In today’s world everything is becoming connected, so why would your thermostat be any different? A Wi-Fi connected thermostat for your home allows you to monitor and control your home’s heating and cooling system from anywhere. Free apps from thermostat manufacturer’s have allowed you to transform your iPad, iPhone, or Android device into a control center for your comfort. You can adjust the set point on your thermostat, set up programming, adjust your fan settings, as well as monitoring energy usage. There are a number different thermostats available that allow for Wi-Fi connectivity, and that number is sure to grow.
Certainly the thermostat with the biggest amount of buzz surrounding it, the Nest has become a great option as a connected thermostat. The Nest has built in Wi-Fi, and has a very user friendly set up, and programming feature. The Nest learns your patterns for temperature adjustments, and develops a schedule based on that pattern. It is also equipped with a motion sensor, which kicks in an Auto Away feature when no motion is detected for a period of time. The temperature it reverts to in Auto Away mode is adjustable, and this can be a easy way to save some money on heating and cooling costs. My favorite feature on the Nest is the Energy History display on the app. You simply click the Energy History button, and it shows a bar graph of the hours of run time for your heating and cooling system each day. It shows you each day back about a week and a half. This enables you to see how changes you make to operation can affect your energy costs. The Nest is also a cool looking, smaller thermostat, and the simple turn dial to adjust temperature is a very natural feel. The Nest Protect is an additional accessory that can be added. It is a Carbon Monoxide/Smoke Detector that works wirelessly, or they do have a hard wired version as well. Nest Protect is also connected, so you can get an alert on your phone if the unfortunate strikes your home while you’re away. Nest is capable of controlling gas furnaces, heat pumps, air conditioners, oil heat, and electric.
Honeywell has been making thermostats for nearly 130 years, so they kind of have it down. They offer a full line of connected thermostats, some with Wi-Fi built in, and some that can be connected through a wireless Internet Gateway that connects to your modem. Honeywell thermostats haven’t gotten the publicity that the Nest has recently, but in many cases they can be better suited for a particular heating and cooling system. Honeywell offers better control options for tying in indoor air quality products, such as humidifiers and ventilation systems. Honeywell also has sensors that can be mounted on the supply and return sides of your duct system to monitor incoming and outgoing temperatures. The difference between these temps (Delta T) is monitored to make sure the system maintains an accepted performance. If the Delta T dips, the thermostat will alert you that there is an issue with the system. You can have up to 5 email addresses tied in for these alerts, so you can know there is an issue, as well as your trusted heating contractor, if you set it up that way. Honeywell has multiple wireless accessories that can tie into their thermostats, including a Portable Comfort Controller, which can be moved throughout the home to control and sense temperatures from different areas. They also have wireless outdoor temperature sensors, which not only display outdoor temps on your thermostat, but can also aid in the efficient operation of a heat pump system w/ a back up heat source.
Connected thermostats are a great way to help you maximize the efficiency of your heating and cooling system, as well as making sure that you are comfortable when you want it most. If you would like any additional information on any of these products, please email us using one of the Contact Us forms on our site.