Did you know that your thermostat isn’t a part of your HVAC unit but is totally independent of it? What this means is that you can change your thermostat without having to change your entire HVAC unit. That’s the first bit of good news! The next bit is that you may have heard the expression ‘smart home’ which, in simple terms, relates to having “remote” control of various systems throughout your home, from CCTV security through to yes, you guessed it, your heating system.
Exchanging your current manual wall thermostat to a remote-controlled ‘smart’ programmable HVAC thermostat makes a great deal of sense and, over time, could save you a considerable amount of money by reducing your annual heating bills. So, you are probably wondering how a ‘smart’ programmable thermostat works.
In simple terms, it can be operated one of two ways – either manually or by using your smartphone and an appropriate app. In other words, for those of you who are marginally technophobic, you can use the thermostat without any apps or a smartphone, just your fingers, as before, but other members of the household can operate everything remotely.
The next question is to ask yourself what the advantages are of being able to remotely operate your HVAC system. The main advantage is flexibility. While the majority of us program our HVAC system to switch off when we leave home for work, and turn on shortly before we are due to return, life doesn’t always go according to plan. Maybe you have to work late at the office or decide to go out for a meal before returning home. With a manual thermostat, that means your home will either be heating up or cooling down (depending on whether it is wintertime or summertime) while you are not there. With a smart thermostat, you can simply reprogram your system to fire up later in the evening – that could save you the cost of three hours of energy. While that may not seem like a great deal of money, imagine if you needed to adjust the timing of your unit, say, twice a month. At three hours of saved energy a time, that equates to 72 hours of saved expense, which is a very noticeable sum of money.
There is also such a thing as ‘geofencing’ which means that your thermostat can react to when you are a certain distance from home. Connected to your smartphone, you don’t have the hassle of reprogramming your HVAC system, it just switches on when you are near your home, and switches off when you’re not.
Finally, the latest smart HVAC complete systems can now be connected to your local HVAC engineer’s office. These smart systems self-monitor and if there is a problem, they can send a signal to your engineer and they can then contact you to make an appointment to come out and fix the problem before you even knew you had one!
As a final point, certain smart thermostats can also be used to remind you when it’s time to get your HVAC unit serviced, or when your air filters should be replaced.
If you would like to know more about smart thermostats and whether one might be appropriate for your home, why not give us a call and we’ll be happy to answer your questions or come out and see what would be an appropriate “smart” option for your current system.