If a phone or any other item has the adjective “smart,” it means that the electronic attachments can do manual and automatic activities. That capability, for now, provides users with such a convenience that almost eliminates human effort. If you haven’t read any tech article, then you’d be surprised to find out that there are smart furnaces now.
Smart furnaces aren’t similar to smart TVs or smartphones since a furnace is not electronic equipment. The “smart” adjective refers to the systems that control the furnace’s operation.
What is a Smart Furnace and How it Differs from Ordinary Furnaces?
According to Smile HVAC, the main difference between a smart furnace and an ordinary one is how the operation is controlled. The furnace is composed of a fire pit, fire source (provided by firewood or pellets), and a conduit that exhausts the smoke and transmits the heat to be radiated inside a room or house.
Among those components, the pit and the fire source dimensions are not bound by any control. This is where HVAC comes in to control the conduits. A smart furnace means that your existing ordinary furnace has its HVAC system improved by applying “smart” technology.
You will have an unbelievable range of control on how the heat will be distributed with the fire source you are putting inside. Not only that, but you will also gain features that lessen effort like worrying about heat distribution and regulation.
5 Reasons Why You Should Buy One
If you are skeptical of owning a smart furnace, here are five reasons that might encourage you to get one:
1. Full Control
There can be different setups on how a furnace becomes “smart.” You can have your old thermostat retained or have a new digital thermostat instead. The key for replacement is how your commands are communicated.
The smart circuit board attachment is designed to take commands from your thermostat and activate the designated operation. It can regulate the heat output, divert the exhaust air, monitor performance, or control the vents’ positions.
Aside from that, you can activate the furnace automatically based on a schedule, a button-less input like voice recognition or hand gesture, or through a mobile app. A variety of communication inputs means that you can fully control the furnace’s operation by sitting alone comfortably and enjoying the radiating heat.
Since the smart furnace is digitalized, this also means that it can be controlled through a smartphone or a tablet. It can have the capability of being controlled through a universal remote if you have a “smart” home or online if your systems are connected to the internet.
With that capability, the equipment’s user interface must be interactive. The app may contain precise instructions, and any control or change in configuration can be done with a swipe of a finger or a click of a computer mouse. Even a kid or a senior citizen can operate the furnace alone, but assistance is still positively encouraged.
3. Energy Management
According to Neeeco’s Mass Save program, one of the advantages of having a “smart” system is the measurement of physical quantities. For smart furnaces, the HVAC system can measure the temperature, rate of heat transfer, the number of vents open, and even the fire source’s lifespan. Having all that data can translate to being able to adjust the system’s operations.
You can manipulate the HVAC system to prioritize heating a particular room by controlling the vents and other heat outlets. In other words, having a “smart” system ensures that your furnace can provide modulated heating inside the house effectively and efficiently.
The visual readings also displayed on the system’s user interface can help you monitor if your furnace is doing what it’s programmed to do or executing your commands well. If it does not, then troubleshooting can be easy, and the repairs can be swift.
4. Alert System
Another advantage of having a digital system is the notification feature. Since the smart system can monitor the furnace’s performance, anything unusual in the readings can be interpreted as a potential disaster. The system can provide possible conclusions based on the readings as well as warning alerts.
A smart furnace may be connected online, so alerts can be given to your device even if you’re not at home. For extreme measures, it may be configured to contact the nearest fire department. The alert system of a smart furnace is much better than your usual smoke alarm.
5. Integration to Other Systems
A technology called the “Internet of things” is where all smart devices can be controlled by an authorized person online. It may be a gamble, but for now, a smart home system can have all the smart devices installed at home accessed through a universal remote or a mobile app.
This means that the HVAC system of a smart furnace can be configured to correspond to other systems. An example is that as the smart furnace is functioning, the surrounding lights will automatically dim until turned off. Another is that as the smart furnace is enabled, the sound system can spontaneously play a delightful set of songs.
Disadvantages of Having a Smart Furnace
Despite its upsides, there can be some downsides to using a smart furnace. They’re as follows:
1. High Initial Cost
There is no question that upgrading to smart technology comes up with high initial costs. In exchange for minimizing human effort, electrical energy will be needed more to perform necessary functions.
Aside from that, a home furnace can be useful only in winter seasons and in places far away from the equator. Therefore, you want to recognize first if having a smart furnace is good for the long run before investing your resources.
2. High Maintenance
Since the technology used in a smart furnace is relatively new, only a handful of technicians are authorized and experienced handling the maintenance procedures. You might be limited to contacting the ones who installed your system in the first place to perform servicing and do repairs for any damages.
A smart furnace can only be achieved through installations of smart HVAC systems by authorized personnel. The level of interaction can be limitless with smart systems, and consequently, the degree of comfort is also increasing. Even if you have at least five reasons why you need to have one, make sure that it is worth the investment for long-term use.