Don’t Let High-Tech Controls Make You Uncomfortable
Technology is awesome. We have the Internet where you can find any little bit of information you want or order almost anything delivered to your door. Our cars help us parallel park, tell us about hazards, and keep us inside the lines. And, “there’s an app for that” is descriptive of how you can do most anything you want with your smartphone.
When it comes to home comfort systems, our heating, cooling, humidification, and air cleaning systems, there is a lot of technology inside them that we can’t control nor can we decide not to buy it. However, the control of those systems, the thermostat, humidistat, or other controls that we use to tell our systems when to run and when not, are something we can buy.
As the image shows, there are smart home comfort controls that tell our heating and air conditioning when to run. Some even control it based on humidity, and some can be controlled or programmed by our smartphones. Maybe you’re considering buying one of these super high-tech controls/thermostats, or maybe you’ve bought a new energy efficient home and there’s one on the wall.
The problem with a lot of high-tech gadgetry is that many people aren’t comfortable in the super technology environment. They sometimes would rather do things manually rather than try to figure out how to program a device to do things for them. The more abilities and features in your home comfort control, the more you’re going to have to learn to set them up to do their job. Some controls even say they’ll “learn” what you do and when you do it. All this power began with one feature that has real-world value, setbacks.
Setback thermostats came into being when people wanted to save money on electricity, cooling and heating bills, especially when their homes were empty during parts of the day, maybe when they were at work.
The function of a setback thermostat is to allow you to set up times of day and temperatures, such as:
- Heating – in the winter many can sleep under covers with the home much cooler. Instead of having to remember to set back the thermostat at bedtime to a lower temperature, they could program it to do so automatically. They could also have it raise the temperature before wakeup time to warm up the house before throwing the covers back.
They also would have the thermostat set back the temperature during hours and days they were at work, raising the temperature back up just before their arrival back home from the job.
- Cooling – this is pretty much the opposite, with having the home a little cooler at night when sleeping and higher temps when away at work.
Many of the fanciest controls out there today do pretty much those same things, maybe adding some bells and whistles to remember your manual settings, thus programming themselves. Unfortunately, there are people right now yelling at their controls while punching them repeatedly trying to figure out what they need to do to get the results they want.
If you’re shopping for a smart comfort control, you can get something less fancy and cheaper that you can program manually one time. Many have a simple single-tap override when you want to pull it out of program mode, such as when you come home early from work. They’ll revert back to the program at the next programmed setting.
Home comfort is a lot about temperature and humidity, but it can also be about mental comfort without frustration and button-punching. There are many choices for controls to get the job done.