A Smarter Thermostat

I recently bought the very popular smart thermostat and was filled with high hopes for how this might change my life.  I would buy this thermostat (or some rough equivalent) for another house if that comes up as an option in the future.  That being said, it’s not that smart.  I’d like to sketch out what I think a genuinely smart thermostat ought to have available to it.

  • Scheduling:
    • Work hours and days
    • Sleep times each day
    • Minimum temperature during sleep
    • Minimum temperature during work
    • Minimum temperature while home
  • Bigger Data:
    • Humidity indoors (sensor)
    • Humidity outdoors (sensor)
    • Temperature outdoors (sensor)
    • Local forecast (don’t heat two degrees if the house will warm by twenty in half an hour when the sun hits it)
  • Zone Data:
    • Add sensors (remote probes) to zones without thermostats for extra data
    • Data zones must be meaningful in a zone map
    • Data should be gathered both in and out of doors
    • Use air circulation to normalize temperatures (to augment heating and cooling)
    • Energy efficiency determiners (seeking ways to balance circulations, zones, heating and cooling, solar thermal influence, and the heating and cooling bills

Using a larger data set and these additional data sources should give something genuinely capable of improving the on-off nature of a classical thermostat.

It’s also important to note that there are human matters to consider when setting the current temperature for comfort.  Our comfort is not driven by a particular temperature numeral!  There is a lot more to consider (even more than temperature + humidity).  The access to sunlight, last workout, food eaten, time since eating, vacuuming (always makes me sweat).  A lot.

We need a smarter thermostat.

Yes, these slightly-less-dumb thermostats are good enough for the moment; but they are quite disappointing when you consider what could be done.


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