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Three reasons why the smart thermostat might not be as smart as you think it is

Today in the HVAC sector there is a wide range of smart thermostats available. The spectrum includes technological giants as well as small scale companies and it is no surprise that the sector has had a big upturn in recent years with the advancements in IoT technologies.

Now it is possible to control home sound systems using only voice commands next to home lighting and even doorbells. The AC is no exception.

According to several pieces of research, an optimal level of thermal comfort in the home or office has its benefits for health and productivity.

Coming home and having the perfect temperature for maximum comfort is priceless. All these advances have permeated into the home electronics market thanks to technologies such as “smart thermostats”.

Here are the 3 main reasons why the smart thermostat is not all that “smart”.

1.     1.Important data loss

Smart solutions generally have a dry on/off contact or infrared technology in order to communicate with the AC unit.

In the case of dry contact, the functioning of the AC unit is limited to on and off mode only. Therefore, the unit loses important original functionalities of the manufacturer like Inverter technology as well as error codes and maintenance cycles.

With the infrared technology, the thermostat must be in direct line of sight with the thermostat and it will only have a one-way communication gateway with the AC unit.

Using a one-way communication makes it impossible for the AC unit to provide any type of feedback since it only receives input.

In other words, if the AC has any mechanical, electronic or logical failure, even if it wants to communicate that information, the user will not be able to receive it through the smart thermostat. Such information could only be received through the original manufacturer´s thermostat which is removed in the first place for the smart thermostat to be installed.  So, the error codes are gone forever with the smart thermostat and this brings up the next point. 

2.     2.Incompatibility with most original thermostats

Smart thermostats are generally incompatible with the original thermostats. This means the original thermostat must be removed from the AC unit in order to use a smart thermostat.

In some cases, the power cable is absent, so a power cable needs to be installed which means extra modifications, time and money.

The original manufacturer´s thermostat is crucially important for the AC to function properly.

There is a reason why the manufacturer of an AC provides the thermostat with certain characteristics. If replaced, it should only be changed with a thermostat that brings additional functionalities without losing the original ones. That is the only way for the error codes, system alarms, maintenance and other important messages to b.

3.     3.Nullification of Inverter Technology

Imagine if a car could only be driven through a single button that is exclusively accelerating to 100Kmh when pressed. That would be quite difficult and inefficient to drive, isn’t it?

Well, that’s how an AC without Inverter technology works. They start at full power until they reach the desired temperature and shut off.

Inverter technology acts as a regulator (like a normal accelerator in the before example), allowing the AC to only deliver the necessary thermal power.

This helps on one hand to save energy but on the other hand, it also optimizes and maintains the utmost comfort level for longer periods of time while producing less noise and less thermal changes. 

However, they require important feedback information like temperature readings, thermal demand and more so they module their output to achieve the desired temperature, and then, maintain it.

It’s important to mention, this information is delivered to the unit in the manufacturer’s protocol, supported (in this case) only by the manufacturer’s thermostat.

Smart thermostats lose this feedback by using a dry on/off contact.

When a dry ON/OFF contact is implemented to operate the AC unit, it can only operate the AC in 2 times: On or Off nullifying the Inverter technology in the process.

Therefore, when installing a smart thermostat, it does not matter if the AC unit has the latest Inverter technology or not because its operation will be nullified, increasing energy consumption, noise and minimizing the time with the optimum temperature thus reducing comfort.

About Airzone

For 20 years now, Airzone has been offering intelligent control solutions that allow the management and improvement of energy efficiency installations on various heating and cooling equipment, for both commercial and residential applications.

Airzone control systems allow the HVAC sector to be easily and completely integrated with the most innovative building management technologies. Since it was founded, Airzone has relied on a model based on technical research, industrial development, and manufacturing with the EU quality standards.

All Airzone products are designed with one goal in mind: to provide comfort and energy savings to users. 

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