One of the rapidly evolving technologies in the HVAC space is smart thermostats. The thermostat is evolving into a much smarter device that can increase the amount of money saved on heating and cooling a home or business. Those added savings are the result of advancements in electronic controls and technology. Before these recent innovations, a user had to manually walk up to the thermostat and change the temperature setting with a button or a sliding control. It often requires extensive trial-and-error to establish a comfortable and energy-efficient temperature. While some homes and buildings still have traditional thermostats, many are upgrading to smart thermostats that have a wide range of advanced features. A person not only has more control over the temperature in a room, but can change temperatures from anywhere in the home. 
Introducing Smart Thermostats
Today’s smart thermostats are a networked component of the internet of things (IoT). Thanks to Wi-Fi connectivity, temperatures can be conveniently adjusted via a downloaded smartphone app from another room or a different zip code. For example, someone who forgets to lower the thermostat before leaving for work can do so from their office, eliminating a rush home during lunch hour. Another scenario is a vacation and with pets left at home. You can control the climate for them at any time.
Smart thermostats can also operate on a fixed schedule. You can program it to be a certain temperature at night, in the mornings, when leaving for work, or around the time you arrive home. A schedule takes out the extra work of having to remember to adjust the thermostat at certain times. More smart thermostats are also being outfitted with touchscreens, eliminating manual controls for easy operation. Other capabilities include: 
- Temperature adjustment by voice command
- Automatic temperature adjustment via indoor and outdoor sensors
- Lowered use during costly peak-usage periods
- Advanced internal diagnostics
- Monitoring of energy usage
- Generation of energy-efficiency reports making homes or buildings more efficient
- Condensation and humidity controls
- Pairing thermostats with ceiling fans to limit costly air conditioning
- Pairing with certain baby monitors to determine when a baby may be too hot or cold
Future Thermostat Capabilities
Another impressive innovation is a self-learning thermostat. This is a device that incorporates sensors with a specialized algorithm that records and analyzes usage habits. The climate can then be automatically adjusted accordingly. Instead of the home or building being the same continuous temperatures, it’ll fluctuate throughout the day based on usage patterns. There are also thermostats that can detect your proximity to the home or business, so the temperature can be adjusted accordingly, this technology is called geofencing. A smartphone app is required for this feature to work, but it’s nice for people who have been working all day and want to come to an environment that’s already the right temperature after dormancy during the workday. 
For homeowners looking for the latest automation solutions, some smart thermostats can directly integrate with smart home systems, controlling lighting, appliances, and even individual outlets. Some home automation systems now offer integration with Siri voice control through Apple’s HomeKit. Amazon’s Alexa is getting in on the game by integrating with smart thermostats and other smart home operations with similar voice control features.
The overall trajectory of smart thermostat is impressive. Occupancy sensors are another option, ensuring furnaces or AC compressors are active whether someone is inside the structure. This requires motion sensors placed throughout the interior so that the thermostat knows that someone is present. Factor in the many capabilities of smart thermostats, and the convenience is obvious. Beyond the cool features and modern designs comes ability to save up to 30% annually on heating and cooling costs.
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