How Do Smart Thermostats Work, and Do I Need One in Lake Placid, FL?

You strive to stay comfortable inside your Lake Placid, FL, home. A smart thermostat is convenient because it allows you more control over your home’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning than a traditional thermostat. Understanding how smart thermostats work can help you decide whether you need one.

How a Smart Thermostat Works

Both traditional and smart thermostats allow you to change the temperature in your home on demand. One difference is that instead of knobs and buttons, smart thermostats are digital and come with touch screens.

Another difference is how a smart thermostat connects in your home. To install a smart thermostat, an HVAC professional must connect it through a common wire or C-wire.

Then, your smart thermostat connects to your Wi-Fi through an app. From there, you get access to several unique, custom options, including indoor air quality monitoring in some cases.

Remote control is the most convenient option because it allows you to control the thermostat from your smartphone, even when you’re away. Geofencing allows you to make changes, and it can even detect when you’ve left the house and adjust accordingly.

Many smart thermostats are compatible with smart speakers, so you can use voice commands to control the thermostat. There’s also the option of humidity control, in which the smart thermostat monitors humidity levels and can even set off an alarm on your phone for important changes.

On the other hand, traditional or standard thermostats have come a long way from their classic, totally manual mercury-containing predecessors while still differing from digital or smart thermostats. Some are programmable for greater accuracy and efficiency, letting you set temperature schedules and vacation mode. Other programmable thermostats allow for preset temperatures or control of relative humidity.

Pros and Cons of a Smart Thermostat

There are some benefits and drawbacks to using a smart thermostat over a traditional one. One major benefit is that it helps you save on energy bills while keeping you comfortable all year round. It can also generate energy reports so you can see how you’re saving and being efficient with your energy use.

Another benefit is that it’s more user-friendly with touch screens and other digital features, including operation with a mobile app and compatibility with voice-controlled personal assistants for hands-free adjustment. It’s also intuitive, so it can learn your patterns and adjust heat settings according to your preferences and schedules. It can even adjust to being active only when someone is home.

One drawback is that a smart thermostat is more expensive initially to purchase and install. If you have an older home, you’ll need to update it with a C-wire, which a smart thermostat must have to connect to your HVAC system. Each model has different features, so you should compare several and choose the one that best suits your needs.

Things That Affect a Smart Thermostat’s Functionality

A few things that can prevent smart thermostats from reading temperatures or working correctly are different from problems with traditional thermostats. One is smartphone updates, which can cause disconnections and other issues. Not all devices will notify you if there’s a connectivity issue, and some issues are major enough to need direct HVAC maintenance.

Another possible issue is the smart thermostat getting sun exposure, which can skew the ambient temperature reading because the area around it is much warmer than the rest of the home. Not all smart thermostat manufacturers provide a built-in feature that uses light sensors to counteract this issue.

How to Tell If You Need a Smart Thermostat

You need a smart thermostat if any of the following is true:

  • Your energy bills are too high after you’ve exhausted all options with your traditional thermostat.
  • You have to manually change your thermostat too much.
  • You need to adjust it when nobody’s home to save energy or when you come back to stay comfortable

If you’re in the Lake Placid, FL, area and want to change to a smart thermostat or need other HVAC services, call Miller’s Central Air, Inc. to help. We’ll do all we can to make your home feel more comfortable.

Image provided by iStock

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