Best Wi-Fi Thermostat

Facts regarding Wi-Fi and Digital Programmable Thermostats

The thermostat is the interface or control unit used for your home heating and cooling systems. In this control function, a Wi-Fi thermostat does the same job as a Digital Programmable Thermostat.

Both stats sense and display the current temperature for the room it is located in, both turn the furnace, boiler or air conditioning system on or off according the thermostat temperature setting, both can be programmed with pre-set temperatures at various times throughout the day or night according to your personal schedule and comfort level and both have an easy to read digital display.

When properly set up and used according to the manufacturer’s and governmental recommendations, both stats may help save a little bit on your utility bill – however some of those recommended temperature settings may be above or below your personal comfort zone.

A couple features added to the Wi-Fi capable thermostat is the ability to control your thermostat remotely from a smart phone or device provided your home is already equipped with a Wi-Fi router and also some Wi-Fi stats have motion sensors that store and track your coming and going times and call that a “learning” feature. This learning feature is up to each individual as to whether or not it’s actually beneficial for them.

Studies have shown that programmable thermostats themselves do not actually save any money on utility bills. It is only when they are properly programmed that they can change the run time of your heating and cooling systems – and then have any potential for savings. Manufacturer claims and marketing will of course be all over the board.

In order to reduce heating and cooling system fuel consumption, it’s necessary to set the thermostat to a warmer setting for summer so the AC doesn’t run as much and a cooler setting for winter so the furnace/boiler doesn’t run as much – and of course both settings to achieve any savings may be above or below your own personal comfort level.

Though properly programmed thermostats are said to be able to reduce fuel consumption, very few people actually achieve any savings on their utility bills, directly related to their thermostat, in part because very few people actually program their thermostats and instead choose to simply adjust it when they get up in the morning and adjust it again right before bedtime as part of their daily routine.

Wi-Fi thermostat manufacturers claim their products (can) save on utility bills due to the self-programming feature in their thermostat but in real life application, there are many variables in play that (can) reduce or eliminate any actual savings.

Remote Room Temperature Sensors

Remote room temperature sensors do one thing, they simply read the temperature in the room they are located in and send that information back to the thermostat. A common misconception about remote temperature sensors is that they can adjust the temperature of the individual room they are located in and thereby solve the hot and cold room issues you have in your home.

Here is an example of what really happens. Say you set your new Wi-Fi thermostat to 70 degrees on a winter day when the outside temperature is 35 degrees. You also have a remote temperature sensor set up in ‘that problem room’ that always seem colder than the rest of the house. The furnace starts up and warms up the house to the thermostat set point of 70 degrees. When the temperature set point of 70 degrees is reached, the furnace is supposed to shut down.

But now, the new remote temperature sensor (located in the problem room) senses that room temperature is only 68 degrees and relays the information back to the thermostat. The thermostat now will keep the furnace running until the remote sensor in the problem room reaches 70 degrees and tells the thermostat that it’s now up to 70 degrees in that room – and then the furnace will shut down.

However, while the furnace is running longer in order to bring the temperature in that individual problem room up to 70 degrees, it is also continually heating up the rest of the house to a temperature higher than 70 degrees while it is running longer to bring the remote sensor reading of 68 degrees up to 70 degrees.

The remote sensor is (in essence) overriding the thermostat and telling the furnace to continue running in order to bring that individual problem room up to 70 degrees even though the 70 degree set point on the thermostat has already been reached.

So now the rest of the house is likely up to 72 or 74 degrees while the problem room has finally reached 70 degrees. Running longer like that does not save money on utility bills – nor does it make you more comfortable

A remote temperature sensor by itself will not achieve the comfort you are looking for in the problem room. Future, soon to be published, blogs will provide information on how to address the problem room.

As far as the best Wi-Fi thermostat is concerned, it is the one you feel that you have all the RIGHT information in order to make the RIGHT decision for you and your family.

The above information is courtesy of Air-Smart, Inc heating and cooling located in Wheaton, IL 630-871-1855. www.air-smart.com

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