Controlling your thermostat with an app is all the rage these days. It’s a little like having a remote for your heating and air conditioning system. This is especially handy when you are not at home. When you are going to be away on vacation you might decide to only cool it above 80 or heat only below 60. However, when you are ready to head home you want your house to be just right. Having access to your thermostat allows you to control this even if you are 1000s of miles away ready to get on a plane home.
Some WIFI thermostats also have other benefits such as controlling your lighting and optional sensors that measure the temperature of the room you are in.
So, you may have decided that there are perks to having a smart thermostat and you want one. Now making the choice of which to get is another decision you will have to make. There are many different smart thermostats. Some you have probably heard of are the Ecobee and the Nest thermostats. These thermostats can be programmed with a schedule of your heating and air needs. So, if you like to sleep colder at night and are gone during the day, you can program the temperature to be 68 at night and then during the day maybe you would only like it to cool down to 74 degrees. Of course, this helps with comfort and if done within reason will also cut your energy bill. I say within reason, because it won’t help your cooling costs if you turn your temperature up really high during the day and allow the humidity and heat to build up in your home. When you try to cool it down for the evening it can make it harder on the system to try to get the house cool again and you probably haven’t saved any money in the long run.
The best thermostat for your system is likely a communicating thermostat. There are communicating, WIFI thermostats available. A communicating thermostat interacts with your system and gets the usual information such as temperature and fan, but it can also receive information from the heating and air system when there is a problem. In addition, there are some higher efficiency systems that have different stages of heating or air conditioning. A communicating thermostat can control that variable stage. So that means that when your air first comes on it it will start off in stage 1, on low, then if the system doesn’t reach the desired temperature it will then go to stage 2, which is higher, and so on. This means that if you have a 4 ton air conditioning unit, stage 1 would approximately 2.5 tons which is going to cost you less on your energy bill.
At Air Control we have worked with several different types of WIFI thermostats. Rheem has a WIFI communicating thermostat for their units called Econet and we have had great success with it. The same with Lennox’s communicating iComfort Wifi thermostat and Trane’s communicating Tcon850.
Along the lines of WIFI thermostats that don’t communicate we have had no problems with Sensi or Ecobee. They have worked very well for our customers. In fact, the only thermostat we have used and had problems with is the Nest thermostat.
As far as installation, they all hook up to your heating and air conditioning system the same way. Setup time for programing varies.
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