The history of smart thermostats is frankly, quite short. Its development and growth are patterned after two technological trends, how capable microprocessors get smaller and cheaper, and how advanced and ubiquitous internet and wireless technology has become in our homes. The end result is the units become lower in cost and the programming interface becomes less of a burden to use to maximize the efficient use of your thermostat.
It’s a short step from a simple dial thermostat to buying and installing one that is programmable. If you regularly turn the air conditioning warmer when you go to work and cooler when you get home, a programmable thermostat can be set to do just that, except turn the ac lower a half hour before you get home so it’s already cool when you get there. And if you program it right and do not forget to change the batteries, its memory will be better than yours. The downfall is that plans change after you leave the house, and your time at home may be both limited and precious to you in that you don’t waste time programming your thermostat where there are children demanding your attention. What if you could handle all that programming from the office, or while traveling when you have free time to be filled?
A smart thermostat can do all that and it is remotely accessible over your network and wireless router. Many of these devices can be programmed using simple applications on your iOS or Android device. Coming home earlier than expected? Turn the air conditioning on remotely from your phone. Took a last minute trip and forgot to reset the system settings? Access it remotely and reset the timing and temperatures of your device.
As part of a larger network of Internet of Things devices, you can expand the control of your home. Closing the window drape during the hottest parts of the day will save on air conditioning costs, and the results should be easily seen on the temperature recorded by your smart thermostat. Keeping an eye on the external temperature of that vacation home you have in the mountains will let you turn on the heat before the big cold snap comes through and freezes the water in your pipes. As these devices become both cheaper and easier to program and use, the remote control home of the future can be yours today.