With summer heat upon us, you may have already had your air conditioner checked and filter changed. However, if you still have an old dial thermostat, are you losing efficiency? Is a new programmable smart thermostat worth the cost?
Whether you’re a tech geek or not, the promise of a thermostat that you can manage remotely or that will adjust itself based on changing temps and weather may be intriguing. Yet, with price tags starting around $250, not to mention installation and the learning curve, you could be down hundreds more and a lot of time spent frustrated.
The Pros to a Smart Thermostat
Let’s start with the obvious, the pros. With most smart thermostats, you can control your home’s internal temperature with the tap of your finger on your phone. Meaning you could turn the temperature down when you’re visiting family over the holidays, or you could turn it up when you head north for the summer. You can be virtually anywhere with a wi-fi connection and change the thermostat in your home.
The smarter devices of the bunch feature sensors. They can sense when someone is in the house and the system needs to run, or when no one is there and it can be shut down. Some also sense when the sun rises and sets, the current weather, and even relative humidity; they then automatically adjust any pre-set programming.
Then there are smart thermostats that can do it all on their own without your input. One of the first smart thermostats on the market remains at the top of the industry because it is so user friendly, it virtually doesn’t need a user. The Nest Learning Thermostat just needs to be mounted to the wall in replace of your old thermostat. Once installed, adjust the temp manually when you normally would. Nest learns your habits and temperature preferences, then takes over the auto-scheduling. It also lets you know when you are saving the most energy as you adjust the temperature.
At What Cost?
So, what are the cons to a smart thermostat? Well, there are the sensors and the constant monitoring of where you are, which can be creepy to some people. The EPA cannot confirm that the smart thermostats do actually save energy, since people often manually adjust the thermostats, which can knock them out of the energy saving mode. Then what if the thermostat acts up, do you have the technology knowledge to know-how to fix it? Who do you call? What if your internet goes down, especially when you are away for a few days. There have also been reports that pets could trigger the sensors, though you probably want to make sure your furry ones are taken care of in the 100+ degree summer.
While it does seem like more pros than cons, it really comes down to personal preference and convenience. There’s always the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” motto to consider if you are perfectly happy with your current dial thermostat. Yet, if you are looking for an easy way to keep tabs on your HVAC and perhaps your thermostat is in an awkward location, then the smart thermostat may be more than worth it for you.
Looking for truly tech-ed out homes in AZ golf communities? The Matheson Team are experts in his field and can help you find homes with smart thermostats, surround sound systems and even security. Contact us today to browse all that’s available.
Realtor | Founder
The Matheson Team – RE/MAX Fine Properties
21000 N. Pima Rd., #100, Scottsdale, AZ 85255
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