In our current information age, the advent of smart thermostats should be no surprise. After all, much of one’s day-to-day life has been taken over by “smart” devices. Smartphones and smart TV’s are just two examples of how smart devices have become instrumental in a person’s daily activities. Logically, smart thermostats are a great addition to the plethora of smart devices that humans rely on.
Unlike the phone or the TV, a thermostat is often a tool that is forgotten unless it malfunctions or if the room temperature becomes uncomfortable. It is an object that runs in the background of our lives, it is something that one expects to “just work”. Therefore, the goal of the smart thermostat should be exactly that – a device that simply works most effectively in the background requiring little to no effort from the user. This is where the smart thermostat distinguishes itself from the traditional thermostat and becomes most beneficial.
The primary benefits of a smart thermostat lie in three areas: automation, efficiency, and remote controllability. Each of these benefits interplay with the other. To begin with, automation is often the first benefit one may think of when contemplating the benefits of smart thermostats. The beauty of this tool is that it can be programmed to certain temperatures and certain times and other temperatures at other times. One can program the thermostat to conform to their daily activities. For example, they can set the thermostat to run at a more efficient (but less comfortable) temperature during the day while they are at work, but schedule it to return to a more comfortable temperature when they return home.
This programmable feature also lends to energy efficiency as the thermostat will regulate the HVAC system to work less during times it is less needed. Most importantly, the user does not have to think about it. As time passes, the smart thermostat will “learn” the user’s behavior and can adjust accordingly. And finally, remote controllability is a huge benefit of smart thermostats. The user now has the power to control the thermostat, thus their home’s temperature, while they are away from home. This can be done through their computer, or in most cases, their smartphone. At the push of a button from a smartphone, the user can quickly check the current temperature of their home and adjust the thermostat settings accordingly. Or, if they wish, they can completely reprogram it remotely.
As one can clearly see, there are many benefits associated with smart thermostats. Similar to other “smart” devices, these benefits will most likely make smart thermostats common in many homes in the future.