Last updated on November 4th, 2022 at 07:06 am
A smart thermostat is a type of thermostat that allows you to control your home’s heating and cooling system via a mobile app or web-connected device.
In most cases, you can also set up a smart thermostat to automatically adjust the temperature based on your schedule or desired comfort level. So, how do smart thermostats work?
How Does a Smart Thermostat Work? – Explanation
Here is how your Nest smart thermostat works with your home heating and cooling system.
It learns when you are at home or away. You can see it learn in the app when you open up Home Report.
It also knows when no one is around which is why it will not switch on your AC until you come back. You can access it by opening up “Home Report”.
You will be able to see what temperature your Nest is set at as well as some other information. If you want to make any changes you can do so from the app itself.
Look for the plus and minus signs on your phone and click the one that corresponds with the direction you want to change the temperature.
The Nest is programmed to turn on its AC when it senses that the temperature outside has crossed a certain limit and it will shut down as soon as you come back inside with your smartphone.
It will then pick up on the changing pattern and adjust itself accordingly. An ordinary thermostat is preset to a specific temperature and will maintain that temperature using its built-in sensors.
A smart thermostat, on the other hand, may have all the same features as an ordinary one but it is paired with a large set of wireless capabilities.
It can be programmed to maintain certain temperatures in different parts of your home at different times. The Nest is an example of a smart thermostat that has high-tech wireless capabilities.
It can be programmed remotely through your smartphone to set heating and cooling preferences, view the history of energy use, change temperature settings, and read error codes if there are any problems.
You can control your smart thermostat through an interactive app, which you may already use for other applications on your smartphone.
The interface typically displays the temperature so you can see if it’s heating or cooling inside of your home at any given time, and what each room is currently set to.
You can also turn on a setting that turns off your heat or air in a certain room to save even more money.
Smart thermostats can track the usage of each room in your home, which makes it easy for you to make sure no one is wasting energy by leaving appliances turned on when they’re not needed or leaving doors open during warm months.
You can also save money by using your smart thermostat to schedule the times when appliances are turned on.
For example, you can program your washer or dryer to start at certain times instead of having it run while you’re still in bed or at work.
10 Benefits of Using Smart Thermostat In Your Home
As far as convenience is concerned, your smart thermostat will take care of the temperature for you without any manual adjustments.
1. It gives you detailed control over each room in your home. You can turn off appliances in rooms that aren’t being used to cut down on energy use. It also allows you to schedule the time when certain appliances should be turned on or off.
2. It allows you to monitor your energy use and ultimately save money. You can set it up to work with other smart home devices to monitor your usage in different rooms around the house.
3. It gives you alerts about potential problems. If there’s an issue, the app will let you know so that you can call a professional if necessary.
4. You can control your thermostat remotely. You don’t have to be at home or in the office to make adjustments, which makes it easy to change the temperature throughout your day.
5. It’s got backup batteries that last for years. The batteries are internal and can keep running even when the power goes out.
6. It’s compatible with other smart home products. You can use it along with different devices that you’ve installed into your home for extra convenience.
7. A lot of smart thermostats are Energy Star qualified. This means they help you save money on energy bills by using less electricity than standard thermostats.
8. They’re customizable. Most smart thermostats have screens that allow you to adjust the temperature and other features on your home’s system.
9. They can help reduce your carbon footprint. You don’t have to wait for a technician from the local utility company to install a smart thermostat to save energy.
10. They’re easy to install. You can install them without help from a technician, although it’s possible to hire someone if you don’t feel confident installing one yourself.
What Makes Smart Thermostats Different from a Standard or Programmable Models?
In general, smart thermostats have a few different features from standard or programmable models.
1. Touch screen display. The main difference is that some models have touch screens so you can see the temperature settings and other information on the front of the unit instead of having to use a remote control or app on your smartphone.
2. Energy sensors. Some models use their onboard sensors to monitor things like occupancy or light levels in each room, which can make it easier for the thermostat to adjust the temperature.
3. Wi-Fi connection. A lot of smart thermostats connect to your home’s Wi-Fi network so you can see your energy usage at all times.
4. Internet connection. Some devices also connect to the internet so you can control your unit from anywhere in the world.
5. Smartphone compatibility. You can use a smartphone or tablet to monitor and adjust settings for the unit in your home, which gives you a lot of extra flexibility.
