Tech in the Home – Smart Thermostats

As the internet of things continues to become more and more prevalent in our day-to-day lives, it is important to take a look at how you can leverage these new technologies to impact your quality of life, make your residence more eco-friendly, help you become more energy efficient, and save you time and money.

Although the smart thermostat was originally released almost 10 years ago, it has only pushed its way into the mainstream in the past couple of years. With the ubiquity of smart phones and tablets all home owners are now capable of taking advantage of the smart thermostat and the benefits that come along with it.  

The traditional thermostat requires you to adjust the temperature manually while you are physically in front of the dial or control panel. This is the tried and tested method that we are all familiar with and has worked well for generations. But what about those times that you are out of your house for the weekend, or longer, and you forgot to update your thermostat before leaving? Step in the smart thermostat.

Just like traditional thermostats, smart thermostats are responsible for controlling your home’s heating and air conditioning. The main advantage is that they allow you to control your thermostat remotely from any Apple or Android device. This gives you the ability to make changes from inside your home, at the office, or anywhere else that you may end up, ensuring that your furnace is not running while you are not home. They can also detect that you are not home and autonomously turn off the heat/AC if you give it the approval to do so. Over time, as the system learns your behaviour patterns and desired temperatures for certain days and times throughout the week and can program itself based on these learned behaviours.

Smart thermostats also provide you with reports on your usage. By being aware of how you use you are using your heating and air conditioner you can change your behaviour patterns to be a more efficient user and ultimately save you money on your hydro bill.

How Smart Thermostats work

All smart thermostat models are based on three standard components. The first component connects to you homes boiler or furnace. The second component is the physical device that you use to operate the thermostat and main control. And the third is a downloadable app for your smartphone or tablet. The thermostat and main controls can be adjusted remotely, allowing you to adjust your homes temperature from any location.

 

Smart Thermostats Brands to watch out for in 2017

  1. Nest Learning Thermostat

nest_thermostat_iphoneNest is the most widely recognized brand in the smart thermostat market. With the release of their first product in 2011, Nest has released an updated version of their product almost every year since. In 2014 the company was purchased by Google for 3.2 Billion dollars, and has continued to operate as a unique entity.

 

 

  1. ecobee3 lite

ecobee3-with-sensorReleased in 2016, the ecobee3 lite is a newer device that packs a lot of punch in the smart thermostat market. With a lower price tag, minimalist aesthetics, and a bevy of platform features, the ecobee3 lite has a lot of advantages. With the ability to integrate with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and Samsung Smartthings, you will be able to control this device from any digital ecosystem that you are already invested in.

t5_1200x1200_01_image

  1. Honeywell Lyric T5

Honeywell is an established player in the thermostat market, but waited until the smart thermostat was more established before release their first smart product in 2014. At a lower price point than their competition, the Honeywell Lyric T5 is still able to offer an impressive suite of automation features.

 

With the ease of use and added functionality over traditional thermostats, smart thermostats are here to stay. Whether it’s adjusting your thermostat while you’re on the road, turning up your furnace five minutes before you come home from a cold walk, or analyzing your usage throughout the week, these are features that will become more and more important as hydro costs keep rising.

Find yourself a model that looks great and that you are comfortable using, and start enjoying the benefits of a smart thermostat today!

 


Resources:

https://www.engadget.com/2016/10/29/expert-guide-to-smart-thermostats/

https://www.engadget.com/2015/10/31/nest-learning-thermostat-third-gen/

http://globalnews.ca/news/2670317/can-smart-thermostats-really-help-save-money-on-your-energy-bill/

http://home.howstuffworks.com/nest-learning-thermostat7.htm

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