Smart thermostats are a new and popular technology that allow for you to connect to the heating and cooling controls of your home from a distance via integrated WiFi technology. The concept has a fairly recent history, but represent a very traceable transition from the very first thermostats. Before modern technological advancements, people opened a window or started a fire in their fireplace to control their home’s temperature.
As we developed energy based systems of temperature control, electronic devices called thermostats were introduced. With these devices, an integrated heating and cooling system could be controlled from a single point in the house. The homeowner would simply rotate a dial to the desired temperature. This resulted in wide spread adoption for simple control of personal comfort. However, energy prices would rise quickly. This prompted concerns about cost but also provoked discussions of environmental responsibility. Due to these factors, it became desirable for the responsible homeowner to not simply use a single temperature through the entire day.
This change in costs leads to the invention of a programmable thermostat. These are the most common thermostats currently used. They typically have a digital display and allow the homeowner to program different settings for different situations. For instance, if the house is empty for most of the day, there is no need to pay for electricity used in cooling the house all day – no matter how hot it gets. Instead, a programmable thermostat allows the homeowner to start the cooling about an hour before they get home so that it is comfortable when they arrive, but did not consume energy through the entire day. The smart thermostat is the natural progression of this concept.
A smart thermostat is a connected device. This means that it can be used over the internet – thus a user can fine tune the controls remotely. What separates it from a simple programmable thermostat is that it also integrates big data concepts into its design. This means that it collects information about its usage (this is also called metadata). This data can be reviewed by the homeowner for a high level of analytical control over the temperature of their home. It may seem desirable to the people who remember the old days of manual temperature control by opening windows and starting fires, but this represents the nature of mankind – to seek efficient, easy and attractive solutions to the problems experienced by every person. Smart thermostats represent the current pinnacle of our development in this field and are made in models compatible with almost any home automation system, if you have already invested in a system there will be an affordable way to add these features to your home.