In this age of convenience, our homes are getting smarter. Our refrigerators can keep track of our grocery lists, and we can ask Alexa to turn on music or turn off the lights. It’s no surprise our home thermostats are getting smarter, too. Here’s everything you need to know about smart thermostats—and how they can make your life more convenient and your home more energy efficient.

What’s a Smart Thermostat?

Smart thermostats do more than adjust your home’s temperature, though they do that, too. They have three components: the hardware that connects directly into your HVAC system, the wall thermostat control itself, and an accompanying app that’s downloaded to your smartphone and communicates with the system via WiFi. This component allows you to adjust your thermostat from anywhere, whether you’re sitting on the couch binging the latest Netflix series or you’re on vacation an ocean away. Many smart thermostats also connect to popular smart homes devices, such as Amazon Alexa, Google Nest, Assistant, and Siri, which allow them to be adjusted using voice controls.

What are the Benefits of a Smart Thermostat?

1. Remote Access: Many smart thermostat users experience benefits simply by being able to adjust their home’s temperature up or down remotely. That access is a comfort and a convenience.

2. Energy Conservation and Cost Savings: The ability to adjust your thermostat up or down, depending on the time of the year, remotely means you’re not using energy unnecessarily. That’s good for the planet and for your budget, since many homeowners save 25% on their energy bills once they install a smart thermostat.

Many smart thermostats also have the ability to track your daily temperature adjustments and automatically adjust over time, so the system becomes more efficient even without your leg work. You don’t need to worry about coming home to a cold or hot house; some thermostats also have a GPS-based feature that automatically detects when you’re close to your house and adjusts the temperature for your arrival. Many smart thermostats also offer zoned temperature controls, like the Honeywell RedLINK that Aztec Mechanical installs, and/or have the ability to monitor when a room is occupied. This further enhances your comfort in the home and helps conserve energy as well.

Additionally, many smart thermostats have a feature that monitors your energy consumption week by week. This allows you to become more informed about your energy usage and make adjustments in real time. It also helps you avoid surprise bills at the end of the month.

3. Maintenance Reminders: Just like your car needs an oil change periodically, your HVAC system needs at-home and professional maintenance. Smart thermostats often have the ability to track this maintenance and deliver reminders about when to replace or clean your air filter and other items. This helps your system run efficiently, which not only delivers cost savings on your energy bill but also extends the life of your HVAC system.

Buying and Installing a Smart Thermostat

Here are a few considerations to make before purchasing or installing a smart home system:

1. Your thermostat will need to integrate with your existing smart-home system, so when you’re searching for the right model, make sure they are compatible. If you don’t have a smart-home system yet, keep in mind which system you might want to integrate into your home when deciding on a thermostat. We can also advise you on the right smart thermostat for your needs and household.

2. While you may feel up to installing a regular thermostat, smart thermostat installation is best left to an HVAC expert, like our team of professionals at Aztec Mechanical. Smart thermostats often require a C-wire, which powers lighted touch screens and WiFi communication. Newer homes may have a C-wire installed, but many older homes don’t. So, HVAC systems experts or electricians are best equipped to run wire and install your smart thermostat. There will be a fee for this installation; however, you’ll quickly recoup any expenses with cost savings from a more energy efficient home.

3. Using all the features of a smart thermostat requires some learning. You should read the owner’s manual thoroughly. Or, when you have a professional there installing the thermostat he/she can walk you through all the details in person and in half the time. We’re glad to spend time with you to ensure you’re confident with your new system.

How Aztec Mechanical Can Help

We’re experts on smart thermostats and smart-home integration. We can advise you on the best systems for your needs, install them seamlessly, and teach you about your system so you maximize the benefits. If you’re ready to transition to a smart thermostat, contact us today to get started.