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If you’re the type of person who thinks about your thermostat and how it’s affecting your utility bill, you might be wondering whether a smart thermostat can detect occupancy.

Smart thermostats can’t detect room occupancy on their own. They require motion sensors that get the job done in this regard. But once you pair a smart thermostat with a high-end motion sensor, it can automatically adjust the temperature levels of different rooms in the house based on occupancy.

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What Features Do Smart Thermostats Have?

When it comes to offering utmost convenience and relentless comfort, smart thermostats have come a long way. You can enjoy many things if you make the right choice of buying an appropriate thermostat for your home.

Below are some of the most common features of modern-day thermostats that are available on the market.

Energy Savings

Energy saving is one of the primary reasons for installing smart thermostat devices in our homes. They save energy for us and the upcoming generations based on high-end technology. Their contribution to effective heat management is indisputable.

More specifically, these thermostat devices replicate the functioning of a dimmer switch that works automatically. These devices manage temperature levels based on the number of people in the room or on the floor. Based on the occupants, they shift from one level to another to maintain the set temperature of the environment.

As a result, less energy is wasted, and more money is saved.

Wireless Connectivity

Gone are the days when you had to control your thermostat devices manually. The advancement of WiFi technology has resulted in the creation of app-supported smart thermostats that allow users to control them with a press of a button.

This app support means you can now use your Apple or Android devices to monitor and control the functioning of the smart thermostat installed in your home.

Weather Forecast

You can now unleash the full potential of your smart thermostat with its internet connectivity . More specifically, internet access helps your smart thermostat update weather forecasts based on the device’s geographic location.

Motion Sensors

Motion sensors are one of the main topics of discussion today. For detecting room occupancy, these motion sensors help the thermostat devices act reliably.

With the help of these motion sensors, an intelligent thermostat regulates the temperature and light levels of different rooms in a single house as they detect and send information to a thermostat device.

Many manufacturers are currently offering these motion sensors in the package along with a thermostat device. However, you may have to buy new ones if they do not arrive in the package.

Don’t forget to counter-check the compatibility of your smart thermostat device with motion sensors before buying one from the market.

What Is A Thermostat Occupancy Sensor?

Technology is reshaping every aspect of people’s lives. Similarly, smart home inventions are also revolutionizing things people did in the past. Many of you may have thermostat technology that regulates the temperature management of your house. But what are these newly introduced thermostat occupancy sensors? And why is everyone talking about it?

Thermostat occupancy sensors mainly utilize PIR (passive infrared) sensors that monitor the occupancy of any room. These excessively sensitive sensors can monitor the light and temperature of any room in the house besides monitoring motion. As a result, they can detect the number of people in the room to help thermostats adjust accordingly.

Besides temperature management, these sensors are equally helpful in every walk of life. They are most probably present everywhere you visit. You can find these tiny blinking creatures in hallways, hotel rooms, bathrooms, shopping centers, gyms, military barracks, and many other places.

How Do Thermostat Sensors Help You?

Thermostat sensors are useful for users in countless ways. Most importantly, they help you save energy and reduce electricity consumption. You can save several dollars every month that you pay for the wasted electricity this way.

Not only that, these thermostat sensors are highly beneficial in reducing the carbon footprint. The decrease in energy consumption means you are contributing towards a sustainable environment as most of the energy production, believe it or not, relies heavily on the burning of fossils, including petroleum, coal, and uranium.

Does A Thermostat Sensor Detect Sleeping Individuals?

The activity of individuals in the room is not a necessity for these sensors to work. They can detect the number of sleeping people as they are highly sensitive and can detect any trivial movements and heat radiation in the room. Consequently, this technology can be relied upon for efficient temperature control based on the occupancy of a room.

What Are the Two Most Common Forms of Occupancy Sensors?

There are many types of thermostat occupancy sensors that are available on the market. However, the two most important among them are :

  • PIR Sensors
  • Ultrasonic Sensors

How Do Smart Thermostat Room Sensors Work?

PIR Sensors

PIR sensors are one of the most prevalent sensors that people use to regulate their homes safely. They utilize infrared technology for their functioning. This technology detects heat signals and sends the response to the central unit for any necessary action.

For instance, people often utilize these sensors in toilets to automatically manage the functioning of the light levels. Hotel owners use this technology to manage the energy consumption of rooms in the building efficiently. You can also find them in offices that help detect any movement based on heat.

However, these PIR sensors are not able to detect movements behind obstacles. For instance, they will not be able to see any movement of people behind the walls. For that purpose, you can rely on the second type of these movement sensors, called Ultrasonic sensors.

Ultrasonic Sensors

Ultrasonic sensors detect movements based on sound waves. The scientific concept they utilize is the Doppler effect, which you frequently studied in the science class at your High School. It basically revolves around the variation in sound waves that help sensors detect any movement.

These ultrasonic sensors continuously emit sound waves to detect any movement around their location. A sound wave that comes back without any change in its pitch means there is no movement around. On the other hand, when these sensors notice a difference in the wave’s pitch, they can detect the motion.

They send signals to the primary device for necessary action as soon as they detect any movement. For instance, they can send the signal to the thermostat equipment to turn the air conditioner on as the person arrives in a hotel room. They are also used to manage the functioning of lights level within a space automatically.

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What Makes These Sensors So Popular for Commercial Use?

Commercial buildings, including college dormitories, hotel rooms, and military barracks, only require a few numbers of these sensors. For instance, they can get the job done for you even with a single sensor. However, when it comes to rooms, you are going to need many of them.

You will require a separate sensor for every room in the house, including hallways. The cost rises to some extent when you want to set up a foolproof system for the entire home. Another thing that undermines the popularity of this highly efficient technology is a lack of awareness.

Many people across the globe still do not know what these sensors are and how they can get the most out of these little devices. That is why companies need to rethink their awareness campaign if they want to capture individual customers across different states.

Can a Smart Thermostat Detect Room Occupancy?

The present-day smart thermostat can detect room occupancy if you pair it with motion sensors. To detect how many people are in a room, you’ll need to install motion sensors in every room or in any other space where people are present.


Thermostat devices require a wireless connection with a motion sensor to detect room occupancy. Although it may seem expensive to install a room sensor in each room, the overall experience of using them is pretty rewarding in the long run.