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While turning your heating or cooling up or down before you get home using your smartphone is nice, it’s not the only advanced feature your smart thermostat can do compared to your old thermostat. Beyond checking your home’s temperature on your phone, what if we told you that your smart thermostat can actually learn and save you money on your energy bill? Say What!?!
That’s right. Calling these thermostats “smart” is actually a bit of an understatement. You can pretty much expect all smart thermostats to contain some sort of smart scheduling that you can use to program your week, and for your smart thermostat to have an easy-to-read display that’s simple to navigate and use. That said, different thermostats have different abilities. And some are pretty incredible.
We’re here to tell you, your smart thermostat is really, really smart. So smart, in fact, that they can help you save money without you necessarily needing to do anything. Plus, these nifty gadgets can do a whole lot more than just save you some coin.
Keep reading to find out many of the cool things that you didn’t know your smart thermostat can do.
1. Learn From You Over Time
Some smart thermostats use built-in sensors to help determine when you are home and when you are away. And just like your partner might notice that you put a lot of creamer and just a little sugar in your coffee in the morning and soon enough they start making your coffee just the way you like it without you asking, a smart thermostat pays attention to what times you tend to turn your thermostat up and down and what temperature you like to keep your house. Your thermostat will also adjust itself to make your house more efficient and to help you save money on your heating and cooling bill.
Here’s another option that learns over time:
2. Play Music
There aren’t many smart thermostats that double as Bluetooth speakers, but the Ecobee SmartThermostat is special enough to pull that feat off. There are a few things that your smart thermostat needs to do in order to play music: first, contain a built-in speaker. Next, it needs WiFi. And finally, boast advanced Alexa functionality. The last part is key — with advanced Amazon functionality, you can ask the Ecobee fifth generation to play music from your Spotify playlist, Pandora, or a variety of other streaming services you use. Admittedly, it probably won’t sound as good as your boombox, but the fact that your thermostat can get your butt moving with a voice command is beyond impressive.
3. Create Energy Reports
Like we said above, smart thermostats can help you save money on your energy bill. One way that many of these do that is by showing you the details of your heating and cooling usage. A handful of smart thermostats can provide a detailed report on your energy usage. Some even go as deep as what is happening on an hourly basis so you can hone in on your problem areas and make changes to your scheduling to improve effeciency. And in turn, you save money on your energy bill. Pretty smart, eh?
Here are a few thermostats that create energy reports:
4. Arm Your Security System
That security system that you put together to protect your home, like a set of indoor cameras, might not be too useful if you forget to arm them. Thankfully, your smart thermostat, like the Nest Smart Thermostat, has your back. Through simple integration, your Nest thermostat can arm your security system for you. Since your smart thermostat can already sense when you are home or away, through the integration you can set it up so when you leave, your cameras get armed. So, not only can your smart thermostat look after your energy bill, but also your home’s security.
5. Focus On Individual Rooms
We all wish that our home heated nice and evenly, but much like your golf swing, what you want to happen, and how it actually goes down, are two different things. Your home more than likely has trouble areas that don’t heat or cool as well as other rooms, or vice versa. When you combine room sensors with any of these smart thermostats, you can prioritize specific rooms for air, or you can use the sensors to gauge the temperature in certain rooms to alert your thermostat when to ease off or increase the air. When combined with sensors, you don’t have to worry about walking into a sauna in one room and an icebox in another.
Other thermostats that can do that:
6. Warn You About HVAC Issues
You know what is a lot cheaper than replacing your HVAC system? Maintaining your HVAC system. The Google Nest has built-in HVAC monitoring that will send you notifications if something doesn’t quite seem right with your system. What warrants a notification? Maybe your furnace is taking much longer than usual to heat your home, or your AC unit isn’t kicking on when it is supposed to. It can even send you notifications that tell you when it is time to schedule maintenance or change your filters based on your usage. Trust us, listening to your smart thermostat to help you stay up on your HVAC maintenance is a lot more affordable than the alternative.
7. Turn Your Heat Up or Down Depending on Where Your Are
Sure, you can program your smart thermostat to turn your heater off or down for the times during the day when you are away from the house, but did you know that your smart thermostat can sense when you are a certain distance away?
Let’s say you have to run an unexpected errand, or run into the office for a couple of hours — something outside of your typical schedule. A thermostat like the Sensi ST55 will turn down your thermostat three degrees when it senses you are three miles away from your home. This helps ensure that your furnace isn’t running for no reason.
Thermostats with a geofencing feature: