The word thermostat comes from Greek—perhaps because ancient Greeks invented the first heating systems. It will likely come as no surprise that thermos means “hot” and stat means “stationary.” Over the years, the thermostat has evolved into a device used to control modern HVAC systems, starting with the invention of the mercury thermostat in 1620, which eventually led to the first smart thermostat, the Ecobee, in 2007. We as a society have certainly come quite a long way in our quest for comfortable temperatures, from installing furnaces in basements to inventing home thermostats accessible via smartphone app.
Although it’s been more than a decade since the smart thermostat first appeared on the scene, you might be surprised to learn that not all homeowners have upgraded their equipment. While approximately 60 percent of homeowners use a thermostat to control their central cooling system, only 29 percent of those are actually programmable. Why does that matter? Programmable thermostats help you conserve energy and maintain that just-right temperature.
Smart thermostats are more than merely programmable, however. They’re also incredibly accessible. Thanks to their ability to connect to Wi-Fi networks, you can use smartphone apps to access your smart thermostat, no matter where you are. At home, sleek touch-screen interfaces and voice controls make it easy to program your HVAC system. Smart thermostats can even tell you how much energy you’re using, so you can reprogram the system according to how much you want to spend on heating and cooling each month.