How to choose a smart thermostat?

21 October 2021

They’re state-of-the-art, adapt to any environment and allow you to track your consumption from a smartphone. Smart thermostats are a great idea, but do you know how to choose, install and get the most out of them? Here’s a quick reference guide.

The heat is on

Heating is an unavoidable expense for up to six months of the year in Quebec. According to Hydro-Québec, it probably represents half of your electrical bill. And since our hot summers are also making more and more people opt for air conditioning, you have plenty of reasons to take a look at your habits and current setup and see how you can do better in terms of savings and comfort. Fortunately, smart thermostats open up a world of controlled heating possibilities.

From coal to energy autonomy

For years in Quebec, fireplaces were the centrepiece of every home. People used them to heat and cook. Then those in urban areas began heating their homes with fossil fuels—coal, natural gas, oil—which contributed greatly to air pollution. This era is largely over. In the last few decades, other types of home heating systems have emerged that use electricity as their primary power source. These include furnaces that emit warm air through aluminum ducts, ever-popular electric baseboard heaters and convectors, hybrid electric/oil systems and heat pumps (heating and cooling).

The watchword: energy savings

With the various energy crises, especially since the 1970s, a number of conservation measures have been put in place. First, improvements were made to the insulation of houses. Now, the focus is on the interior, where great changes are taking place. Thermostats are part of the new equation. They have also evolved to the point where they are part of the new technology. The first generation of thermostats were programmable based on hours of use. Today’s new devices are now connected, which means they can be controlled remotely. It’s even possible to create different zones in your home to maximize your comfort and savings. Your tablet or smartphone can be used to monitor consumption at all times.

The right choice for you

There are now thermostats for every type of heating system known in Quebec: electric baseboard heaters, convectors with fans, hybrid systems (oil/electricity) and combined heating and heat pump systems (for air conditioning in the summer). According to Hydro-Quebec, new thermostats can deliver up to 10% in savings. It’s very important to buy the right devices for your heating system. Also, expert advice and expert installation are a must for maximum safety and efficiency. The Hydro-Quebec website can help you understand your needs and determine which thermostats are best for you. The Corporation des maîtres électriciens du Québec is the body in charge of setting professional standards of practice.