How to Install a Smart Thermostat in Your Home

Are you considering replacing your old thermostat with a smart one? Ingram's Water & Air is here to help. A new, sophisticated smart thermostat has many benefits. They're a lot different than the thermostats you may be used to, but they can change how you approach your heating and cooling in new and exciting ways. But do you know how to install a smart thermostat?

What Is a Smart Thermostat?

A smart thermostat — which people also call a Wi-Fi thermostat — achieves the same goal as a regular programmable thermostat. It controls heating and cooling systems to adjust your home's comfort level. You have to manually change the temperature on a regular thermostat by selecting a temperature on the device.

A Wi-Fi compatible thermostat lets you adjust the temperature from anywhere with a connection to the Internet. As long as you have a smartphone or PC, you can access your smart thermostat. This opens up a realm of new possibilities for your home energy consumption. Besides being a wireless thermostat, what else could a smart thermostat do for you?

What Does a Smart Thermostat Do?

A smart thermostat takes all the benefits of a remote thermostat and adds new features to change how your heating and cooling system behaves. With many levels of customization, you can program your smart thermostat to adjust to your family's routines. Here are some of the features many smart thermostats offer:

  • Remote access: Make adjustments to your smart thermostat anytime and anywhere, as long as you have an Internet connection.
  • Location awareness: With geolocation technology, your smart thermostat can tell when you're coming home from work or the store. It can make sure your home is at the right temperature when you walk through the door.
  • Room monitoring: Some smart thermostats can tell how many people are in a room to help make sure everyone stays at a comfortable temperature. This is especially helpful in the summer when multiple bodies can warm up a room.
  • Learned schedules: Your smart thermostat can learn your family's behavior to decrease how much you have to adjust it. Do you like your home warmer in the morning than at night? Do you like to blast your A/C during the afternoon in the summer? Your smart thermostat can learn these patterns.
  • Voice controls: Many smart thermostats are compatible with voice controls. It could be a built-in feature or you could access it by integrating the thermostat with other smart home technology. Give verbal commands to your thermostat to adjust the temperature when your hands are busy.
  • Real-time weather integration: Many smart thermostats connect to your local weather forecast to adjust energy consumption. If you get a few days of warm weather in the winter, your thermostat can adjust accordingly. If it's going to be a hot weekend, your smart thermostat can turn the temperature down to provide more relief indoors.
  • Manual programming: Using a downloadable app on your phone, tablet or PC, you can make detailed adjustments to your smart thermostat to make it function exactly how you want.
  • Tailored metrics and stats: Your smart thermostat will send usage statistics to your phone, so you can track your family's energy consumption over time.

The possibilities increase from there. Companies design their smart thermostats differently, so research the available types to find the one with the features you're looking for.


Smart Thermostat Compatibility

If the capabilities of smart thermostats have you sold, you need to make sure your current setup is compatible. If your new thermostat lacks compatible tech, you may not be able to enjoy all the features you want. In the most unfortunate scenario, your smart thermostat could be unable to adjust your heating or cooling system entirely.

You must make sure you have all the necessary components to get the most out of your smart thermostat. Here are some of the most important things you'll need to be able to use the many smart thermostat features:

  • A compatible furnace: Not all furnaces are compatible. Many smart thermostats include a thermostat compatibility chart to help you determine if they will work with your current furnace.
  • A compatible cooling system: Not all air conditioning setups are compatible with your smart thermostat or any thermostat. If you have air conditioning, do you control it with your thermostat? Or does it have a dedicated remote to control it? If you have central air that heats and cools your home from the same thermostat, then your new smart thermostat should be compatible.
  • A Wi-Fi connection: Having a Wi-Fi connection is key to unlocking the incredible features of your smart thermostat. You'll need a modem, a router and a current subscription with an Internet provider to access Wi-Fi features.
  • A smartphone or tablet with internet access: Your smart thermostat will require you to download an app to your phone or tablet to access all its features. This app will use an Internet connection to remotely control your thermostat and access other capabilities.
  • Compatible tech: You need access to the proper thermostat wiring to connect your smart thermostat to your home. If you're not sure how to handle electrical wiring or other installation techniques, you should call a professional electrician for help.
  • Optional smart home integration: If you want to use voice commands or other smart home features with your smart thermostat, you should check its compatibility with your current smart home system. This could affect which smart thermostat you choose altogether.

Benefits of a Smart Thermostat

There are many benefits of having a smart thermostat in your home. Regular thermostats have one function — they let you adjust the temperature of your home. While it gets the job done, it does so in an inflexible way. Every family is different, and some families need more customization than a regular thermostat can provide. When you have a smart thermostat, you open up more possibilities for what a thermostat can do for your home and your family.

Here are some of the benefits of a smart thermostat:

  • Fewer adjustments: Since your smart thermostat can learn your preferences over time, it will be able to predict your usage. This means you'll have the luxury of adjusting your thermostat less because your thermostat will do it for you. It can tailor changes to your desires, so you can think more about other things and less about adjusting your thermostat.
  • Ease of use: Do you ever wish you could change the temperature of the room without leaving the bed or sofa? With smart thermostats, that dream can become a reality. Use the dedicated app to make changes from anywhere with an internet connection. If your smart thermostat has voice commands, adjusting your home's temperature has never been easier.
  • Scheduling customization: Do your children want to come home from school to a warmer house? Does your spouse wish it were colder during the day before you get home from work? With the smartphone app, you can make intricate schedule adjustments to make sure every member of your family is comfortable. Adjust the schedule to fit your family's lifestyle, and the smart thermostat will handle the rest.
  • Enhanced visibility and controls: Regular thermostats may have small, dimly lit temperature display screens and unresponsive buttons. Smart thermostats look like smartphones, with their large, clear displays and simple touch-based controls. Smart thermostats are pleasant to use and view.
  • Energy savings: If you're considering a smart thermostat, you're probably wondering if it can save you money on your energy bill. It can, and we'll discuss those savings next.

How Much Do Smart Thermostats Save?

Changing how you use your thermostat can save you money. Cutting back usage by 7 degrees to 10 degrees Fahrenheit for a third of the day can save around 10% on your home energy bill alone. Thanks to your smart thermostat's automatic adjustments based on room occupancy and real-time weather, you can increase your savings even more. Some studies show that smart thermostat features can save homeowners an additional 2% to 5% on their energy bills.

One study revealed that families saved an average of 12% on their electric heating and cooling bills over the course of two years. This reduced their overall electricity usage by 4% for that period. With your own smart thermostat, you can tailor money-saving features to your family's schedule to make sure you stay comfortable and save in the process.

How to Install a Smart Thermostat

If you decide to buy a smart thermostat, it will need to be installed in place of your existing unit. Here's how it's done:

  1. Turn off your HVAC system: Do not start manipulating wires and electronics until you've completely turned off all electricity from going to your HVAC system. Go to your breaker box and turn off all the right switches. This keeps you safe, and it also protects your system from electrical damage.
  2. Remove the old thermostat's faceplate: Faceplates usually pop off with minimal effort, but be on the lookout for screws holding yours in place. This will reveal the backplate.
  3. Remove the backplate: This gives you access to the thermostat wiring that connects your thermostat to your HVAC system. The wires might be pre-labeled to help you connect them to your new thermostat. If not, take a picture before unplugging any wires to make connecting your new thermostat easier.
  4. Drill new holes into the wall: Use your new smart thermostat's backplate and a pencil to mark the wall where you'll be drilling new holes. Make sure everything is level and lined up so the thermostat looks good when you're finished.
  5. Connect your new thermostat to the wires: If the wires lack labeling, the picture you took earlier will come in handy. Attach the proper wires to each other to connect your smart thermostat to your home's HVAC system.
  6. Attach the new faceplate: Now that you've finished wiring, put the new faceplate on. You'll use this new faceplate to set up your smart thermostat.
  7. Connect to your home's Wi-Fi: Using the new faceplate, follow the prompts to connect your smart thermostat to the internet. This is the final step to access all the features of your new device.

How Do Smart Thermostats Work?

At its most basic level, a smart thermostat is like any other thermostat. You use it to adjust the temperature of your home. It can do controlled the traditional way by walking up to it and adjusting the temperature. However, you can also use an internet connection to adjust the temperature from your phone. As you make adjustments over time, your smart thermostat will learn your preferences and make adjustments for you based on past usage.

Since smart thermostats can access the local weather forecast, they can make adjustments that save you money when the weather changes. Why have the A/C blasting on an unusually cool summer day? And with body-detecting technology, your smart thermostat can save you more by making adjustments when no one is home.

Using your phone's data and the smart thermostat's connection to the internet, you can make adjustments anywhere in the world. If you're at work, you can use the smartphone app to adjust your thermostat. Your changes are sent to your home through the internet. Then your thermostat receives the command via Wi-Fi connection and makes the desired change.

How to Use a Smart Thermostat

Like getting a new phone, there might be a slight learning curve when you install your first smart thermostat. Make sure you have a solid internet connection and that both your phone and smart thermostat are connected to it. Download the correct app to your phone to give you access to your smart thermostat's unique features. Then, try it out.

Read the directions and follow the on-screen prompts to discover all your smart thermostat can do. Take it one step at a time and do some experimentation. Before you know it, you'll have figured out your new thermostat.


Learn More About Our Thermostats Today

Ingram's Water & Air is here for your heating and cooling needs. We've been in the industry for over 30 years, making us experts when it comes to home comfort. Our goal is to help you save money while providing high-quality products that will get the job done. We are here to help you find the best smart thermostat for your needs.

Check out the many products we offer online. We have a wide selection of thermostats to choose from, including geothermal heating and air conditioning thermostats. Discover the best thermostats with Ingram's Water & Air today.

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