A handy thermostat checklist for your new smart home
Use this smart thermostat checklist to find your perfect match
You’ve read all the news stories about smart home products. You learned about the benefits of home automation. And you see many of your friends bragging about their connected gadgets. So you’ve finally decided to take the plunge into a connected home. One of the easiest smart home entry-level devices is a Wi-Fi thermostat. But how do you know which one is right for you? Use this simple thermostat checklist to help narrow down the smart thermostat selection in order to find your perfect match.
One of the first things people look at is price. Some Wi-Fi thermostats can go as high as $250 and that’s just for the device. Others charge monthly monitoring fees and not all have a free mobile app. Sensi™ Smart Thermostats have lower priced options, no monthly fees and include a free mobile app (Android or iOs device). Before you purchase, you can also check online to see if you qualify for a rebate from your utility provider. Some rebates are as high as $125, which can pay for a good portion, if not all of your Sensi thermostat.
After you’ve narrowed down the field with price, you’ll want assurance that you are purchasing a quality device. Emerson, the company behind Sensi thermostats, has over 125 years of experience with critical heating and cooling infrastructure systems. Sensi thermostats are also one of the few Wi-Fi thermostat choices that are ENERGY STAR® Certified. In fact, Sensi was the first thermostat to be named Energy Star Partner of the Year in 2020.
Next, you want to make sure that the thermostat you purchase will work with your thermostat wiring and the type of heating and cooling equipment in your home. One of the most important factors in determining compatibility is whether or not your system has or will require the common, or c-wire. If you aren’t an engineer, or familiar with HVAC systems and how they work, wiring can be intimidating. Before making your selection, read more about the c-wire to help you better understand what it is and how it works with your thermostat.
Also, if you already own a home automation system, you’ll want to make sure your new Wi-Fi thermostat is compatible. Sensi thermostats integrate with most smart home platforms including Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKitTM and Samsung SmartThings.
Ease of Install
“Will I be able to install it myself?” is another homeowner concern. Sensi thermostats are different because they simplified the installation process. Why waste an hour thumbing through a user manual when you can install and connect by using your phone? Simply download the free Sensi mobile app and it will guide your through each step of the installation process, from wiring to connectivity. The app includes several helpful features and videos that will ensure your new Sensi thermostat is set up properly.
You’ll also want to consider the thermostat design. Sensi thermostats were designed to cover the existing thermostat footprint, which means no messy wall patches, repairs or painting.
Features and Functions
The Sensi app was designed for you with easy to understand navigation. Using the mobile app, you can create custom temperature schedules for each day of the week (up to seven independent schedules); making it a snap to create one or multiple schedules to match your family’s routine. You can also run heat-only or cool-only schedules.
In addition to the easy scheduling options, Sensi thermostat has several features and settings, including Early Start (ensure your home is at the exact temperature you want at the time you want it), Keypad Lockout, (prevent accidental settings changes) and Temperature Offset (change the temperature display +/- five degrees to match the temperature you are used to from your previous thermostat).
It’s not a connected device if you can’t stay connected. Using the free Sensi mobile app, you can change your settings and adjust your Wi-Fi thermostat schedule from across the room or across the country. It’s the perfect tool for the moms and dads too busy herding the family for the annual vacation to think about the thermostat settings. Or for the harried business traveler who is more worried about the big client presentation than home energy efficiency. There’s nothing worse than realizing that you forgot to adjust your thermostat when you are just arriving at the airport or have already driven halfway across the state. If you have a Sensi thermostat, it’s not a problem. Simply whip out your Sensi app and you are back on track to energy efficiency and savings.
And although most people are connected to their smartphones at all times, we understand that there are those rare occasions when it’s simply not available. Lost phone. Unfortunate pool accident. We’ve all been there. But losing your phone doesn’t mean you lose control of your Sensi thermostat.
As you can see, there are a lot of things to consider before your purchase your first smart thermostat. By following this thermostat checklist, you’re well on your way to choosing the perfect match.
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Building Solar Energy Monitoring Systems Using IoT – floLIVE
The global Energy market is going through substantial change, with renewable energy at an all-time high, and growing fast. While Asia-Pacific continues to dominate, interest in solar energy is growing all over the world.
