smart thermostat

WiFi Thermostats: A “SMART” Choice for Your Home

Home thermostats have come a long way since the simple, dial-style models of our childhood. Those ancient dinosaurs were not only imprecise, but also difficult to adjust. Everything was done manually, and while adjustment was a simple turn of the dial, it was easy to forget to adjust the thermostat up or down to save energy while you were away at work or on vacation.

Programmable thermostats came on the scene over a decade ago. Revolutionizing the way we heat and cool our homes, programmable thermostats allowed us to set and forget, providing a great way to customize or heating and cooling to fit our daily lifestyle and routine. These innovative gems increased our comfort levels and our energy savings.

The latest technological development in the world of thermostats goes above and beyond simple programming capabilities. New thermostat technology connects to your home’s wireless internet service. With WiFi connectivity, you can use your smartphone or tablet to remotely check and change the temperature in your home. Many models can also integrate with SMART home hubs like Google Home and Amazon Alexa, making it easy to adjust your temperature settings with just your voice. This new SMART thermostat technology is convenient, and enhances energy savings and personal comfort.

Thermostats and SMART Technology

SMART home technology is rapidly gaining popularity in the United States. According to Statista, approximately 28 percent of American households were using smart home technology in 2018. This is number is expected to increase to 54 percent by the year 2023.

SMART stands for Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology. Originally developed by IBM, SMART home technology allows consumers monitor and control connected home devices from their smartphone or other networked devices. These voice-activated systems allow users to control home lighting, security systems, music, shopping, and more.

Many new thermostat models easily  integrate into SMART home systems. These SMART thermostats allow you to easily adjust temperature settings in your home without the need to get up, walk across the house, and adjust a manual dial. Instead, you can initiate the system with a simple voice command like, “make it warmer.” The system will automatically alert your heating system and raise the temperature inside your living space.

Other Voice-Activated Options

While SMART technology is becoming more common, many homeowners have not yet integrated a smart home hub in their homes. For those households, there are several stand-alone voice-activated WiFi thermostats available. These innovative thermostats offer voice command technology with WiFi integration without the need for a central SMART home hub.

How the HVAC Industry is Using SMART Technology

SMART thermostats are just one way this new technology is revolutionizing the comfort level in our homes. Consumer demand is constantly driving the HVAC industry to create products that enhance comfort and convenience through voice control and home connectivity. However, SMART technology can also make your family safer. 

SMART technology can also allow thermostats and carbon monoxide detectors to communicate with one another. When the CO2 detector senses high carbon monoxide levels, it can communicate with the thermostat and shut down HVAC systems. SMART can also send a message to your smartphone, alerting you of the situation. This can save you and your family from a potentially hazardous situation.

Ask Your Local HVAC Professionals

SMART technology can add a whole new level of convenience, safety, and savings to the way you heat and cool your home. Therefore, if you are considering integrating your thermostat to your home’s SMART hub, or if you have questions about other voice-controlled or WiFi compatible models, contact your local HVAC professionals for more information.

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Summer Vacation

What to do with Your A/C During Summer Vacation

It isn’t uncommon for families to head off for long vacations during the hot summer months. This means many homes will sit empty while homeowners enjoy long-awaited holidays filled with fun warm weather activities.

It might seem logical to turn off your air conditioner while you are away. It probably seems like a waste to cool an empty house. However, it is probably not the best solution to a high summer energy bill. While it may seem like turning off the A/C while your home or vacation property sits empty will save you some major cash, it might actually cost you more money in the long run.

Why You Shouldn’t Turn off your A/C When You’re on Vacation

Many homeowners make the mistake of thinking they can totally shut off their home’s A/C while they’re gone for vacation and the house sits empty. While it’s true you will save money on your energy bill if the A/C unit isn’t running, there are some other important things to consider before you flip the switch

Remember, your home will be locked up tight while you are away. All your doors and windows will be shut, so the A/C may be the home’s only source of air circulation. You might argue that people lived in the heat of summer before A/C was even invented, but they lived with the windows constantly open to let the outside air in. Also, before A/C became common, homes featured high ceilings that created a natural system of air circulation.

When the temperature outside your home reaches 90 degrees, it doesn’t take long for the inside of your home to reach triple digit temperatures, especially when the A/C isn’t running. Basically the inside of your home turns into a tropical sauna.

With the inside temperatures reaching sweltering levels and air sitting stagnant, the inside of your home becomes the perfect environment for mold and mildew to thrive. These pesky, and often dangerous, forms of fungus can multiply rapidly on your furniture, clothes, drapes, and bedding when humidity levels are high.

The heat and moisture can also warp wood floors and cabinets, peel wallpaper, and wreak havoc on your laptops and other electronic devices.

No matter how tempting it is to save some cash on your cooling bills, it is best to leave your A/C on, even when the home is sitting empty. The best setting best for home maintenance is 85 degrees. A thermostat set on 85 will keep the air circulating and help protect your home from the potential damage of extreme heat and humidity.

Ways to Help You Save

Before you leave your home for exotic vacation destinations, there are some things you can do that will help save you money on your utility bill.

During the summer months, sunlight hits your home with higher intensity than it does during cooler seasons. The sun may actually be the main factor contributing to the rising summer heat inside of your home. Make sure to pull all blinds and curtains before you leave for vacation. This will help reduce the hot sunlight that enters your home and contributes to high energy costs.

If you know you will be away from home for an unusually long time, you might consider installing energy saving storm windows. While the investment is initially high, storm windows will help block out light and insulate the home, protecting it from extreme weather conditions. Storm windows are a wise investment, especially if your home is regularly unoccupied during warm summer months.

Save Money with a Smart Thermostat

A smart thermostat allows you to control your home’s thermostat with a smartphone or tablet from virtually anywhere in the world. With instant access to local weather reports, you can adjust your empty home’s thermostat settings for daily conditions. If the day is cool and dry, you might want to bump up the temperature a few degrees since humidity damage will be unlikely

It’s almost like sticking your thermostat in your pocket and taking it on vacation with you. A smart thermostat can offer peace of mind by offering portable real-time control of one of your home’s most important major appliances. Smart thermostats are especially valuable for properties that may go unoccupied for weeks at a time.

There are several considerations for purchasing and installing a smart thermostat, so check with your local HVAC professional to learn about options and installation.

Service Your HVAC Unit to Save Money

Before summer gets into full swing and the climbing temperatures start taxing your HVAC unit, it is a smart idea to call a technician for regular maintenance. A pre-season inspection will ensure your unit is in top condition for efficient summer performance. A local HVAC professional can clean the coils and fan of your unit, and check your ducts, vents, and filters.

An annual check-up will help save you money whether you intend to go on vacation or if you plan to just relax at home all summer long.

 

You deserve to enjoy your hard-earned summer R and R. Working hard to save money for your vacation shouldn’t be more difficult with the added burden of an expensive energy bill while you’re away. Follow these tips and you’ll be able to protect your home – and your wallet – from the often expensive cost of the hot summer sun. Then all you have to do is enjoy your vacation.

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