If you’ll excuse the pun, smart thermostats are one of the "hottest" items to join the Internet of Things. They’re changing the way we heat and cool our homes, increasing our awareness of the energy we’re using, and providing the convenience and security of a connected home appliance. There are a lot of choices out there and, like with any new device, some are better than others. If you’re thinking of adding a smart thermostat to your HVAC system, be sure you do a thorough smart thermostat comparison of the models that are available. To help get you started, here are some features to consider and recommendations on what we at Stay Comfy think are your best choices on the market today.
Features of Smart Thermostats
Most smart thermostats have a number of features in common, although specific functions will vary from model to model. But in general, most smart thermostats will include:
- Wi-Fi Capability. A smart thermostat can be controlled remotely from your smartphone, tablet, or even your desktop. This provides a great deal of control over the heating and cooling of your home, regardless of where you are.
- Programmability. You can program the thermostat to control temperatures for various times of the day—like turning down the heat when you leave for work, turning it back up before you return, so you have a nice comfy environment to come home to. The most sophisticated thermostats will even learn your usage patterns and adapt to them automatically.
- Alerts. The ability to define temperature thresholds—highs or low—and receive notifications if they’re exceeded. It’s just like setting a balance alert for your bank account.
- Energy Monitoring. A feature that lets the thermostat record and report on your energy usage, so you can monitor the efficiency of your system.
- Humidistat. Depending on the model and your HVAC system, many smart thermostats also control humidity in your home. Some can automatically adjust that humidity to changing conditions.
At Stay Comfy, we’re “sold” on Carrier products, including their line-up of smart thermostats. Here are our 2017 recommendations for reliable, high-quality units to meet any home’s comfort needs.
Carrier’s Comfort Wi-Fi® Thermostat is a good model, especially for the budget conscious. It’s versatile and provides you with the flexibility and convenience of remote control with easy Touch-N-Go® programming.
A favorite because it’s so intuitive to use, the Carrier Côr™ Thermostat has it all: the best app screen views and the most system features, like programmable reminders for maintenance, Touch-N-Go® instant scheduling, local weather on the screen, and alerts that are all customizable. It also has additional features that help manage your energy costs—like energy analysis through a web portal.
The top of the line in Wi-Fi thermostats is the Carrier Infinity® Remote Access Touch Control. However, it’s a dedicated thermostat that only works with an Infinity furnace. Besides precision temperature and humidity control, both in heating and cooling, it controls airflow, ventilation, indoor air quality, and up to eight zones. It also has several smart features that maximize comfort and efficiency.