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Smart Air Conditioning: Buyers Guide

Considering a smart HVAC system? Here’s what you need to know.

Imagine a home where you don’t have to worry about accidentally leaving your AC running when leaving the house in a hurry. Or coming back to a home where you find the perfect room temperature, automatically set in your absence. Heck, did you know you can even achieve better sleep with smart air conditioning!? With the rapid advancements in HVAC technology. All of this is attainable and affordable.

Smart or really smart?

Kumo cloud screen

While basic smart air conditioning is controlling your air conditioner from anywhere; really smart air conditioning is a combination of smart features. These features add convenience to your heating and cooling needs and give a boost to your home’s energy savings.

Wi-Fi connected smart air conditioners are equipped with cutting-edge technology, allowing you to easily maintain the perfect room environment. Convenience is the name of the game these days, and smart air conditioners bring you exactly that. They provide complete control over your air conditioner from anywhere via your smartphone. Examples of this are Mitsubishi Electric’s Kumo Cloud and Nexia’s line of thermostats and other smart home tech (more on this later).

Multiple smart AC options are available and navigating the smart air conditioner market can be a bit daunting. We’ll try to help you out and go over some of the best offerings in the market. Moreover, we will let you know exactly what to keep in mind when buying your new smart air conditioner.

Here is a comprehensive guide, detailing the features that you need to consider for your next air conditioner purchase.

What to Look Out for While Buying Your Smart Air Conditioner?

There are certain features that are a must-have in a smart air conditioner. Before making the big purchase, you need to be well informed to be able to make the best possible decision. Here is a list of what you need to be on the lookout for before making the leap into the future, and throwing out your old AC:

  1. Smart AC Feature Set
  2. Smart Home Integration
  3. Ease of Use
  4. Energy Consumption and Ratings
  5. Cost of Smart Air Conditioner

1. Smart AC Feature Set

keyboard - smart air conditioning

Depending on the AC manufacturer and the model, there are usually a plethora of options available. All smart air conditioners provide Wi-Fi functionality, allowing you to control them using a mobile phone or web app. Other functionalities that you can greatly benefit from include:

  • Geofencing –  which allows you to provide your location to the smart device so that it can make decisions based on where you are; such as turn off when you exit the house.
  • Scheduling, usage history tracking, air filter status, or specialized energy saving modes –  are some other features that you must give special emphasis to. These features can ensure that the ROI on your new smart air conditioner is a good one.
  • Standard features such as temperature control, control over fan speed, vent position, swing position, etc. should be possible from anywhere through your smartphone.

2. Smart Home Integration

Google nest and amazon alexa.

How cool (pun intended) would it be to simply walk into a room and tell your Amazon Alexa or Google Home to drop the thermostat a couple of degrees?

If you are looking for a smart air conditioner, you are definitely inside the IoT sphere. You would want your AC to be controlled using voice control through any one of those devices, and rightfully so. Any smart air conditioning system, which is not compatible with these major voice assistant platforms is at a great disadvantage.

3. Ease of Use

Smart AC as easy as ABC

Most manufacturers now provide mobile and web apps to remotely control your smart AC, as long as it is connected to your Wi-Fi. This gives you global control over your appliance. A major concern when buying such an appliance is the ease of use of the apps, their design, features, responsiveness, etc. If it’s not as easy as A-B-C, is it really working for you? You should make sure that you can easily control the air conditioner and access the smart features through a user-friendly app.

Another point to ponder over is the installation process. Some manufacturers use third-party apps for use with their appliances, which can occasionally result in software and usage issues. Be careful to check this beforehand, and get a feel for the app before making the final decision.

Not tech savvy? Don’t worry. Our trained technicians will assist you in installation and setup.

4. AC Energy Consumption and Ratings

This feature or spec is not applicable to smart ACs only but to any type of air conditioner that you are about to buy. We’ve all heard of BTUs, but what are they? British Thermal Units are a measure of an air conditioner’s cooling or heating capacity. The higher the BTUs the more cooling or heating power a unit has. You must look for an AC that is suitable for the size of your room or home. This will help consume the least amount of energy while proving the best amount of cooling or heating.

