Thermostats are becoming more advanced as technology progresses. There was a time when homeowners only had to worry about hooking up their thermostat and sliding the slider to the desired temperature.
If you wanted options, the only real choice came with slight color variations and sizes. For all intents and purposes, the thermostat industry remained stagnant for decades until programmable and digital thermostats came on the market.
And now, there are so many options that it can be rather confusing to the consumer. Do you need a thermostat with remote sensor capability? Do you need a remote control thermostat?
And not many consumers realize that there is a major difference when it comes to these two technologies.
Here is a detailed guide on what to look for when searching for a thermostat with remote sensor, the various pros and cons, and a guide on how to troubleshoot in case of a simple breakdown.
If you are in a hurry, let’s look at the top thermostats that are leading the remote sensor category.
bEST BUDGETED rEMOTE THERMOSTATS 2018
Nest Learning 3rd Gen
Thermostat with Remote Sensor vs. a Remote Control Thermostat
Remote sensors – they are advanced and hands-off. These sensors can be placed in a room, and their goal is to accurately gauge a room’s temperature rather than the temperature of just one area.
Confused? My home, for example, has a thermostat in the hallway – away from windows and cold spots. If the hallway is hot (which it normally is), the heat will not go on because the hallway is away from colder areas.
When I’m in my bedroom, I can guarantee that the room temperature is far below what I have set on my thermostat, but it doesn’t matter – the thermostat’s temperature is dictated by the temperature where the thermostat is mounted.
With such an inefficient design, this means that you can have a very cold room while the thermostat thinks the temperature is just right.
Introducing remote sensors means that I can place a sensor in my room, and now when it’s cold, the thermostat realizes it’s time to engage the heating system. It’s a far smarter way to control a home’s heating and cooling simply because it works in a variety of rooms rather than whichever room the thermostat is situated in.
A thermostat with remote control function is essentially a smart thermostat. You’ll likely use your tablet or an app to control your home’s temperature. A remote control thermostat allows you to:
- View your home’s temperature remotely.
- Change your home’s temperature remotely (even when you’re not at home).
As you can see, these are two very different features.
One has to do with the actually sensing of the temperature in individual rooms of the home, while the other allows for controlling your thermostat via Wi-Fi connectivity.
The ecobee 3 is a thermostat that offers both of these functions.
What to look for when searching for a thermostat with the remote sensor?
When shopping for a thermostat, you should be keen on….
The worst offender of such types of thermostats is experiencing troubles in distributing even temperature within the same area. Not everything that is put on the shopping shelf is perfect for your home use. Take clear notes on how the thermostat operates by testing it with an assistant within the shop.
You need a thermostat that has highly responsive remote sensors which will distribute temperature accordingly. The best thermostat should be able to detect with high level of certainty, the room of your home that is too cold or hot for you. In this case, you won’t have to roast or freeze in silence ever again.
Thermostats with automatic temperature control system are termed smart for a specific reason. They are installed with a technical edge that is able to detect your presence and absence within the rooms even without you making any sound. This is generally an advanced option that makes your life more comfortable and relaxing.
It saves you the trouble of having to adjust the thermostat in order to suit a temperature of your choice.
Availability of Convenience App Support
There is an app for literally everything nowadays. Therefore, your new device should have one of this two. On such days where your laziness is on the highest level, we will definitely need some technical support from the manufacturers.
The convenience app support helps you to interact with your manufacturers in case of any technical hitches to address them.
The smart app also gives you an option of updating the thermostat temperature of the entire week from just from the comfort of your cozy bed.
Energy Bill Considerations
We would probably pay for everything with smiles if we had it our way. Unfortunately, the existing smile currency in different world economies has a long way to go. Till then, we should always think of investing wisely in power saving gadgets in order to cut down on energy bills.
How to Troubleshoot Thermostat with Remote Sensor?
Most thermostats are always located in hallways. Since ordinary thermostats are only designed to measure temperature in a specific location, the hallway may be comfortable but other rooms within the house may not.
When there is uneven temperature distribution in rooms, the thermostat is able to address the cold and hot spots by measuring temperature in specific rooms.
Most modern thermostats are designed to automatically regulate even temperature. In case of temperature issues, you may restart your thermostat to address any memory issues and restore its normal functionality.
Are Remote Sensors Better Than a Thermostat with Remote Control?
I would say 99% of the time, a thermostat with remote sensor function will have a remote control (a.k.a. Internet) options to allow you to control your home’s heating and cooling. This means that if you do choose a thermostat with remote sensor functions, you’ll be able to also change your settings via an app – which is extremely nice.
While I think that the remote control thermostat provides users with the utmost in control, I also really like the remote sensor capability. It should be noted that for control, the remote control will always win, but for comfort, the remote sensor option is definitely better.
In terms of energy consumption, remote sensors will likely cause you to save less on your energy bills. Why? Your HVAC system will be adjusted according to the colder or hotter rooms in your home. If you have a sensor in a room that has poor insulation or a lot of drafts from the windows or doors, the HVAC system will be on more often even if the other rooms in the home are at a comfortable temperature.
Most future thermostats will likely include remote sensors simply because it is a smarter way to heat or cool a home, but if you want to be in full control, a thermostat with remote control function is the best option.