Want to make sure your home is warm and cozy when you get home, even on the coldest days of the year? A smart thermostat will make your life more convenient and it'll save you money on your electric bill. But while nearly 70% of BC Hydro customers use electricity as a primary or secondary heating source, only 3% have a smart thermostat.
There are several types available for different home heating systems.
Why do you need a smart thermostat?
1. You can control your climate from your phone
A smart thermostat connects to your wifi network and allows you to control the climate remotely on your smartphone or computer. Ideally, in the fall and winter months, this would be 16°C overnight or when you’re away, and 20°C during the day if you’re at home. Staying away longer than expected? You can keep the temperature down. Coming home early? Make sure your home is nice and warm when you arrive.
2. Smart thermostats can be really smart!
Some smart thermostats amp up the convenience by displaying real-time consumption or automatically adjusting based on humidity. Some can even learn your habits and adapt the settings to suit them. These sophisticated learning thermostats often rely on built-in sensors to track activity in different rooms and then create a customized temperature schedule that adjusts automatically based on your movements in the home.
How to choose a smart thermostat
Know your home heating system
There are smart thermostats that can be used to control electric baseboards, electric wall heating, a central forced air furnace, and certain models can be used to control in-floor electric heating.
Some can even monitor your usage. Knowing this can be helpful in finding ways to save. Upgrading to a smart thermostat to control electric space heating can reduce electricity used for space heating by 9% on average.
You’ll need to do some research to determine which model is best for your home's system and your existing wiring.
Does your home use electrical heating (including baseboards)? Here are some line-voltage smart thermostats to consider:
Does your home use a forced-air heating system? Here are some low-voltage smart thermostats to consider:
Choose a product with a brand name you trust. It should have ongoing product support for good longevity, and robust data protection and privacy policies in place.
Have you got other smart home products?
Before you buy, check that your smart thermostat is compatible with a smart home control hub - such as Amazon Alexa or Google Home - or any smart products that you already have. Smart thermostats can also sync with other wifi-connected systems such as:
LED light bulbs
Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors