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3 Tips to Get the Most From Your Smart Thermostat

If you're the first-time owner of a smart thermostat system, you may feel overwhelmed at the options you have available to you. A smart thermostat can do wonders for your home's energy efficiency and comfort, but unlike other HVAC upgrades, you can only reap the benefits by changing your usage habits to take advantage of advanced features. Here are three tips to help you get the most out of your smart thermostat.

1. Get to Know the Smart Features

Like other smart devices, a smart thermostat gives you several options to interact with the temperature controls in your home. The most prominent feature on most smart thermostats is a touchscreen display. These displays are usually backlit and large enough to see so you can easily make adjustments in any light level. Most smart thermostats feature their user interface on the packaging, so choose one that looks intuitive for you.

In addition to an improved display, most smart thermostats offer companion mobile apps that allow you to interact with the thermostat remotely. Most apps will allow you to make the same adjustments and see the same information as you can see on the thermostat display. With a smartphone app, you can have precise control over your home's comfort no matter where you are.

Communication doesn't just go one way with a smart thermostat. A companion app on your phone also lets you stay informed with live updates and alerts from your thermostat. Most smart thermostats can alert you if there is a drastic change in temperature or other change that requires attention. Alerts can provide other useful information, like weather forecasts, as well.

2. Take Advantage of Zone Control

Zone control is an HVAC term that simply means heating and cooling different areas of your home independently. Depending on the type of HVAC system you have, this is accomplished with separate air handlers in each zone or a damper system in your ductwork.

Zone control offers several benefits for homes of any size. Naturally, only cooling or heating the parts of your home that you use rather than your entire home is more energy-efficient, so zoning can help reduce your energy bill. Zoning also eliminates the problem of having uneven hot or cold spots in your home due to duct blockages or air balance imperfections.

Smart thermostats are particularly well-equipped for HVAC systems with zone controls. Previously, multiple thermostats were needed for each zone to provide individual control. But now, smart thermostats can use multiple sensors in different rooms to provide the same function. Many smart thermostats also have dedicated sections of the user interface for each heating and cooling zone.

3. Use Energy-Efficient Programming

The most significant way to save energy using a smart thermostat is to schedule your furnace and air conditioner to run only when you need them. Smart thermostats can respond to a variety of factors, such as time of day, day of the week, and current and forecast temperatures to activate your furnace or air conditioner.

Many smart thermostats offer a geofencing or home/away feature to assist with energy efficiency. These thermostats can use GPS data from your smartphone to detect when you're at home and when you're away. A low-power schedule can take over when you're away from home and automatically switch back to your normal comfort settings when you return.

A smart thermostat is a worthwhile investment for any homeowner that values energy efficiency and convenience. Use these tips to get the most out of your smart thermostat, and contact us at Service 1 Plumbing, Heating & A/C, Inc., for all your HVAC service needs!