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Save Money with a Smart Thermostat

Given inflation rates over the past year, the monthly cost of operating your home’s HVAC system has probably never seemed higher. Little doubt you cut back on using the air conditioning during the summer and are now trying to limit your system’s heating output. And you probably keep a much closer eye on the thermostat. Speaking of that thermostat, you may have wondered whether you should install one of those smart thermostats for your HVAC system. From what you have heard, they can help reduce energy costs, right?

When a Tallahassee-area homeowner asks our Air Control Heating and Cooling technicians if a smart thermostat can help them cut energy costs, we respond that it depends on their own smarts. A smart thermostat cannot think for itself, and its unique and potentially money-saving features are only practical if used smartly by the homeowner. With decades of providing HVAC service in north-central Florida, we know a thing about thermostats and can advise you on how to make the best use of yours, intelligent or not.

What Makes These New Kinds of Thermostats “Smart?”

Smart thermostats aren’t truly smart; they just have features that make them seem clever. These features include:

  • App-enabled temperature setting and monitoring—If you forgot to cut back on the A/C or lower the heat before going out for the day, you could easily adjust the setting from your cellphone or other smart devices.
  • Voice command—If you don’t want to get up from your chair to adjust the temperature, tell the thermostat to change it with a voice command via Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri (depending on the thermostat).
  • Automatic home and away modes—many smart thermostats have sensors to determine whether people are in the home or not. When one doesn’t sense the presence of people after a pre-set time, it automatically switches the temperature to an energy-saving setting. Once it senses people, it returns the temperature to its normally scheduled setting.
  • Energy reporting—Most smart thermostats generate monthly reports detailing hourly energy usage, home heating and/or cooling trends, home and away setting frequencies, and other pertinent data.
  • Environmental settings—smart thermostats typically include environmental temperature settings that are designed to adjust the temperature to a sweet spot between comfort and energy savings.
  • Remote sensors—supplementary devices used to enhance home and away sensing for more timely temperature adjustments. They also track temperatures in other rooms, which can be used as a default temperature setting or to help assess temperature ranges for total household comfort.

Using Your Smarts to Get the Most Out of Your Smart Thermostat

You can effectively save energy costs with a traditional thermostat if you diligently adjust it whenever you leave or return home. And, if your standard thermostat is programable, you can lock in energy-saving temperatures when you are asleep or away from home by setting them appropriately.

Likewise, to save money with your smart thermostat, you must use its features diligently. First, make sure that its automatic home and away setting mode is turned on—if it’s not enabled, it won’t make any temperature adjustments that might help cut energy costs.

Second, periodically check the app when you and your family are away from home ensure that the thermostat is set at an energy-saving temperature. If not, you may need to adjust its temperature schedule or home/away temperature settings.

Make use of the monthly energy reporting. If you’re not pleased with your reported energy usage, figure out when you can make temperature adjustments that can cut HVAC usage.

Let your HVAC system operate under the environmental settings to see if you and your family can get comfortable with the cooling or heating it provides. Your comfort levels may be based partly on the temperatures you’re used to, and you might easily get used to a slight change in them if given time.

Consult with Tallahassee’s Air Control Heating and Cooling on Thermostats and Other Energy Saving Ideas

If you want to learn more about smart thermostats or other HVAC-related energy-saving ideas, an Air Control Heating and Cooling technician would be glad to speak with you. Maintaining your HVAC system’s peak performance ensures energy-saving operational efficiency, so consider a membership in our Air Control Club. We offer two different membership levels that provide regular maintenance, inspections, and other benefits designed to optimize your HVAC performance.

For all of your HVAC needs in the Tallahassee, Havana, Quincy, Monticello, and Crawfordville areas, contact us today at (850) 562-1234.