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Are Smart Thermostats Worth It?

smart-blog

Before we get into all that, let’s start by explaining what makes a thermostat smart…

Programable thermostats (thermostats that can adjust the temperature based on a pre-set schedule), have been around, in one way or another, since 1906. So why is everyone, “all of a sudden” (for the past 10 years or so), talking about “smart” thermostats, and what’s so smart about them anyway?!

For a thermostat to be considered “smart”, it just has to be Wi-Fi enabled. The most basic models just allow you to remotely adjust the temperature with a smartphone app. This is great because it allows you to set the thermostat to your desired temperature before leaving work after a 12-hour shift or from the tarmac after a weeklong vacation, while maintaining an energy-saving temperature while you’re away.

The really smart ones “learn” your preferences and routine (mostly through motion sensors) and automatically adjust to an energy-saving temperature when you’re asleep or away. Higher end models use features like geofencing to achieve your desired temperature by the time you get home.

In summary, smart thermostats use motion sensors and geofencing to figure out when nobody is home, and automatically go into energy-saving mode when your house is empty. They also make it extremely easy to set up a sensible heating and cooling schedule. According to real-world data gathered by the EPA, smart thermostats (that meet Energy Star criteria) save users an average of 8% on their electric bills.

For comparison, setting your programable thermostat 7 to 10° higher for 8 hours a day will save you an average of 10% on your electric bill, according to data from the Department of Energy, but research shows that 40 to 70% of programmable thermostat users don’t take advantage of this feature, so they don’t realize the same real-world energy savings as smart thermostat users.

Bottom line, if your schedule is remarkably predictable and you (and everyone else that lives in your house) are really good about turning the thermostat up 7 to 10° when you’re not home (or you’ve programmed your thermostat to do so), if you’re home all day, so that turning the temperature up for 8 hours a day is not reasonable, or if your electric bill is already low, you may not see a huge saving. For the rest of us, a smart thermostat can easily pay for itself by significantly reducing your electric bill.

Other features that might make a smart thermostat a worthwhile investment for you include reports on how often your system runs, reminders to change your air filter, and remote temperature sensors that keep the right temperature, in the right room, at the right time. Some models even allow the utility company to control adjust your thermostat in exchange for discounts or incentives.

That said, some HVAC systems are designed to work better when they run constantly at a fixed temperature, so a smart thermostat may actually work against you, and not all smart thermostats work with all HVAC systems, so your best bet, if you live in Broward or Palm Beach County, is to call All-Pro Electrical and Air Conditioning at 561-988-0460 and let one of our heating and air conditioning specialists guide you towards the best solution for your HVAC system and your lifestyle.

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What is a Ductless Mini-Split System?

mini-split-blog

A ductless air conditioning system or “mini-split” consists of one or more wall-mounted air handlers inside your home or office and an outdoor compressor.

Small tubes carry refrigerant from the compressor to the indoor units, so you only have to drill a small hole behind each air handler.

The inverter-driven compressor makes mini-split systems ultra energy-efficient, which saves you money, the indoor air handlers have a sleek, non-invasive design that goes with any decor, and they are much quieter and safer than window units, making them the perfect solution for:

  • HOME ADDITIONS. Ductless systems can heat or cool home additions like a sunroom, bonus room, or lounge - without diverting air from the rest of the house and, because you’re not sharing ductwork, you don’t have to worry about “stinking up the rest of the house” if you’re smoking cigars in your man cave.
  • GARAGES. Garages can get extremely hot in the summer, making a ductless system the perfect solution if you’ve converted your garage into a gym, or you’re just like to tinker in the garage for hours at a time.
  • EMPTY NESTERS WITH UNUSED ROOMS. Closing air vents creates a pressure imbalance that causes your central air conditioning system to run inefficiently, costing you more in the long run. Ductless systems allow you to heat or cool the areas you’re currently using, while keeping the temperature in unused areas just low enough to avoid mold.
  • ROOMS WITH SPECIFIC TEMPERATURE REQUIREMENTS. If you have a home office with computer equipment that generates heat, a small kitchen with a large stove, a room with a southern-exposure that makes it sweltering in the summer, or a family member that likes it 10 degrees colder (or warmer) than the rest of the family, a ductless unit can heat or cool that room without making it too hot or cold in the rest of the house.
  • HOMES WITHOUT EXISTING DUCTWORK. A good ductless system isn’t cheap, but it’s a lot less expensive than adding ductwork to a home that isn’t set up for it.

Ductless systems are designed to run for longer periods of time than traditional HVAC systems and they often work in low-power mode, rather than at full capacity, due to the state-of-the-art inverter technology and, when properly maintained, they will last about 20 years - far exceeding the 12 to 15 years you can expect from a traditional HVAC system, so they’re a great investment.

Mini-split systems can be configured for any size and any number of rooms and, with remote control access that includes a timer, you have complete control of the temperature, fan speed, and airflow direction, plus superior systems have zero-emissions, and they’re whisper quiet.

For the right application, you simply can’t beat a mini-split system and for the perfect design and installation for your application - you simply can’t beat All-Pro Electrical and Air Conditioning!

When you buy your mini-split system from All-Pro, you’ll get a system that’s made in the USA by the largest air conditioning manufacturer in the world, and you’ll get our unbeatable 10-year parts and labor warranty (as long as the system receives annual maintenance by a licensed installer).

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All-Pro Electrical & Air Conditioning
1181 S Rogers Circle
Boca Raton, FL 33487

(561) 988-0460

 

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