with simple up and down buttons. Different apps provide different levels of customizability so explore these additional options for a better experience.
Setting the thermostat to your personal or household schedule can greatly increase energy savings whilst maintaining thermal comfort.
For example, during summer, you can set it to cool your home to 22°C when you arrive home at say, 6:00 PM and raise the temperature to 24°C at around 11:00 PM while you are sleeping. This saves you money on cooling costs.
Enable weather data gathering
Many Wi-Fi enabled thermostats can gather weather information online and utilize this data alongside advanced algorithms to predict how outdoor conditions affect the temperature inside your home.
This regularly updates your thermostats heating and cooling schemes to save energy more efficiently. Simply enable this option on your mobile app if available.
Use the app to schedule regular cleaning and maintenance
Regular maintenance is the key to prolonging the lifetime of your HVAC equipment and improving their performance.
Scheduling maintenance with the thermostat app can save you on repair costs and ensure interrupted thermal comfort.
Choosing your home thermostat
Now that you know more about the features offered by Wi-Fi enabled thermostats, you can go on and proceed with your purchase!
Consider your living space and its heating and cooling requirements. Think about which features you need for your home.
Best wifi thermostat with plenty of features at a reasonable price include the Emerson Sensi, the Ecobee 3, and Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat.