Thanks to the IoT (Internet of Things), a lot of technology we used to see in science fiction literature is beginning to come to life.

IoT — alongside a major push for home automation — has allowed homeowners to control much of their house via smartphone applications. Everything from door locks, garages, fans, cooking appliances, to one of the most useful tools — thermostats.

Smart thermostats have been a hit in the market for many customers, because they not only a regulate an everyday appliance that can cause stress— but these devices can also save money on an appliance that is often very cost heavy.

But what do smart thermostats actually do? How are they different from standard thermostats? And what’s the future of these products?

Smart Thermostats Explained

A smart thermostat stands out from a traditional one because it allows users to control the system from anywhere they are via an app, and it learns the behavior of a customer so it can adjust the system accordingly.

Some smart thermostats are even able to show customers their energy consumption in real time, and others will even adjust based on weather changes. This is completely different from the typical thermostat where a person would have to be physically present and adjust the system at the control panel.

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There are thermostats that can be programmed and set modes can be placed for certain hours of the day or to account for vacations, but smart thermostats specifically account for your movements, the weather, and they’ll adapt to whatever random conditions are thrown at them — rather than operating via a programmed scheduled.  

Smart thermostat apps can also send you push notification updates on any weather changes, movements in the home, or other things that will affect temperature so that you can make decisions for your home from the app interface.

What Will the Future Hold?

Homeowners are constantly finding more and more ways to be in control. It only makes sense that the future would look bright for smart thermostats, especially since the products are cost savers for many families (they are expensive upfront, but they’ll save energy costs long-term, and many standard systems are costly if they break or technological errors occur.) 

The problem with smart thermostats currently is pricing, and the lack of integration with other IoT devices. Many of these devices don’t speak very well to other appliances or home automated tools. The word “fragmented” is currently used to describe the state of smart tech and how devices interact with each other. There are a lot of products, but many don’t work together, which is often the case with smart thermostats.

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In the future, IoT and smart thermostats will likely do a better job of connecting appliances to speak to each other and this could position brands to partner with different devices.

The future will also simply mean that smart thermostats start to get cheaper. Right now costs remain high, but once more product options are introduced, that is likely to change. 

Thermostats may also begin sensing and predicting weather (flood sensors are available with many companies, but a weather feature only makes sense since it would tell the system of any weather that would affect temperature. Some thermostats have weather updates, but none have prediction.)

Overall, smart thermostats are a useful tool in the home automated market. It appears that they are not only here to stay, but set to improve and be more available to the general population.