Smart thermostats have been on the market for a couple of years now. They didn’t take off at first, but they are pretty popular now. Smart thermostats are being installed in new homes while owners of existing homes are upgrading when their old thermostats or HVAC units need replacement.
If you live somewhere like Reno, Nevada, a smart thermostat could be a lifesaver. Reno residents were recently asked by their local utility to conserve energy in light of an intense heat wave that has gripped the region. The utility warned of possible blackouts due to an inability to keep up with demand.
In light of the situation in Nevada, how valuable is a smart thermostat? Vivint Smart Home says it’s very valuable, especially when large numbers of home owners install and use them properly. Smart thermostats can contribute a great deal to energy conservation by reducing waste.
The Smart Thermostat Defined
For the record, a smart thermostat is not just a programmable thermostat. The latter has been around for a generation. Programmable thermostats allow consumers to establish a multi-day schedule for controlling the temperature in their homes. But that’s it.
Smart thermostats are different. A smart thermostat can be programmed – and it has to be in order to work properly – but then it does so much more. The smartest among them have built-in artificial intelligence that allow them to ‘learn’ a homeowner’s routine. As they learn, they automatically adjust their own programming.
Running a smart thermostat begins with your typical installation. Then you program it based on your normal daily routine. The third step is to simply let it go and live your life. It takes 2 to 3 weeks, but the thermostat collects data from a variety of sensors to figure out when you come and go, when you are asleep versus being awake, and so forth.
Some of smartest thermostats can even adjust for season and weather. By linking them to outdoor sensors, they can self-adjust based on exterior temperature, humidity levels, and so forth.
Eliminating Energy Waste
It should be fairly easy to understand the implications of saving energy with a smart thermostat. Rather than relying merely on static programming, a smart thermostat collects a variety of data in order to make the most efficient use of heating and air conditioning. Once installed properly, it conserves energy by eliminating waste.
The thing about the programmable thermostats of days gone by is that homeowners often failed to utilize their programming capabilities. Why? Because programming was too complicated. Thermostats typically featured a single LED screen and two or three buttons for navigation and programming. One almost needed a college degree to set programming for an entire week.
Smart thermostats are designed more like cell phones in terms of display and programming. They utilize familiar touchscreens and logical menu systems that make programming a snap. This new paradigm makes them more user-friendly and, in the end, more energy efficient.
Save Money and Keep the Lights On
There is no telling how many Reno homeowners have smart thermostats installed. If there are enough of them, their combined efforts may be just what the local utility needs to prevent blackouts. Those helpful homeowners will be saving money and keeping the lights on simultaneously.
And now you know how to conserve energy with a smart thermostat. If this intrigues you, why not go one step further? Along with your smart thermostat, install an entire home automation system complete with smart lighting, smart window shades, and smart appliances. The amount of energy you save might surprise you.