Smart thermostat ... what is it?


There are plenty of really useful smart home devices, but a smart thermostat isn’t one of them. Do not get me wrong. I am one of those people who loves having all kinds of tech gadgets around the house, even if they are not needed or useful.

I have smart lights, a video doorbell, security cameras, sensors on the doors, and yes also a smart thermostat. But of all this, my smart thermostat is perhaps the only smart home device that doesn’t really need to be “smart”.

Thermostats are fairly simple devices, and they are made so that we don’t have to constantly fiddle with them. Most “stupid” thermostats these days are programmable, which means you can literally set it and forget it – you don’t need anything else.

A thermostat is a tool that allows you to keep the room temperature at a specific temperature. Contrary to what one might think, a thermostat not only has the purpose of regulating the temperature of one’s home, but it can also manage the heat of many other things, such as a car engine.

An intelligent thermostat is therefore a thermostat capable of analyzing situations, anticipating, and even reacting in the interest of the user.

What can an intelligent thermostat do that a conventional one cannot?

The answer varies from one brand or product to another. There are several types of smart thermostats available, especially those that are attached directly to your radiator.

This allows you to manually adjust the temperature from the app or by voice using an intelligent assistant such as Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, or Siri. You can use it to get temperature information or to change it by saying phrases like “it’s a little cold here”.

Of course, all smart home brands highlight the savings that the user can achieve with their product. By adjusting the room to an optimal temperature, neither too hot nor too cold, there is no waste of energy. And let’s face it, the demonstrations on the stands at IFA are quite surprising and make you want to buy it.

Do I really need a smart thermostat?

On the surface, smart thermostats seem to have some really interesting features. Geofencing, for example, regulates the temperature based on whether you are at home or not, possibly saving a lot of money on your utility bill without you having to get your hands on it.

But people are creatures of habit. We tend to get up at the same time every morning, we always go to work at the same time, we go home from work “almost” always at the same time, we always go to bed at the same time.

At this point, geofencing is not much different than setting a simple time-based program of a traditional programmable thermostat.

Like all technologies, there are users who will use it out of necessity or interest, and others who will use it because it is a novelty (or under the influence of advertising). The previous paragraphs should have helped you decide if you really need it or not.

Simplicity, smartphone control, and voice control: these are the keywords. Furthermore, these connected objects are not cheap.