6. Voice commands integration. The unit can recognize your voice and execute commands, which makes it easy to change the temperature without having to find a remote control or app.
7. Compatibility with smart home devices. Most models work with other products you might have in your home for extra convenience.
8. Energy Star certification. Some manufactures offer models that meet the standards set by the U.S. Department of Energy, which means they use less energy than standard thermostats.
9. Geofencing. This feature uses your smartphone’s location services to make sure the unit turns on when you get home and off when you leave to save energy.
10. Home security capabilities. Some devices can work with other home security devices to make sure your home is always safe and secure while you’re away.
How to Install a Smart Thermostat in Your Home?
Most people can install a smart thermostat in their homes without any help. You don’t need to be an experienced DIYer or tech guru to get the job done, but you do need some basic knowledge about how your system works.
1. Verify that you have a C wire
The smart thermostats require this to work properly, so make sure you have one before installing. If it doesn’t have one, you can add a power extender kit to the system to get everything up and running.
2. Remove your old thermostat
If possible, shut off your heating or cooling system before removing an old unit from your wall. You should also remove any mounting brackets or hardware before you get started.
3. Unpack the smart thermostat
Most devices are packed with tools and other equipment needed to install them on your wall, so make sure you have everything before you begin the job. If something is missing, contact the manufacturer immediately to resolve any issues or return the product for a replacement.
4. Plan the location for your new device
Most smart thermostats can fit in a standard wall mount, but make sure you pick a spot that makes sense and doesn’t obstruct other components or wires behind the unit. The ideal location should also allow easy access to the screen and other controls.
5. Find your thermostat’s line voltage
You’ll usually find it on the back of the unit and labeled as something like “VAC,” which stands for volts alternating current.
6. Connect your power source
Before installation, you should connect the power source for your new smart thermostat. If it doesn’t have a C wire, you can use a standard two-wire setup instead to get everything up and running.
7. Mount the thermostat
After installation, make sure the device is securely mounted on your wall or ceiling before connecting any of its wires. You should also make sure it’s angled or pitched properly to ensure the clearest possible view of the display and other components.
8. Install your smart thermostat
After you’ve confirmed everything else is working, you can finish installing any additional parts before putting them on the front plate. This sometimes requires a software update, which you can download from the manufacturer’s website if necessary.
9. Program your new thermostat
This step is usually fairly straightforward, but you can always check the owner’s manual for specific instructions on how to get everything set up correctly. Most devices are compatible with other smart devices and offer plenty of customization options. After installation, you should also test out the thermostat to make sure everything works properly before putting it to use.
10. Install any additional security features
Some smart thermostats work with other devices for added security. For example, Nest features a smoke detector and carbon monoxide alarm you can buy to make the system even more secure.
11. Make sure everything works
After installation, it’s always a good idea to test your new smart thermostat to make sure it’s working correctly. This only takes a few minutes, but if you have any problems, you’ll need to take a closer look at the installation process or contact customer service for help.
Note: If you want to install a smart thermostat in your home, remember these tips the next time you get started. Although most people can do this on their own without any help.
Do Smart Thermostats Save You Money?
The real question is whether or not any type of smart thermostat saves you money compared to a standard programmable or non-programmable device.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, each degree you lower your thermostat can help save between three and five percent on your cooling bills. This doesn’t sound like much, but this adds up to substantial savings over time.
Most smart thermostats are designed to help you save money, but they can’t do it alone. You’ll still need to take full advantage of the features each device offers if you want real results.
The simplest way to get started is by setting up a schedule that turns your cooling system on before you arrive home from work and off a few hours before you go to bed.
The smart thermostats take your home’s temperature and other settings to the next level.
Some models have touch screens so you can see the information on the front of the unit, while others use an app on your phone or remote control to adjust settings.
You can connect them with other devices that are installed in your house, which gives you a lot of extra conveniences.
Smart thermostats can use an internet connection to monitor and adjust your home’s temperature from anywhere in the world, and they might come with other features like geofencing or compatibility with smart home products.
If you want to save money and reduce your environmental impact, then buying a smart thermostat is a good idea.
Although they can be more expensive, the cost difference is quickly offset by the money you don’t spend on energy bills.
I am John Kouchek, the founder of Own The Smart Home. I am passionate about making homes smarter and more efficient. I have a degree in Robotics and Automation (MSc) and have worked in the home automation industry for over 10 years. Learn More!