Thinking of swapping out your old thermostat?
If your thermostat has no power, your heater won’t turn on (or it’s running constantly), or you keep finding your home is a different temperature than the setting, your home is probably due for an upgrade. Most thermostats don’t have a set lifespan, but over time you’ll start to notice some irregularities in your heating due to things like aging wiring and dust accumulation.
The first thing you should do is check your furnace. Modern furnaces have great technology that can help minimize temperature swings, meaning you can save on utility bills while maximizing the comfort in your home. We are a premier dealer of Lennox Furnaces, which means we have a range of products available to suit every need.
Second, it might be time to consider a smart thermostat, which is an app-enabled device that allows you to control the temperature of your home via your smart phone. This technology is becoming increasingly popular, with a range of exciting new products on the market.
Here, we’ll explain how to recognize the symptoms of a bad thermostat (and how to tell if you need a new thermostat), how smart thermostats work and how to install them. We’ll also do a quick smart thermostat comparison to help you make the right choice for your home.
We don’t need to tell you that it gets cold out here in the Mat-Su Valley! But with spring just around the corner, we want to make sure your family is prepared for all weather conditions.
Need a new thermostat but not sure about the cost? Ask us about our financing options when you schedule an appointment!
Is your thermostat fine but your furnace needs maintenance? Try our Comfort Club Membership for 10% off all repairs and more great benefits!
How Do Smart Thermostats Work?
A smart thermostat is a thermostat that you can control via a smart device, like a phone, tablet or speaker. It will allow you to easily control the temperature of your home, from anywhere, via the application or a voice command. It also makes it easy to regulate the temperature in your home, so it’s always consistent, or schedule different temperatures at different times.
Some models of smart thermostats also have diagnostic features that can detect problems with your furnace, ducting or HVAC system and some can give data regarding your energy use. It’s also common for smart thermostats to remind you when the system is due for maintenance so you’re never caught out with a broken heater in the middle of a snow storm.
“That’s great,” we hear you asking, “but how do they actually work?”
A regular thermostat uses temperature to indicate when the system should be turned on or off. If the heat in your home rises above the set temperature, the system will shut down to make sure you don’t over-heat. Then, when the heat falls below the set temperature, the thermostat will turn on again to make sure your home doesn’t get too cold.
A smart thermostat works in exactly the same way, except it also connects to your home Wi-Fi. This means it’s able to connect with a companion app you can install on your smart devices, which enables all of the cool features we’ve just discussed. Welcome to 21st century heating.
Do Smart Thermostats Save You Money?
Okay, smart thermostats are very cool devices, but do they actually impact your pocket book? The short answer is yes, in a positive way. There are two key reasons for this.
First, the sensors will only activate the system as much as is necessary to maintain your desired temperature, making your energy consumption as efficient as possible. Smart thermostats also enable you to control the temperature in every room so you can avoid wasting heat.
Second, a smart thermostat can give you alerts when there is a problem with the system or the system is due for maintenance. This will allow you to get the best results from your system, including your furnace and your air ducts, to maximize heat flow and avoid costly breakdowns.
Here is a link to some of our other frequently asked questions.
Smart Thermostat Comparison
Not all smart thermostats are created equal. The iComfort S30, for example, is an ultra-smart device that we recommend as the perfect solution for homes in the Mat-Su Valley.
It’s compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and the Apple HomeKit, meaning you can control the heat in your home without leaving the couch. However, this product has a range of really neat features that take it to the next level. For example:
- The Allergen Defender functionality means it can even monitor air quality and pollen levels in your area, according to your ZIP code, and automatically clean the air.
- The Smart Away Mode uses the GPS in your smartphone to detect when you’re leaving or returning home and automatically adjust the temperature to increase efficiency.
- The Feels Like feature creates the temperature you actually want to feel, taking into account factors like humidity, indoor and outdoor temperature.
- It gives performance reports to track your usage, temperature ranges and system performance and emails monthly reports directly to your inbox.
- It will automatically notify you and your dealer as soon as any problems arise with your HVAC system, meaning you can easily schedule maintenance.
- You can upload your own photo to use as a backdrop on the iComfort screen, using your smartphone. When it comes to your home, the little touches make all the difference.
We would love to help find the right device to help you get the most out of your heating system. Schedule an appointment with us today and we’ll talk you through the details.
How Do You Install a Smart Thermostat?
So you’ve decided to purchase a smart thermostat. That’s great! Now it’s time to get technical. Here is a simple, step-by-step guide to help you install the thermostat safely:
- The first step is to make sure the device you’ve purchased is compatible with your system. Lots of manufacturers offer online checklists to help with this, so make sure you do your research to ensure you purchase the right product for your needs.
- Next, turn off your HVAC system at the breaker panel to cut power. This will make sure you don’t accidentally hurt yourself or short the electrical components of your system.
- Step three is to pop off the faceplate of your old thermostat so you can gain access to the wiring at the back. Some will pop right off; others will have screws that will need to be removed. This is a good opportunity to take a picture so you can remember which wires connect to which terminals when it’s time to put it all back together.
- Now it’s time to remove the backplate, so make sure you have a screwdriver handy.
- Some smart thermostats may require an additional wire. Make sure you follow the installation instructions to the letter. If you’re not comfortable adding a wire or an adapter, we strongly recommend hiring a qualified HVAC technician to help.
- Step six is to screw the new backplate to the wall, using the old one as a template.
- Next, reconnect the wires to their corresponding terminals. The picture you took in step three will be a huge help here, so make sure you use it as a reference.
- Install the new faceplate. Once this is attached, you can turn on your HVAC system.
- Connect your new smart thermostat to your home’s Wi-Fi and download the corresponding app. You’ll be controlling your heat from your phone in no time.
Of course, we’re more than happy to help! In fact, we strongly recommend hiring a qualified HVAC technician to ensure the job is done as safely and quickly as possible. You can contact us via our website or call us on (907) 376-4130 (Mat-Su Valley) or (907) 696-4130 (Eagle River).
While we’re there, we can also give you a free quote on boiler and furnace installation, repair and replacement. We will inspect your heating system, perform a Heat Loss Calculation for your home, properly size your replacement system and make recommendations that will keep your home healthy, save and warm. We want to help you make the right decision for your family.