Every Floridian appreciates air conditioning — without it, the heat and humidity would be nearly unbearable during the summer months. It’s no surprise that Indian River County’s population boomed after World War II as central air conditioning entered the mainstream, but the technology has remained largely the same for the past 70 years. Today, that’s changing with the introduction of smart thermostats, which are completely altering the way we use and think about AC.

Saving Energy

Climate change is here, and it’s bringing hotter temperatures and more extreme weather to our part of the world. Energy prices are also increasing, so we’re using our air conditioners more, and it’s costing more to do so. Smart thermostats reduce energy consumption in a number of ways by:

  • Learning your preferences and adjusting the system over time
  • Programming the system to run more or less depending on the time of day
  • Communicating with two-stage compressors to use less energy when possible

The ENERGY STAR program estimates that the average homeowner will save about $180 every year with a smart thermostat. But homeowners who live in large homes or in areas with high electricity prices can save significantly more.

Controlling Humidity

In Indian River County, we’re no strangers to high humidity. It’s just a fact of life when you walk outside. However, we don’t want that humidity in our homes. Air conditioners reduce humidity by condensing water in the air handler. But smart thermostats can go a step further by running the air conditioner for longer to remove more moisture.

Two-stage air conditioners with smart thermostats work even better by always running the system at a low setting, which uses a fraction of the electricity, keeps the temperature comfortable, and constantly removes moisture from the air. When you need additional cooling, the system kicks into the second stage to provide faster cooling.

Troubleshooting Issues

Have you ever had your air conditioner stop working in the heat of summer? It’s unpleasant to say the least, but smart thermostats can automatically diagnose many issues. Just like your car’s engine light, a smart thermostat is designed to give you enough time to address the problem before your system stops working entirely. Even if it does, the error message can help your service tech quickly pinpoint the issue.

Connecting From Anywhere

Are you off on a business trip and learn that temperatures are going to increase to 95 degrees during a heat wave? Perhaps you turned the AC off before you left, but you don’t want your home to grow humid and hot in your absence. A smart thermostat lets you control your system from literally anywhere in the world with an internet connection.

Automating Your Home

A smart thermostat is one of the pillars of a modern home automation system. Many new thermostats integrate seamlessly with popular home automation platforms, which let you control up to several hundred electric appliances fixtures, and receptacles from a single app. These systems are highly modular, so you can always install a smart thermostat before a home automation system or vice versa.

Upgrading Your System

Decades ago, your air conditioner would run at the exact same specifications for its entire life. Today, central AC systems can receive regular software upgrades to:

  • Improve system efficiency
  • Address software bugs and other issues
  • Add features
  • Extend the system’s lifespan

These changes usually happen behind the scenes, but smart thermostat manufacturers offer release notes to fill you in on what’s new.

Smart thermostats make sense financially and environmentally. Although they cost more than conventional thermostats, most smart thermostats will pay for themselves within two years. With the industry entering the mainstream, it won’t be long until you can find a smart thermostat in every home. To learn more our selection of controls and thermostats, contact Barker Air Conditioning and Heating at 772-562-2103.

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