Smart Thermostat FAQ

Feb 28, 2022

One of the best ways you can optimize your home’s energy usage and gain more control over your home’s temperature is with a smart thermostat. While smart thermostats offer incredible benefits to homeowners, many people have a few questions about them before they decide if it's worth it to install them in their homes. If you’re on the fence about purchasing a smart thermostat, review our answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about them.

What Is a Smart Thermostat?

Smart thermostats are a type of programmable thermostat you can control via an internet-connected device, such as a tablet, smart speaker, or phone. Essentially, smart thermostats make it easier to set your home’s temperature and get the best performance out of your HVAC system. For example, smart thermostats usually allow you to schedule temperatures for different times of the day. Some smart thermostats can even learn your temperature preferences, remind you about recommended system maintenance, detect HVAC system issues, and give you information about your energy consumption.

What Is the Difference Between Smart Thermostats and Programmable Thermostats?

While smart thermostats and programmable thermostats are often used interchangeably, they have some differences. A programmable thermostat refers to a thermostat you can program to change the temperature on a set schedule. Usually, you’ll have to program the temperature via the thermostat’s display, and these thermostats tend to not be connected to your Wi-Fi or have any learning capabilities.

Like programmable thermostats, you can also program a smart thermostat to change temperatures based on the time of day. However, smart thermostats distinguish themselves by having more features. For example, most smart thermostats are Wi-Fi enabled, meaning you can control them via an internet-connected device. Some smart thermostats can also learn a homeowner’s preferences, track when people leave or enter a room, and give users tons of information about their HVAC system’s energy consumption and maintenance needs.

What Are Digital Assistants for Smart Thermostats? 

If you have a smart thermostat, it can usually pair with a digital assistant. These assistants are a type of software installed inside devices, such as smartphones or smart speakers, and they allow users to give voice commands to the thermostat. For example, you could tell the digital assistant to set the temperature to 72-degrees, and it will relay the command to the thermostat. Additionally, a digital assistant will often have an app you can access on your phone or computer, making it easier to control the thermostat.

How Do You Pair a Smart Thermostat With a Digital Assistant?

When you have a smart thermostat and want to pair it, the steps for doing so will vary based on its type. For instance, pairing a Google Nest Smart Thermostat with Alexa will have different steps than connecting the same thermostat to Google Home. Since the pairing process will vary based on the type of digital assistant and smart thermostat, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. 

However, the thermostat manufacturer will often have detailed instructions about how to pair their thermostat with a digital assistant. Simply follow their steps, and you should be able to pair them with ease. Before you buy a smart thermostat, it’s also important to check if a smart thermostat is compatible with the digital assistant you want to use.

Should You Choose a Wired or Battery-Powered Smart Thermostat?

When you look for a smart thermostat, you’ll find that many of them require a common wire (c-wire) to work properly, as smart thermostats often require more energy than batteries can provide. As a result, programmable thermostats with c-wires are usually recommended. However, if you don’t have c-wires already installed, you may need a battery-powered smart thermostat. For those who’d rather stick with a c-wire and not worry about batteries, they can hire an HVAC technician to install c-wires in their home. 

Can a Smart Thermostat Work With a Heat Pump?

While most people know that smart thermostats work with standard HVAC systems that use a furnace and an air conditioning unit, some people don’t know if they should invest in one if they have a heat pump. Fortunately, heat pumps and smart thermostats are usually compatible with each other. Since heat pumps provide cool air and heat, you can even have your smart thermostat automatically switch between the heat pump’s cooling and heating modes to give you the best performance possible.

Do Smart Thermostats Lower Your Energy Use?

Besides offering exceptional convenience and easy control over your home’s temperature, smart thermostats can lower your energy use. Since you can set your thermostat to automatically change the temperature when you’re away from home or asleep, you can significantly reduce your home’s energy use. This lowered energy consumption equates to lower energy bills and higher eco-friendliness.

Can a Smart Thermostat Help You Sleep Better?

One of the great benefits of smart thermostats is that they can help you sleep better if you use them correctly. Research suggests that sleeping in a room at around 65-degrees Fahrenheit can improve an adult’s sleep quality. Since your body will have a lower internal temperature from around bedtime to 5 am, a colder room temperature correlates to better quality sleep. As a result, smart thermostats can improve your sleep quality if you schedule the thermostat to a lower temperature at night.

Choose Newcomb and Company for Smart Thermostat Installation and Repair in Raleigh

At Newcomb and Company, we’re proud to provide smart thermostat services to homeowners in Raleigh, Wilmington, and the surrounding areas. When you’re looking to invest in a smart thermostat, our team can give you advice on the best options and install it for you. We can also troubleshoot issues, such as thermostats with blank screens or those that aren’t functioning, and provide repairs.

If you’re ready to schedule smart thermostat installation or repair services, please contact us.

Need help? Call now.