As a born and bred Vancouverite, I’m not very well equipped to deal with snow and cold temperatures. In fact, I’ve often thought one of the best things about living in this city is that for the most part, I can choose when I want to visit the snow as opposed it choosing when to visit me. Well, that hasn’t exactly been the case this year, and over the past couple of weeks we’ve been blanketed with two snow storms that have effectively caused the city to come to a screeching halt­.

While a snow storm on the west coast may not be the same calibre as one further east, it got me thinking about different ways to stay warm during the colder months. And as someone who is glued to her smartphone most of my waking hours, I thought I’d look at different ways to stay warm through smart home technology from Best Buy!

Control the temperature in your home from afar with a smart thermostat

10383885_1When the first snow storm of the season hit Vancouver a couple of weeks ago, I was working at my day-job downtown. We were all able to leave work a bit early so we could get home safe, but the second I stepped out into the blizzardy cold, something dawned on me, and that was that I hadn’t turned the heat up in my apartment before I left for work. Given the fact that I live in an old building with single-paned windows, I knew it was going to be an icy greeting when I got home. I wasn’t wrong.

However, had I had a smart thermostat I could have turned the heat up from the comfort of my desk at my downtown office so it would have been nice and toasty when I arrived home. How cool is that? Designed for electric heating systems, including baseboards, convectors and fan-forced convectors, the Sinope smart thermostat connects to a web interface where you can program, manage, and analyze the thermostat from your smartphone, tablet or computer. That would come in so handy on so many occasions.

On the flip side, you can turn the heat down if you forget to do so before you head out for work, or for a weekend away to keep your energy consumption and heating costs down.


A smart thermostat that learns your schedule is great for staying warm

nestAnother really great smart thermostat option is the Nest Learning Thermostat, which learns your schedule and your heating and cooling preferences, and then programs itself to save your energy usage and money.

For example, once it gets to know you, it can do things like increasing the temperature an hour before you wake up so you’re not spending your morning trying to stay warm. Just like the Sinope thermostat, perhaps the most convenient aspect of the Nest Thermostat is that you can control it with your mobile device, laptop or tablet so you can easily adjust the heat from anywhere you have an internet connection, including while stuck in grid lock on public transit.


Keep your home cozy with the ecobee3 smart thermostat

eocbee3If you’re out and about getting your holiday shopping done, or busy at the office and don’t necessarily have access to a smartphone or tablet to increase the heat in your home when the temperature drops, the ecobee3 smart thermostat has you covered. Rather than measuring the temperature where the thermostat is, ecobee3 uses wireless remote sensors to measure occupancy and temperature to deliver warm and toasty comfort in the rooms you use the most. It learns your home’s energy profile and, taking into account the weather outside, knows when to turn on your heating or cooling system so you are always coming home to the optimal temperature. That said, you can also choose to adjust your ecobee system anytime, anywhere via your smartphone, tablet or computer.

Stay on top of weather changes with a smart home weather systemnetmo

Regardless of the season, we can’t control the weather. Sure, it’s easy to read a weather report before we head out in the morning, but that only gives us a touch of weather intel. For these chilly winter months, when the temperatures can dip at a moment’s notice, the Netatmo Weather Station can help you stay informed and plan for your comfort.

Between its indoor and outdoor modules, the Netatmo Weather Station gathers temperature, humidity, air quality, CO2 level, noise pollution, barometric pressure, and 7-day forecast information, which you can access from your smartphone. What does that mean exactly? In a nutshell, it allows you to monitor your environmental conditions so you have peace of mind that you are living in a healthier home. Its detailed 7-day forecast also allows you to plan in advance, dress appropriately, and know just when to increase the temperature on the thermostat so you can say nice and warm this winter.

More than just handy devices that help you stay on top of the temperature in your home, each of these smart home technology tools can also go a long way to protect against winter hazards. For example, if you are away from home and the temperature takes a nasty dip, you can ensure your home is kept warm enough so your pipes don’t freeze and bust and that your furry friends are kept cozy and safe. You can also use the weather station to stay up to date on imminent weather patterns and ensure you’ve taken the proper precautions to protect your home from what hazards those patterns might bring.

No matter what though, with smart home technology devices like smart thermostats, you’re sure to achieve winter warmth this season.

Stacey McGregor is a marketing and communications professional based in Vancouver, BC. She has a passion for the written word, loves learning about new technology and gadgets, and enjoys sharing what she learns through Best Buy's Plug In blog.