Tips and Tricks for Your Smart Thermostat

Tips and Tricks for Your Smart Thermostat

Did you know that almost 400 million homes in North America have a smart thermostat?

A smart thermostat is more than just a way to heat and cool your home — the high-efficiency features help you decrease your carbon footprint, all while saving you almost 5% monthly in utility bills.

How Can a Smart Thermostat Save me Money?

In the past, most homeowners would set their home to a certain temperature and never look twice on their thermostat again. Or sometimes, we would run our HVAC system around the clock to keep us comfortable during the hottest or coolest time of the year. This is probably why heating and cooling are the top two most energy-consuming elements in our home.

But not with smart thermostats!

Whether you have a Nest, Lennox, or an Ecobee thermostat — we have the tips you need to make your home the most eco-friendly.

Take Advantage of Voice Control

Voice Control and Google Now

Voice control is the holy grail of your smart home. Link and connect all of your smart appliances to one another, as well as your smart device, and you’ll see how easy it is to heat and cool your home effectively.

For example, you can tell the Google app on your phone to “set the temperature to 75 degrees,” and it will handle it from there. Or, let’s say you were on your laptop — you can ask your device to change the temperature by typing it into the search bar in your browser.

Voice Control and Amazon Echo

If you go to “Skills — Smart Home,” you can enable the skills ability on your Alexa mobile app. Once the skill is enabled, you can ask Alexa to change the temperature by simply saying, “Alexa, raise dining room temperature by 10 degrees.”

Voice Control and Nest Thermostat

We also suggest you enable the Underscore Research’s Thermostat Controller — this will link your Nest thermostat. Instead of having to specify which room in the house you want to change, you can say, “Alexa, tell the thermostat it’s too cold.”

Auto Decide Your Auto-Away

Auto-Away automatically comes on when your Nest system realizes no one is home. But how? You can link the Nest Ecosystem to your phone's location. This means, your HVAC system will save energy by not having to heat or cool an empty home — which also means more money in your pocket at the end of the month — win-win!

Away versus Auto-Away

Auto-away is an excellent feature because it can help you save money and energy; however, it does take time to kick in. During that time, your HVAC may be running. If you set your smart thermostat to Away manually, it will automatically shut down your HVAC system — just don’t forget to set it back again. All you need to do is tell your Amazon Echo0 or Google Home, “tell the thermostat I’m away.”

Get Weather Updates

When we say weather updates, we don’t just mean the outdoor temperature (even though it will show that as well). Many smart thermostats will display the weather pattern on the face of the thermostat — clouds for an overcast day, sun for higher temperature days, and rain for storms (you get the idea). If you want to check the actual temperature on a Nest smart thermostat, turn the dial to the checkmark.

Look out for the Leaf

If you want to make steady energy and money savings, Nest suggests only changing the temperature in your home by one degree a day (up or down). This can help you save as much as 5% on your utility bills!

To tell if you’re having an immediate impact, check if the green Nest Leaf icon shows on the display screen. The more you see the green leaf, the more you’re saving.

Use the Nest Schedule Tool

If you don’t think that allowing your Nest to auto-adjust the temperature in your home isn’t enough of an energy-saver, there’s the Nest Schedule Tool.

If you have a typical weekly schedule, program that schedule in your smart thermostat to lower the temperature when you’re home and raise it when you’re away. For example, if you work every day, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Schedule Tool will turn down the temperature when you leave for work and raise it a few degrees right before you return home.

Use IFTTT the Right Way

What’s IFTTT? Essentially, it’s an easy-to-use tool that automates your tech life and will help make your programmable thermostat even smarter. For instance, not only can you use the Nest Away feature, but with IFTT, you can trigger your air conditioner power outlet to turn off whenever you’re away as well.

Use Smartsense Sensors

If you use the trigger from a Smartsense multi-sensor, it will recognize when someone opened a window in your house. Your smart thermostat will then immediately turn off your air conditioning unit to avoid wasting energy and overloading your central air system.

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