Wireless thermostats have quickly become the latest in air conditioning and heating. If you’re wondering whether they’re worth it, here’s what you need to know about how they work, their benefits and drawbacks, and how to choose the right system for your home. Your HVAC service provider can help you choose the right system for you, but it’s always helpful to have a bit of background knowledge beforehand.
What are Wireless Thermostats?
Wireless thermostats connect your HVAC system to your home’s wifi connection, allowing you to control the temperature on your home from a smartphone app. Depending on the system, you might be able to remotely control your thermostat when you’re not even home.
Pros of Wireless Thermostats
Hands-Free Control, Even When You’re Not at Home
Controlling your thermostat wherever you are means you never have to remember to set the thermostat before going on vacation. It also means not having to come home to a freezing or scorching-hot house. It also means you can easily check the temperature inside your home and make adjustments on unseasonably warm or cool days.
Automatic Temperature Adjustments
Lots of smart thermostats can learn your temperature preferences over time, some in a matter of days. You can also program temperature adjustments to a timer and easily tweak those settings on your phone.
Lower Energy Costs
Wireless thermostats increase comfort and convenience. But they also help reduce your home’s energy footprint. No more blasting AC when you’re not at home or when you don’t need it. This means lower utility bills that can translate to savings.
Keep in mind these savings are usually incremental, not huge cash savings immediately. Be wary of anyone trying to sell you on a wireless thermostat by promising drastic changes to your utility bill.
Cons of Wireless Thermostats
Higher Up-Front Costs
Compared to traditional thermostats, wireless thermostats are more expensive – sometimes almost 10 times as much as their traditional counterparts. Wireless thermostats are more likely to incorporate newer technology, which comes with a higher price tag.
Some energy companies have programs to help offset the cost of installation. But some of these programs have caveats (like letting the energy company control your thermostat during peak use periods), so read the fine print before you sign anything.
Cybersecurity and Hacking Concerns
Any device that connects to wifi opens your home to cybersecurity concerns. Wireless thermostats are no exception. As with most things in life, convenience and security are often trade-offs. Hacking and breaches are uncommon, but if you’re concerned about it, that’s definitely worth factoring in.
Loss of Functionality During Outages
Smart thermostats rely on tech companies to operate. That means if there’s an outage at the company, you risk limited functionality or total loss of heating and cooling until the system’s back online.
If you’re thinking of upgrading to a wireless thermostat, talk to your HVAC service provider. They can help you weigh the pros and cons and point you toward the best options for your situation.