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Smart Air Conditioning... What's that?

As temperatures rise, it’s important to have ways to keep your home cool. There are a lot of different options to accomplish this, including both single-room solutions and solutions that help to cool down the entire house. While different people choose different methods to heat and cool their homes throughout the year, the majority of cooling solutions will include some sort of air conditioning.

Smart thermostats are popular options for those who have central heat and air, as they give a greater amount of control over the temperature that the home stays at. What happens if you need cooling for one specific part of your home, though? If that’s the case, you might want to consider a smart air conditioner to help you meet your needs.

What Is a Smart Air Conditioner?

As the name implies, a smart air conditioner is an AC unit that connects to the internet via Wi-Fi to enable various “smart” features. This includes the ability to control the air conditioner’s settings remotely via a smartphone or tablet app, setting routines to adjust the cooling level automatically during the day, and the ability to incorporate the smart AC unit into routines controlled by smart assistants like Alexa or the Google Assistant. Depending on the unit, there may be other smart features available as well.

Typically, smart air conditioners are smaller in size, and have the form factor of a window-unit air conditioner. Occasionally you’ll see standalone portable smart AC units or smart units with a larger form factor, but these are less common. The purpose of a smart air conditioner is to cool a single room and maintain a desired temperature, so they are usually sized accordingly. Costs can vary based on size, cooling throughput, and smart features that are unique to the specific air conditioner.

Smart Air Conditioner vs. Smart Thermostat

The function of a smart air conditioner is similar to that of a smart thermostat, but they accomplish their tasks in different ways. Smart AC units have the “smart” components built into the same unit that is doing the actual cooling, so its technology is self-contained. Smart thermostats are controllers that interface with a standard central heat and air system, adding “smart” capacity to a system that wasn’t designed with smart function in mind.

The two systems also have different intended uses. Smart air conditioners use a small form factor because they are designed to cool a single room, and have integrated temperature sensors to help accomplish this. Smart thermostats, on the other hand, are intended to cool an entire house. As a result, the thermostat has its own temperature sensor and can also interface with additional sensors in other rooms if they are set up; this lets the smart thermostat more accurately monitor the temperature of the entire house and adjust it accordingly instead of focusing on the conditions of a single room.

Do You Need a Smart Air Conditioner?

If you have a small area to cool and want a greater amount of control over that cooling, a smart air conditioner might be right for you. This is especially useful if you have other smart appliances that the air conditioner can work within routines. By setting up a smart AC unit in the room where you need it most, you can save money on your overall household cooling costs.

If you’re hoping to cool an entire house, though, putting smart air conditioners in every room could be a costly endeavor that would really drive up your summer cooling expense. For cooling the entire home, a central air conditioner with a smart thermostat is a much better option.

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