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Winter is coming: maximize energy efficiency with smart thermostats

September 24, 2018

Winter is coming: maximize energy efficiency with smart thermostats

Depending on where you live, winter may seem like a long way off—but in actuality, those snowy days and long cold nights may be right around the corner. It’s not too soon to help your customers get their smart homes and offices prepared.

As your customers soon get busy winterizing their houses, cars and office buildings, it’s a great time to remind them about smart thermostats—and the benefits they can provide.

What is a smart thermostat, anyway?

There are three main types of thermostats: manual (or dumb), programmable and smart.

A regular (manual) thermostat lets you adjust the temperature at home—it’s simply a control panel for the air conditioning and heating system. Once set, it keeps your heating or cooling system running to reach and maintain that temperature.

A programmable thermostat allows you to give the thermostat a schedule to operate by. So it can make adjustments for different times of the day, but usually follows the same schedule every week—and can’t make adjustments on its own.  

A smart (Wi-Fi) thermostat fixes all the limitations of a programmable thermostat and introduces a lot of innovation, too. With this smart device, you can have a completely custom schedule for every day of the week, and have as many activity periods per day as you want. This gives you complete control over when your home’s heating and cooling equipment runs. By eliminating unnecessary heating and cooling of your home, you save money.

Top 4 benefits of a smart thermostat

They can save money. The great thing about smart thermostats (and to an extent, programmable thermostats) is that people save money on their heating and cooling bill by eliminating unnecessary use, so their comfort or lifestyle isn’t compromised to get the savings. Some smart thermostats claim users can realize a savings of up to 25%.

They can be controlled remotely. Because smart thermostats are Wi-Fi enabled, people can manage them and make changes remotely from a smartphone, tablet and computer. For example, someone can direct the device to shut off after they leave for work, and then spring back into action in just enough time to make their home nice and toasty by the time they get home. Or if someone takes an unexpected half-day off of work, they can remotely turn on their system and come home to a comfortable temperature even though it wasn’t in their schedule.

They learn from behaviors. Many smart thermostats are “learning thermostats,” which means they can sense whether someone is home, whether the air is suddenly getting humid or someone has fired up the oven (and adjusts itself accordingly). Thanks to these “learning” features, the devices can autoprogram themselves based on a consumer’s habits. When integrated into the rest of the smart home, the thermostat can also be triggered based on other activity. For example, when the smart security system is set to “away,” the system understands that nobody is home and automatically adjusts the thermostat to an energy-saving mode.

They show energy statistics in real-time. If your customers are the type who love data and love the challenge of tweaking systems to improve efficiency, they’ll love a smart thermostat. Many models can show how long it takes to make a requested temperature change, which helps users gauge the effectiveness of their climate control systems. From the remote interface, they can also see their energy consumption, how much they’re spending on heating or cooling costs, and use a web app to plot out how much more they can save if they adjust the temperature a few degrees.

Not sure which smart thermostat to suggest? PC Magazine online and Tom’s Guide both offer savvy reviews of the best smart thermostats in 2018.

And when you’re ready to purchase, turn to Ingram Micro for the largest selection of smart home and office solutions under one roof. For more information, contact your Ingram Micro sales representative today.