At WiseGEEK, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.

Learn more...

What is a WiFi® Thermostat?

J.M. Densing
J.M. Densing

A WiFi® thermostat is a device that controls the temperature settings of the heating and air conditioning system in a home and can be accessed remotely via a wireless Internet connection. Most of these thermostats are programmable, i.e., they can be set up to adjust temperature settings automatically depending on the time of day. The WiFi® connection also allows the homeowner to change temperature settings and activate different programs from any computer or cell phone with an Internet connection. This can be a convenient way to conserve energy because it allows the property owner to either raise or lower the temperature depending on the season and whether the building is occupied at the time.

The purpose of a thermostat is to control the temperature inside a building to keep it at a comfortable level for occupants. The device does this by sensing the temperature of the surrounding area and activating the heating or air conditioning system when necessary to maintain the levels selected by the homeowner or property owner. A WiFi® thermostat is a digital programmable device that allows the homeowner to select each day's temperature settings ahead of time. The homeowner can set up a program that raises or lowers the temperature at specific times of day automatically, thereby keeping the home warmer during the day and cooler at night when occupants are sleeping depending on the season and the climate. Many of these thermostats are able to save more than one setting so specific ones can be created for special circumstances, and the temperature can be adjusted manually as well.

A WiFi® logo.
A WiFi® logo.

The unique feature of a WiFi® thermostat is the ability to control the device remotely via a wireless Internet connection. This gives the homeowner the ability to adjust the temperature while away from home as long as there is access to a computer or cell phone that has an Internet connection. The homeowner can access the WiFi® thermostat and override the programs to change the temperature to a new setting. It's also usually possible to switch between the different settings and monitor the temperature of the home in real time.

When used in a disciplined manner a WiFi® thermostat can save a homeowner money and conserve energy. It can allow a high level of control and save energy by moderating the temperature whenever nobody is home by using less air conditioning in the summer and less heat in the winter. Some energy companies are supplying WiFi® thermostats for free if a homeowner agrees to allow emergency access such as turning air conditioning levels down during summer brownouts to reduce the drain on the grid.

Discuss this Article

Post your comments
Forgot password?
    • A WiFi® logo.
      A WiFi® logo.