When we’re looking into ways to help you save money on your air conditioning in Evanston, IL or elsewhere in Chicagoland, a piece of advice we frequently offer is to upgrade the thermostat. The manual slider/dial model of thermostat is out of date, and programmable digital models have taken over. A digital thermostat with the basic two programming slots—an inexpensive option when it comes to thermostats—is a tremendous improvement in precision and convenience for an HVAC system.
Then there’s the current height of climate control technology, wireless and smart thermostats. These are models permitting remote access through smart phones, tablets, and computers. The “smart” technology means the thermostat “learns” from the homeowner’s settings to develop its own programs. These are attractive options, and customers often ask about them.
There’s good news and bad news on the Wi-Fi thermostat front, and we’re here to help you be better informed.
Benefits of Wi-Fi and Smart Thermostats
The modern Wi-Fi and smart thermostats place powerful tools in a home. The wireless connection allows you to check on the conditions in your home when you’re away and receive reports. You can then make adjustments and shut off heating and cooling to save money, or arrange to have the system come on in time for your return home. The smart part removes the burden of trying to figure out the right programming for energy conservation: the thermostat does the hard work of maximizing savings. You can even receive a report on how much energy the HVAC system is saving.
There are many models and manufacturers of wireless smart thermostats, so you can choose a model with as many features as you wish. The highest end models permit control of other systems in a house, such as security cameras and door locks.
A Major Note of Caution
The Wi-Fi thermostat has unfortunately often been a trap that hasty customers have rushed into. Shopping online to find a wireless smart thermostat can end in serious disaster for an HVAC system.
To start with, wireless and smart thermostats can be expensive. You don’t want to make the leap to having one installed unless you know it’s right for your needs. Often, a home can do well with a standard programmable model that fits the household budget better.
But more crucially, a wireless thermostat with amateur installation can void the equipment warranty. Many people don’t realize this, but changing the thermostat on an HVAC system from the one it was installed with is often restricted under the warranty. The reason is the issue of incompatibility. Many Wi-Fi thermostats run off of third-party algorithms that won’t work with the HVAC system, leading the damage to the system—and these programs are difficult to override. You may end up with a system requiring major repairs that are no longer covered under the warranty. On top of all this, the poorly connected thermostat will create an HVAC system that wastes money and doesn’t offer the comfort it should.
Your best option is always to rely on our professionals when you’re interested in a thermostat upgrade. We are familiar with many climate control systems, and we’ll ensure you have a model that 1) fits your budget, 2) won’t void the warranty, and 3) won’t harm the HVAC system. Our technicians can handle the installation so the system works the way it should.
Malek Heating & Cooling—Proudly serving the Chicagoland area since 1998.