Over the next couple of years we’re building out our Dream Home Project featuring smart and affordable home automation technologies. HVAC – basically your heating and cooling, is one of the areas of home automation which tends to deliver immediate, and often significant savings. Keep in mind that smart thermostats aren’t inexpensive. In the US, most are $200 on up, but might save you even more than that, each year.
And much of that savings, but hardly all, is thanks to smart thermostats, such as the Nest, Honeywell’s smart thermostats and several other companies entries. Even your local security firm may be offering smart thermostats as something else to sell you.
Ok, the obvious advantage -the one you are most likely aware of, is heading to the airport, only to realize you didn’t adjust your heating, as you head to someplace warm, while the weather “back home” is COLD.
So you whip out your iPad, or smart phone, hit an app, or use your browser, to access your thermostat in your home, and, for example, turn the daytime and night time temperatures down to 45 degrees. Your app/software probably will even let you start warming the house back up, and switching back to “normal” settings, just a few hours before you walk in your door.
Folks that’s just one aspect.
The Nest thermostat also saves, by learning your heating and cooling habits, while you are in the house, and when you leave.
As a result it might learn by itself to turn the heat down a bit a 10 PM, but then drop it another 6 degrees at 1AM until 6AM… And it will figure out the days your schedule is different. That’s a nice touch, and Nest has made it’s name on its smarts.
But consider what we plan as still another way to save. We are going to put in two thermostats – one upstairs, one down (replacing older ones). Our home has separate heat for up and down stairs, so one smart thermostat for each.
Over the course of the project, we plan to add two more. Upstairs, the first one goes in the Master Bedroom, where it controls the whole floor, but with the 2nd one added upstairs, we’ll also put dampeners in the ducts, so that a second thermostat sits in the home theater. That room tends to stay warmer than the Master (lots of gear running), so often gets hot when the bedroom’s just right. With dampeners able to close and open vents to different rooms, and with them tied to the smart thermostats, I can heat the master, while the dampeners close off the theater, and vice versa. We’ll do something similar in the dream home, downstairs, where the living room and kitchen will be “separated” from 3 other rooms..
As we get started with our smarter Home Automation product we’ll be making final decisions on who’s smart thermostats we will install initially. We are likely to end up with more than one brand in use, to demonstrate to you, different smart Home Automation options when it comes to heating and general HVAC. Stay tuned for more.