Skip to main content

Your Quick Guide to the Three Types of Smart Thermostats

By EmilyOctober 20, 2020June 29th, 2023No Comments

Today’s smart thermostats can be a real pleasure to own. Before rushing out and buying one, though, it’s good to have at least a basic sense of the three types of smart thermostats on the market and what makes them distinct from one another. If you’re thinking about getting a new smart thermostat, here’s a quick guide to the three types you could purchase.

1. Learning Algorithm Thermostats

The first and arguably most popular smart thermostat type is the learning algorithm thermostat. This type of thermostat starts off with some basic programming input by the user for it to begin to get to know the owner’s individual home and habits. From there, the idea is that this type of thermostat will essentially learn your family’s patterns and preferences, usually with the help of motion-sensing technology. It should work seamlessly and automatically using that acquired information.

In most cases, this type of system works very well, but there are times that additional input may be needed from the user. The popular Nest system utilizes the learning algorithm type of thermostat. Honeywell’s popular Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat also utilizes this advanced learning technology.

2. Geofencing Thermostats

Geofencing is the use of a device such as a mobile phone in order to create a virtual zone in some areas. When it comes to the heating and air conditioning industry specifically, this type of technology has been very cleverly put to use in today’s geofencing thermostats. In layman’s terms, these smart thermostats use a virtual zone, complete with borders, in order to decide what, if any, air functions should come on.

How exactly does that work? Let’s say you just bought a new Honeywell Lyric Smart Thermostat and you need to set it up. This thermostat will then call on your mobile phone to generate a geofence, or virtual perimeter, around you at all times. By sensing if that perimeter is nearby, the thermostat can decide if it should operate as if you are at home. There is a bit more to it than that, but this is the basic summation of how this type of system works.

3. Motion Sensor Thermostats

Motion sensor thermostats make up the third type of today’s smart thermostats. As the name suggests, one of these employs motion-sensing technology to help it make most of its decisions. So, how exactly does this work?

This type of system utilizes motion-sensing and proximity-sensing devices to determine who is in the home and where they are located. From this information, the system reacts and runs heating or cooling functions that match those conditions and your preferences. The popular Ecobee3 Smart Thermostat is a prime example of this sort of equipment.

Additional Considerations

These three types of smart thermostats can all work very well in certain setups, but to assure the right fit, you should consider the benefits and drawbacks of each kind before purchase. Starting with the learning algorithm type of thermostat, for example, an excellent advantage to this system is its combined use of initial user input with its continued ability to learn and automate climate control as a result. A phone isn’t necessary for many of these systems, but they can sometimes get confused by someone staying motionless in a room for a long period of time.

Geofencing systems can be a great option as well. They can really respond and run efficiently based on any geofence parameters that have been set up. The only problem here can be that if you lose or leave your phone behind, whether at home or elsewhere, the system is going to continue running off of that geofence location. It’s also possible to trigger your thermostat’s “Home” operation mode by being in the vicinity of your home but not actually there.

Finally, motion-sensor models can be a great choice because they are relatively simple systems, and they primarily utilize “seeing” motions around the home in order to know what mode to work in. This is a big advantage unless you’re not in a location near a sensor for a while. If the system assumes that you’re away, it could change settings. Systems with the ability to incorporate more sensors throughout the home are obviously better in defeating this particular drawback.

When it comes to replacing your home’s thermostat, there can be a lot to consider. That’s why our team at Texas Pride takes pride in helping our customers to make informed decisions. In fact, we’re ready to help with all your heating and air conditioning needs in the Houston area. Call us today for installation, repairs or maintenance.

Leave a Reply