If you want to save a few bucks from your HVAC system, then it’s time you consider shifting from the regular thermostat to the new Smart Thermostat. But why should you spend on a new thermostat yet your current thermostat is just working fine?
Well, the truth of the matter is that Smart thermostats can save you 20-25% of your monthly energy bills. This is not a marketing hype anymore; it’s something that has been proven beyond doubt. But hey, not every Smart thermostat will yield these results, so you need to be very selective when shopping.
Today, we want to discuss three critical questions that should be lingering on your mind when looking for the best Smart Thermostat.
- What are the installation and wiring requirements?
- Is it really efficient?
- How’s the programmability?
What are the Installation and Wiring Requirements?
Smart thermostats may not be easy to use because they are wired to work with the HVAC system. There are two installation options available.
If you don’t have any wiring skills, or you are not sure of what’s supposed to be done, I suggest you get a professional installer. I’m sure you don’t want to gamble with your HVAC wiring system. If you are planning to have a professional install it, there is no need to be very selective when shopping. This is because the installer knows how to get the job done.
However, for handymen and DIY enthusiasts, you can choose to do the installation and wiring. Here, you need to be very careful with the system you go with. The best thing to do is to look out for a system compatible with C-Wire. This is an adaptation kit that lets you bypass the modification of the wiring system. Actually, with a C-Wire connection, installation is a snap!
Is it Really Efficient?
After you have ascertained the installation process and wiring requirements, the next important thing is the efficiency. Remember, the reason you want to upgrade to a Smart thermostat is to cut down energy bills by improving the efficiency of your HVAC system
The Smart thermostats market is flooded with authentic products as well as imitations and cheap knockoffs that don’t meet the efficiency standards expected. Like mentioned above, Smart thermostats can save you 20 – 25% of your monthly energy costs. But this is not always the case with all Smart thermostats. Some cheap knockoffs won’t even make a difference in terms of energy bills. They may just be convenient but will not meet the primary reason of having a Smart thermostat; energy savings.
But how do you spot a genuinely efficient Smart thermostat? Every brand will hype their thermostat, so this is not information you can rely on. I recommend reading reviews of customers who have used the Smart thermostat to know if it is truly efficient. Another thing that could help is sticking to these trusted brands. Ecobee3 and Ecobee4 is among the models that have really excelled as far as efficiency is concerned.
How’s The Programmability?
The other important aspect you want to focus on is the programmability of the Smart Thermostat. Just like all other Smart devices, thermostats are programmable, but it’s the degree of intelligence that matters. Some models can be programmed to perform only the essential functions whereas some can be very intelligent.
But here’s one thing you need to note; the more programmability possibilities, the higher the price tag.
There have been a lot of divergent opinions regarding the necessity of programmability in Smart Thermostat. Here’s the thing, A Smart thermostat relies on the intelligence of its system to adjust accordingly with your environment. The more accurate it programs itself, the higher the energy savings. That said, you want to invest in a highly programmable Smart Thermostat.
In fact, there are some select models like Nest Learning that go further and adapt to your way of life. It knows when you are about to come home from work and adjusts to the setting that you have always been manually adjusting.
These are the most important factors to consider when buying a Smart Thermostat. But that’s not all.
You should also consider the brand you are buying. Make sure you go for the household names; the likes of Nest, Ecobee, Honeywell, and the rest. Also, consider its compatibility with Smart hubs like Wink, SmartThings, and Vera. This is another reason for choosing the top brands; they are compatible with many Smart integrations. Lastly, consider getting a Smart thermostat that allows for remote access. Here, there are several options; Smartphone App, Web App, e.t.c.
A Smart thermostat is quite an investment and nothing can be worse than ending up with the wrong thermostat. Make sure you ascertain its installation requirements, efficiency, and programmability. If you have been worried about the high energy bills because of your HVAC, a Smart thermostat is a worthy purchase.
Basically, you get to recoup the cost of the Smart thermostat from a year’s savings! For me, I’ve managed to save $145 in my first year. Considering I bought my Ecobee3 Lite for $150, I’m $5 short from getting my investment back.