How to choose the best smart thermostat for a period property?

April 4, 2024

Smart thermostats have become increasingly popular in the last decade. They offer a wealth of features, from energy-saving programming to remote temperature control. But when it comes to choosing a smart thermostat for a period property, there are a few additional considerations to keep in mind.

Understand the Basics of a Smart Thermostat

Before diving into specifics, it’s essential to understand what a smart thermostat is and how it can enhance your home’s heating system. A smart thermostat is a device that regulates your home’s temperature based on your preferences and schedule. Unlike traditional thermostats, smart thermostats learn from your behaviors, allow you to control the climate in your home remotely, show you energy consumption in real-time, and can even adjust themselves based on ambient conditions like humidity.

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Two of the best-known smart thermostats are Google Nest and Ecobee, respectively backed by tech giants Google and Amazon. These devices integrate seamlessly with other smart home devices and offer a range of advanced features. For example, Nest learns your schedule and adjusts the temperature accordingly, while Ecobee uses room sensors to manage hot and cold spots.

Consider the Heating System in Your Period Property

When considering a smart thermostat for your period property, it’s crucial to consider your existing heating system. The best thermostat will be one that is compatible with your HVAC system and can effectively regulate the heat across your property.

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Many period properties have an HVAC system that differs from contemporary ones. They may be using a boiler system, radiators, or even underfloor heating. Not all smart thermostats are compatible with these systems, so it’s important to check this before making a purchase.

Amazon’s Ecobee is known for its compatibility with a wide range of heating systems, including those found in older buildings. This is due to its additional sensor that can be placed in different rooms, providing a more accurate overall temperature reading.

Look at Energy Saving Features

Energy efficiency is one of the main selling points of smart thermostats. A smart thermostat helps to reduce energy usage by maintaining optimal temperature levels. It learns your daily routine and will adjust the temperature when you’re not home, ensuring no energy is wasted heating an empty property.

Both the Nest and Ecobee offer energy-saving features, but the way they do this differs. Nest uses learning algorithms to determine your schedule and adjust the temperature accordingly. In contrast, Ecobee uses room sensors to measure occupancy and temperature, adjusting the heat where it’s needed most.

Evaluate the Smart Home Integration

Smart home integration is another key aspect to consider when choosing a smart thermostat. The best smart thermostats will integrate seamlessly with your existing smart home system, allowing you to control all your devices from one place.

Google Nest, for instance, is a particularly good choice if you’re already using other Google Home devices. It also works with Amazon Alexa, although the integration is not as extensive. On the other hand, Ecobee works exceptionally well with Amazon Alexa, including features such as Alexa calling, messaging, and drop-in.

Take into Account the Programmable Features

Programmable features can add an extra level of convenience to your smart thermostat. Being able to program your thermostat to adjust the temperature at specific times can be both energy-efficient and comfortable.

Most smart thermostats offer some form of programmable schedule, but some are more flexible than others. For example, Nest offers a "learning" schedule, where it learns your routine and preferences over time and adjusts the temperature accordingly. Ecobee, meanwhile, offers more traditional scheduling options, where you set specific times for temperature changes.

In conclusion, when choosing a smart thermostat for your period property, ensure it is compatible with your heating system, offers energy-saving features, integrates with your smart home system, and has programmable features that suit your lifestyle. By considering these factors, you should be able to find a thermostat that not only enhances your home’s comfort but also contributes to energy conservation.

Analyze Your Property’s Specific Needs

When choosing the best smart thermostat for your period property, it’s crucial to evaluate the unique needs of your home. Many period homes have unique architectural features, such as high ceilings, large rooms, and drafts due to aged windows and doors. These factors can significantly impact how heat is distributed throughout your property.

Your home’s insulation is another important factor to take into account. Homes from earlier periods often lack proper insulation, which can result in heat loss. The Nest Learning thermostat is an excellent option in this case. Its sophisticated sensors can identify areas in your home where heat is escaping and adjust the heating system accordingly, potentially leading to significant energy savings.

If you have a multi-story property, you may benefit from a smart thermostat system with multiple sensors, like the Ecobee smart thermostat. This system allows you to place sensors in different rooms or floors, and the thermostat will adjust the heating or cooling based on the temperature readings from these sensors. This feature can be particularly beneficial if heat distribution is uneven throughout your property.

In addition, your lifestyle and schedule should also influence your choice of smart thermostat. If you spend a lot of time away from home, a thermostat with geo-fencing capabilities, like the Nest thermostat, can be a good option. This feature uses your smartphone’s location to determine whether you’re home or away, adjusting the temperature accordingly to ensure no energy is wasted.

Consider the Aesthetics and Ease of Use

Lastly, while functionality should be your primary concern when choosing a smart thermostat, aesthetics and ease of use are also worth considering. The best smart thermostats not only perform well but also blend seamlessly with your period property’s interior design.

The Google Nest thermostat, for instance, is known for its sleek, minimalist design that can complement a variety of decor styles. Its rotating dial interface is intuitive and easy to use, and it comes in a range of colors to match your interior design.

On the other hand, the Ecobee smart thermostat features a touch-screen interface and a more modern design, making it a good fit for period homes with a contemporary twist. It also offers an easy-to-use app, making it simple to adjust settings and schedules from your smartphone.

In conclusion, when it comes to picking the best smart thermostat for a period property, it’s about more than just finding a device that can regulate temperature effectively. Considering your property’s specific needs, as well as factors like aesthetics and user-friendliness, will ensure that you select a smart thermostat that not only optimizes your home’s heating and cooling but also complements your lifestyle and the character of your home. With the right choice, you can enjoy improved comfort and potentially significant energy savings.