5 Things You Need To Know About Wi-Fi Thermostats

Ecotelligent Homes
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Innovations in technology are happening so quickly that it was only a matter of time before our homes became integrated with our smartphones. Wi-Fi thermostats are one of the newest innovations in home technology and a great investment for your home and our planet. Who wouldn’t want a thermostat that lets you control your home’s heating and cooling from your smartphone? We know that new technology can also be confusing. We’re here to help you understand everything you need to know about Wi-Fi thermostats.

Four things you can do yourself to keep your home warm and cozy, one more where you might need help


Wi-Fi thermostat has an IP address just like your computer does, but it also controls your home’s heating and cooling like a standard programmable thermostat. The IP address allows a homeowner to connect the thermostat to their home’s wireless internet and control it from a computer or smartphone. You can then program the thermostat to be set at a certain temperature while you’re home and away. Some of the more advanced models can send you email alerts, give you the ability to control it remotely, and display the outside temperature.


There are several different brands out there that offer Wi-Fi thermostats, but you should be sure to get a Wi-Fi thermostat that pairs with your heating and cooling equipment. More advanced heating and cooling equipment may require a specific thermostat to provide data that helps all the advanced features to perform optimally. You should keep in mind whether or not you have a common wire (c-wire) that runs from your furnace to the thermostat. Some Wi-Fi thermostat models require a c-wire and others come with a power extender if you don’t have one.


One of the best parts of a Wi-Fi thermostat is it not only makes your life easier, but it helps reduce energy waste. Wi-Fi thermostats take advantage of the times you aren’t home to turn down the heat or turn up the air conditioning. You can also set the temperature remotely from your smart phone if you forget to change it when you leave the house. Turning down the heat or turning up the air conditioning when you’re away helps conserve the energy you use to power your HVAC system for when you’re at home.


If your work or school schedule is different throughout the week, a Wi-Fi thermostat makes it easy to adjust the temperature from anywhere. Just pull out your phone to adjust the temperature while you’re away. Some Wi-Fi thermostats also can learn your schedule and adjust accordingly.


While you may think it will be easy to install a Wi-Fi thermostat by yourself, the new technology can be confusing. You can contact a professional to install it for you if you’re just learning about HVAC systems and how they work. This way you can get the job done quickly and be on your way to a more energy-efficient home. The best way to do this is to start with an energy audit to assess where you can conserve the most energy in your home. If your home needs an HVAC improvement, Ecotelligent Homes can install a Wi-Fi thermostat along with a new high-efficiency furnace and air conditioner.

A Wi-Fi thermostat is a great investment that pays for itself by being energy efficient. Contact Ecotelligent Homes today to discuss how you can improve your HVAC performance.

Growing up or living in Michigan, you have likely heard the term "Michigan basement." While it is likely you have heard the term, do you know what it means? In this article, we will explore what a Michigan basement is and how you can enhance the space to make it usable.

What is a Michigan basement?

In simple terms, a Michigan basement is a crawlspace that is converted into a basement. According to the State of Michigan's building glossary, a Michigan basement is a former crawlspace which has been dug out, generally to a depth of 5 to 7 feet to allow for a basement. The excavation begins approximately 2 feet in from the inside of the existing foundation walls in order to preserve the soundness of the existing foundation wall and footings.

Why is it called a Michigan basement?

The term Michigan basement is believed to have originated due to the prevalence of this particular style of basement construction in Michigan. Michigan basements are typically shallow and have a partial or low ceiling height compared to standard basements. They are often used for storage or utility purposes rather than as livable space.

The term Michigan basement is not a technical or official construction term. Similar types of basements with low ceilings or shallow depths can be found in other regions, but they are referred to by different names.

How do you insulate a Michigan basement?

There are multiple ways to insulate a Michigan basement. The most common options are closed cell spray foam, rigid foam board and open cell spray foam.

Closed Cell Spray Foam Insulation

At Ecotelligent Homes, we recommend using closed cell spray foam insulation for a Michigan basement. With the way Michigan basements are built, there are often awkward angles and small spaces that need to be filled with insulation. Closed cell spray foam has the ability to get into these areas making it one of the best options for a Michigan basement.

Closed cell spray foam insulation filling the smallest gaps in a Michigan basement has multiple benefits:

    • The floor of a Michigan basement is often unfinished and left as dirt or has poured concrete over it. If the floor is left as dirt, pests can take a liking to it. Closed cell spray foam can help prevent this from happening by covering the small areas where these bugs are likely to enter your home.
    • Closed cell spray foam insulation in your Michigan basement can help enhance your home's air quality due to its air sealing properties and creating a vapor barrier. It will prevent unwanted pollutants from entering your home through the purous basement walls.
    • The small areas in your basement rim joists can be filled with closed cell spray foam insulation to help prevent cold floors during Michigan's cooler months.


Moisture is a common issue in Michigan basements which is another reason why closed cell spray foam is a good choice for it. Using closed cell spray foam insulation can help create a moisture barrier and prevent mold and mildew from becoming an issue in your basement.

Rigid Foam Board Insulation

Rigid foam board insulation is a lightweight rigid panel made from various types of foam like expanded polystyrene (EPS), extruded polystyrene (XPS) or polyisocyanurate. Rigid foam board is easy to install but has downsides.

As mentioned, rigid foam board is easy to install as it is lightweight and can be cut into various sizes. Michigan basements typically do not have smooth walls meaning there will likely be gaps that allow unwanted air to enter or exit your home where the ridge material does not sit flush on the bumpy rock walls.

Open Cell Spray Foam Insulation

Open cell spray foam insulation has many of the same benefits as closed cell spray foam insulation with one major exception. Open cell spray foam insulation is vapor-permeable, meaning it allows moisture to pass through the material. If your Michigan basement is susceptible to water, open cell spray foam insulation will likely cause more problems for your home.

Open cell spray foam insulation can be installed directly on walls, but since it is less dense than closed cell spray foam, it will show wear and tear if left exposed and not covered by drywall.

Can you finish a Michigan basement?

Yes, you can finish a Michigan basement to make it a livable space as opposed to a storage area. A few things to consider when deciding to finish a Michigan basement:

    • Ceiling height: Michigan basements have a lower ceiling height meaning excavation or lowering the floor, a costly endeavor, may be necessary.
    • Egress requirements: A finished Michigan basement must have an emergency egress exit such as a window or door to make it habitable.
    • Moisture: As mentioned, Michigan basements are known for moisture issues. These problems need to be addressed with closed cell spray foam prior to adding insulation.
    • Heating and ventilation: Basements tend to be cooler than the upper levels of a home, so it is essential to consider heating and ventilation systems to maintain a comfortable temperature and adequate airflow in the finished space.


Is it time to insulate your Michigan basement?

Contact the Ecotelligent Homes team if you are interested in improving your home's comfort and storage space by insulating your Michigan basement.

Ecotelligent Homes

Since 2009, more than 3,000 Michigan homeowners have trusted Ecotelligent Homes to make their homes comfortable and efficient. If you want an energy audit, insulation, HVAC, or abatement services, give us a call anytime: (248) 291-7815. Satisfaction guaranteed.

Get in touch today

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Or give us a call at 248-291-7815