Do you leave your AC running when you leave for work in the morning, letting the system run while the house is unoccupied? Do you wish to save energy and utility costs by maximizing the use of your HVAC system? The latest technology for home thermostats and smartphone apps can allow you to do just that.
With present technology and a small investment, a homeowner can now operate their home thermostat remotely, by use of a smartphone. According to the EPA, a homeowner can save up to $180 per year by use of a programmable thermostat. By programming the thermostat to use less resources when the house is empty, less energy is used and cooling costs decrease. You can set your app to allow for your AC system to turn on shortly before the returning, ensuring a cool and comfortable residence.
This type of programming is fine for a normal weekday routine, but when the homeowner is unexpectedly gone for the evening or a weekend, the thermostat will need to be reprogrammed. For these situations, a remotely operated thermostat can further optimize temperature and energy efficiency.
What is needed to Remotely Operate a Thermostat?
Not all thermostats are created equally, nor are all programmable thermostats created to be operated remotely. A WI-FI enabled thermostat must be operated from a smartphone. Several companies now offer WI-FI enabled thermostats. The cost ranges from $80 to $250, or about the cost of a high-quality programmable thermostat. The Wi-Fi enabled devices normally have the same features as other programmable thermostats, but provide the added convenience of operation by phone. Though the initial cost may sound expensive, potential energy savings can offset the cost in as little as a year.
The smartphone app is usually provided by the company and can support iPhone, iPad, and Android phones and tablets. Once installed to the HVAC system, real-time temperature and humidity levels can be monitored and recorded. The app will allow the user to adjust temperature levels in the home, and will even allow the HVAC system to switch from cooling to circulation. Some will provide quick access to local weather, for those times when the homeowner is out of town. The thermostat and app can be programmed to provide a text or email alert when the interior temperature level rises or falls below a certain level.