Another factor to look out for is whether an air conditioner is Energy Star certified or not? An Energy Star compliant appliance indicates the implementation of more environmentally friendly, and energy-saving features within the device. This results in a marked reduction in cooling and heating bills. According to the US EPA, Energy Star qualified room air conditioners are at least 10% more energy efficient than the minimum U.S. federal government standards.

5. Cost of the Smart Air Conditioner

Cost of a smart air conditioner

Cost is one of the most decisive factors when deciding whether to buy a new appliance or not. No one really wants to spend potentially thousands of dollars on an HVAC system. However, a modern system with smart features can pay for itself in just a few short years.

The initial investment in a smart air conditioning unit is of course more than their “dumb” counterparts, but this initial cost can be easily offset. Energy savings across the lifetime of the air conditioning greatly makes up for the cost. You can also opt for cheaper options and utilize a smart controller to gain the desired smart functionalities. As long as the technology is compatible with the make/model.

Prices vary greatly, depending on cooling capacity, and functionalities. It all depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re not sure. Get ahold of us. We’d be happy to send one of our expert estimators out to talk about what you need and what you want. Free of charge.

Financing is available.

Our favorites

Spurk HVAC - Mitsubishi Electric

Mitsubishi Kumo Cloud

Why we love it

  1.  Easy Setup – Once your Wireless Interface is installed by a trained professional from Spurk HVAC, the indoor unit will be discoverable in the app. You can name your indoor units, create groups and organize them for multiple properties from a really user-friendly app.
  2. Advanced Logic – Kumo cloud now features advanced logic to perform Auto Changeover. The system now alternates between heating and cooling using a patent-pending algorithm to deliver personalized comfort. Using kumo station, additional programming and control of supplemental heat sources, humidification, dehumidification and ventilation can also be performed.
  3. Filter Checks – Arguably the easier maintenance tasks that is consistently forgotten about, yes, filter changes. You never have to manually check a filter again. Kumo cloud can tell you the status of any filter in your system at any time. Related: How often do I need to change my air filter?
  4. Alerts – With any mechanical system, sometimes things break or things happen. Kumo cloud will alert you of any system notifications and the location of the notification. Whether it’s an error, maintenance reminder, or something else.
  5. Integrated – “Hey Alexa, set the bedroom to 67 degrees.” Connect the kumo cloud to Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa and control your system using voice commands.
  6. IFTTT Applet Integration – We’ll leave this one for you to discover. Read more about IFTTT here.

Nexia controls

Nexia

Why we love it

The Nexia app allows you to connect and control all of the elements of your smart home, creating a truly seamless system. Customizable and easy-to-use, the app allows you choose how your smart devices work together by creating automations and user modes. The Nexia app provides a powerful solution to simplify how you manage your home.

Nexia works with a variety of Z-Wave and certain Wi-Fi smart devices from many different manufacturers. “Nexia Certified” products are rigorously tested to ensure that they meet strict quality and interoperability standards. Nexia also supports a variety of Z-Wave products that are “compatible” with Nexia, so you can be confident that your Nexia system runs on brands you know and trust.

Interested in a free consultation on how we can help you transform your home’s system into a technological masterpiece? Book your free consultation today!
 
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ABOUT SPURK HVAC

Spurk HVAC was formed in 2018 and is located in Warrendale, Pennsylvania. We proudly serve Cranberry Twp., Wexford, Gibsonia, Mars, and the surrounding Greater Pittsburgh area.

We service all makes and models. If you are seeking a heating repairheating system replacementair conditioner repairair conditioning maintenanceair conditioning replacement,  or any other heating & cooling services. Whether you are looking for residential or commercial HVAC services, we look forward to any and all opportunities to become your preferred HVAC contractor.

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