Smart thermostats, like so many other modern innovations in technology, might not be as new as you think. Would you believe us if we told you the first ever smart thermostat was introduced 15 years ago in 2007?! Ecobee’s invention of the concept was much simpler than modern versions, and the dream of a fully “smart home” is closer now than ever with everything from smart refrigerators to smart washer and dryers.
So, what exactly is a smart thermostat?
The simplest way to define a smart thermostat is a programmable thermostat with additional features such as Wi-Fi connectivity and multiple sensors throughout the house. Smart thermostats are designed to make you as comfortable as possible while also making your home more energy-efficient by not heating and cooling the rooms where you don’t need it.
New innovations in smart thermostat technologies
Smart thermostats have come a long way since their simple origins as Wi-Fi connected devices (a common feature nowadays, but a big deal at the time).
Voice Activation and App Activation
Now that smartphones and home devices like Alexa are more commonplace than ever, people expect their devices to respond to simple voice commands. Fortunately, smart thermostats have caught on to the trend, with almost all modern versions including voice activation. This voice activation might be built in, or it might require integration with your other home listening devices or smartphone.
If you prefer not to talk to your devices, you can expect to find app integration for modern smart thermostats. You can use smart thermostat apps to control the temperature and schedule of your HVAC system as well as check energy usage stats.
Geofencing: only cool and heat your home when you’re there
It might seem like a creepy concept to some, but the smartest thermostats on the market now have the technology to check your phone’s location data and know whether or not you’re at home. Just set up a geofence boundary (an imaginary-line “fence” that surrounds your home) using your smart thermostat’s app, keep your phone’s location settings on, and you won’t ever have to worry about setting yourself as “Away”.
Save energy with the power of machine learning
It’s hard to hear about a thermostat that learns and adapts to your lifestyle and not think it’s the pinnacle of “smart” technology! Google pioneered the idea of learning thermostats with their Nest Learning Thermostat, and they seem to still have a firm market share on the concept. According to their product description, it “learns what temperature you like and builds a schedule around yours”. You just have to use the thermostat normally for a week or so (turn the heat/AC up or down to your preference) until it learns your patterns and starts to do it for you.
Aesthetically attractive touchscreens
This “innovation” is admittedly subjective, but few can deny that a modern, compact smart thermostat looks better in a home than a white plastic box that hasn’t seen a design update since 1996! From the Ecobee’s sleek black screen to Amazon’s minimalist white alarm-clock numbers to the near-pointillist Mysa Smart Thermostat, you can pick a product not just based on features but on how it looks in your home.
Smart thermostats pay for themselves
Whether you choose a high-end, feature-rich smart thermostat that can think for itself or the simplest app-powered option, it’s a worthwhile investment. Not only does a smart thermostat save you money on heating and cooling costs (anywhere from 10%-30%, according to various studies and estimates), it helps out the planet by wasting less energy. And, if that’s something you care about, make sure to check out our other blog posts on the topic!
- Smart And Geeky Ways To Save Money On Your Energy Bill
- How To Make Your Home Eco-Friendly
- How To Save Money On Your Home Bills
Categories: Geeks and Nerds Stuff