According to Mordor Research, “the renewable energy installed capacity reached 2713.60 GW in 2019, and it is anticipated to reach approximately 4391.18 GW by 2026, at a CAGR of 7.13% during 2021-2026.” Below you can see how renewable energy is being adopted globally, proving that worldwide, solar power and sustainable energy solutions are a seriously hot topic. (No pun intended.) To understand more about how IoT is facilitating this growth, keep reading!
Solar Energy IoT and Smart Home Monitoring Systems
Integrating solar energy into smart homes is becoming more popular as solar panels continue to reduce in cost, but this can only happen if there are solar energy monitoring systems in place – and that’s where IoT comes in.
IoT can allow consumers and businesses to monitor the use of solar energy on a much more granular level, giving a better understanding over which appliances and services are the most energy efficient, how much power is being used, as well as insight into when and how.
For enterprises looking to facilitate and maintain solar panels and renewable energy, IoT can allow for remote maintenance, and even predictive analysis that drives down costs even further. Deep visibility can allow companies to decrease the stress on their equipment, better balancing energy loads, and alerting ahead of time to issues such as overheating.
Large-scale Solar Operations Need Remote Monitoring to Suit
While residential application is a large part of the drive to renewable energy, many energy companies are looking into increasing their solar farms, and managing power consumption and renewable energy on a much larger scale. Solar power production for energy companies can be improved exponentially with the help of IoT monitoring. As sensors become more affordable, and connectivity solutions evolve, enterprises could see huge benefits from IoT, without much risk to speak of. Here are four examples:
Maintenance: Traditionally, workers on a solar farm would need to locate and check every panel regularly to ensure that they are working as expected. These inspections can become a thing of the past when all your solar panels are connected to a centralized data source. In fact, when there’s a problem, your asset management system can let you know with a simple alert, freeing up your staff for higher value tasks. With predictive intelligence, you’re less likely to suffer as a result of outages or power issues.
Performance: By amalgamating the data that comes from your panels, grid managers will be able to spot anomalies such as solar panels or units that are under-performing, and even the reasons why, such as temperature, dust, or extreme weather conditions. Managers can then make smart changes, such as moving units, increasing the volume of cleaning, or making changes in insulation or alignment.
Security: Especially when solar panels and solar farms are in rural areas (often the case when it comes to renewable energy sources), it’s essential to have a monitoring system to keep them secure from physical theft, or even vandalism. With IoT sensors, you can establish rules for theft-related alerts, such as movement around the panels, or if a panel has been removed from the outer structure of the grid.
Forecasting: With business intelligence tools integrated into your IoT monitoring system, analytics can help you see true business growth at a much faster rate. For example, anticipate how much energy will be needed on a specific day, streamlining how much energy you use and conserve, respectively. This can improve the balance of supply and demand in the smart grid itself, saving serious zeroes off your bottom line.
When it Comes to Solar Energy… Not all IoT Technologies Are Created Equal
IoT monitoring systems have a few key needs, but top of the list is connectivity. However, this is not just any connectivity. As solar panels are often in rural areas, and sensors can often be manufactured in one location and sent to another where the energy grid is based, availability is a key issue to address first and foremost. There could be many thousands of panels or units on a large-scale solar farm, so price is also an important point to consider. One of the main contributors to cost is battery life, as the battery is often more expensive to replace than it would be to deploy new devices and sensors altogether.
LPWAN solutions and cellular IoT connectivity are a great fit for IoT monitoring in the Energy sector, with the packet size and data rates to meet these unique needs. floLIVE offers a one-of-a-kind solution in the form of software-defined connectivity, providing global connectivity through globally distributed core networks deployed in different regions. Each of these hosts a local IMSI, and they are centrally managed over the cloud. This unique approach has formed the world’s largest IMSI Library. In practice, this means that sensors can be manufactured anywhere, and IoT devices simply connect locally when they are turned on. This not only eliminates data privacy and security issues, but it also reduces the amount of time the IoT device has to be awake each time it transmits information, extending the lifespan of its battery overall.
Solar Power is the Future – and IoT Technology is Making That Happen
“The IEA expects solar energy to play the biggest role in jumpstarting fresh growth in global renewable energy because falling costs are already below retail electricity prices in most countries. The cost of solar power is expected to decline by a further 15% to 35% by 2024, spurring further growth over the second half of the decade.”
The world is ready for solar energy, but without an IoT solution in place for remote monitoring, the benefits are going to be limited for today’s enterprises.
Ready to discuss your roadmap for sustainable energy augmented by IoT technology? Let’s talk.
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