Smart thermostats are prevalent in most homes because they can connect to home Wi-Fi, and you can control the temperature of the home wherever you are. It helps you regulate your house’s temperature quickly, even when you are not at home. Many companies promote smart thermostats, such as Nest, Ecobee, Honeywell, and those companies have high profits. You might think, “are smart thermostats safe?” since it is connected to Wi-Fi.
If users do not insist on strict privacy measures, their smart home thermostat might become a data source for criminals. That is because thermostats collect data regarding the temperature of the house and it can show if there are any people in the home or they have gone for a vacation.
But do not worry!
We are here to the rescue!
We will give you the challenges and tips you can take through this article.
Usually, the thermostat manufacturer and the utility company can access the thermostat’s data. But the hackers can go through this data through their knowledge. It is riskier if the thermostat is used for a long time and if the manufacturing company has given the data to another company.
Since the smart thermostat connects to the home Wi-Fi, there is a considerable threat. If the Wi-Fi thermostat is hacked, the other devices that connect to the Wi-Fi will also get hacked. Now you might be thinking, “Are smart thermostats secure? Are smart thermostats a security risk?”
The following facts will reduce your curiosity.
What are the advantages of a smart thermostat?-
Are smart thermostats safe?
Reduce the amount of your electricity bill
A smart thermostat will control the temperature, and it helps to consume less electricity while you are not at home. You can schedule when the house should be cooler or hotter, so you can relax once you step into your home. The Nest smart thermostat has shown some results if you think about how much a smart thermostat reduces energy. In that case, there is a 15 percent reduction in cooling price and a 10-12 percent reduction in heating prices.
You can control your thermostat even without at home!-Yeas, smart thermostats safe!
After a hectic day, if you can step into a nice cool home, that would be a heavenly thing for you. You can have that moment if you have installed a smart thermostat, and it will assist you to keep your home at the right temperature even you are not at home through your mobile phone.
You can easily install it.
If you have the correct thermostat wiring, you don’t need to worry about installing it. The instruction guide will assist you how to install the thermostat by using the correct wires. The main wire you should know is the C wire.
Monitor your electricity consumption
The smart thermostat tracks your daily electricity consumption, and it will help you make an electricity consumption report. That report will help you understand how electricity consumption has changed over time and how you can reduce the electricity cost by maintaining cooling and heating liking.
What are the disadvantages of a smart thermostat? – Smart Thermostats Safe
There are people who think that thermostats are affecting air conditioners. So they get reluctant to purchase one. Hence you might think, “Why smart thermostats are bad?” Don’t think like that. Smart thermostats aren’t bad, but yet there are downfalls too.
Using a smart thermostat, you can save many energy costs, but its initial cost might be four times more expensive than a regular thermostat. The cost-saving may depend on the climate of your residence, the perfect temperature of yours and how often you would stay at home. If you are a person that doesn’t live in one place, this is not the best fit for you. Your landlord may not allow you to install a smart thermostat in the rental home.
Do smart thermostats work without Wi-Fi?
When your smart thermostat is connected to the Wi-Fi, you can connect it to other devices. You can control the temperature even if you are out of the house and other features.
But there are times that the thermostat has not been connected to the internet due to some reasons such as connection issues. The thermostat will work without an internet connection, but there might be other cons too. If the thermostat is not connected to the internet, you won’t control the temperature remotely using the mobile app. There are smart thermostats that send you a notification or an email that the thermostat has been disconnected from the internet.
You won’t get any notifications regarding abnormal temperatures in your home if the thermostat isn’t connected to the internet. Most of the smart thermostats will alert you if there are any issues at your home, such as water leaks, low battery, electricity cutouts etc.
But if you are away from home, you won’t get any notification regarding these issues if the thermostat is not connected to the internet. To avoid those issues, the best thing you can do is use a separate Wi-Fi connection to the thermostat.
Can a smart thermostat detect room occupancy?
Yes, a smart thermostat can detect room occupancy. It is because to identify whether there is anyone in the room to control the temperature automatically, there are motion sensors fixed. It will help to reduce the electricity bill because the thermostat automatically controls the temperature.
Parties who need thermostat data
Hackers might be one party who needs thermostat data because this data will helps the hacker to find out whether there is someone at the house. It will help the thieves to break into the house. If the thief knows that you have gone a vacation, it will be the best day for them. If your data has been given to another company by the manufacturing company, the advertisers might get your data to promote their brand. Through your thermostat data, they will get to know your daily activities and send you their ads at the right time.
What can you do to secure your smart thermostat?
When installing the thermostat, don’t use your personal email address
To register the device, most of the smart thermostats will ask for an email address. If the email address is added, you will inform to log in to the portal if necessary. In that case, it is more protective if you can use an anonymous email address instead of your personal email address.
You can use a VPN router.
To secure your IP address and location, you can use a VPN router if someone hacked your thermostat. To do that, you need to route the Wi-Fi connection of the thermostat using a VPN. That is because you cannot install a VPN app on your router.
To make smart thermostats safe, make sure to check the privacy policies of the manufacturer.
Set up a separate wireless network just for the thermostat
Since the smart thermostat connects to the Wi-Fi, you might also use the same Wi-Fi to connect to the other devices. If your thermostat has been hacked, the other devices will also be hacked because all of the devices have been linked to the same Wi-Fi router. If you can connect the thermostat to another Wi-Fi connection, your other devices will be safe. This information will answer your question, “Can Wi-Fi thermostats be hacked?”
It is better to get more knowledge about these devices because the technology is evolving, and we need to adhere to them to live a comfortable life, which is good, but there might be drawbacks. Hope this article helps you to get to know about smart thermostats.