A smart thermostat is a device that controls a temperature setting in your home. Smart thermostats can be controlled remotely through an app or other means, and they store data about when you’re home and when you’re away, so that they can make adjustments accordingly. They have the potential to save energy and money by cutting down on wasted heat or cool air.
If this sounds like your dream come true, here’s what to know before you buy one.
What makes a smart thermostat smart?
A smart thermostat is typically controlled via an app on your phone. The app sends the thermostat commands and it responds by adjusting the temperature. The most popular app for this is the Nest, but several other options exist that work in similar ways, such as Ecobee and Tado. If you want to go a step further, you can install a programmable thermostat like the Vera, which lets you program it to perform specific functions once certain temperatures are reached.
While the global Smart Thermostat Market has been experiencing significant growth, various risks and challenges are impeding the demand. For example, compatibility issues, cost of installation, environmental concerns around certain types of technology, dependence on wireless access or power supply for use outside the home and safety fears. These challenges are opportunities for market participants to explore new avenues in order to exploit this growing sector.
- Manufacturers of thermostats must ensure they are fully compatible with the latest smart home technology
A major challenge in the market is compatibility. Unlike automobiles which are all compatible with one another, thermostats and smart devices are not. As a result, users have very limited options of what can be connected to a thermostat system besides the one provided by the manufacturer. If you purchased an electric furnace manufactured by Daikin in Japan but want to run it using a program on your smartphone from Germany then you will find you cannot perform this task as Daikin does not support this type of connection; thus requiring you to purchase an extra system just for your smartphone. In order to avoid compatibility issues, smart thermostats manufacturers must be sure that their products are compatible with those made by other manufacturers.
- Cost of installing thermostat technology is much higher than some consumers will be willing to pay
A major cost factor in the market is the cost of installation, which can vary from region to region because of various factors. As a result, once the price has been established consumers begin to consider the cost and decide if installing the technology will help them save money. Consumers are also concerned with safety when they are unsure of what type of technology is being installed and even if there is any additional cost for using it. According to one study conducted in the United States, consumers were willing to spend up to $124 for smart thermostats and smart home devices but no more.
- Environmental concerns around certain types of technology
Some technologies are dependent upon hot and cold air being blown at high speeds using fans, which consume a lot of energy. Consequently they are believed responsible for causing global warming because of their emissions into the environment. While this may be true, there are other technologies that don't use fans and instead cause heat transfer through convection which is a much more efficient process; as it uses 50% less energy than traditional systems.