20 May 2021

How A Smart Programmable Thermostat Can Save Lots of Money

Smart Thermostat

Smart thermostats are becoming extremely popular today. The convenience of controlling their devices from anywhere in the world through their phone or online platform is the ultimate appeal. 

How do Smart Thermostats Work?

A smart thermostat works like conventional thermostats – it monitors and controls the indoor temperature. Smart thermostats have more features than conventional ones and can be programmed for specific temperatures for different times of the day. Plus they can be monitored and controlled through connected apps. 

Adding a smart thermostat to your home or office space will help you be more strategic with your energy usage. And you’ll be able to monitor your home or office from any remote location if it is set up on Wi-Fi. 

Connecting to your Heating and Cooling system

Setting up a programmable thermostat

A smart thermostat is wired the same as a traditional thermostat and can be controlled manually but has the added benefit of being controlled remotely when set up on a Wi-Fi network.

It is important to make sure your smart thermostat has the capability of being set up for your specific HVAC system. This is especially important if you have an older home or an upgraded HVAC system with two-stage or variable speed heating or cooling or systems. These types of systems require communication between the indoor and outdoor units. 

Controlling Your Smart Thermostat

With a traditional thermostat, typically you can set the temperature and the airflow to auto or circulate. 

With a smart thermostat, you have those same features and have the added benefit of the thermostat “learning” your habits. You can also set your own schedule by programming it in advance. 

Many even have a feature called geo-fencing that allows your system to turn on or off as you enter or leave your selected geo zone.  

Nexia Programmable Thermostat App on Android phone

Using these features is optional and can help maximize your energy savings by automatic adjustments made by your thermostat when you are home and away.  

Imagine setting your thermostat to a higher temperature while you are away on a summer vacation coming home to a cool comfortable home.  Remote access via an app will allow just that. 

Many smart thermostats integrate with virtual assistants so making changes to the programming or schedule is as easy as asking your virtual assistant to make a change in the settings.  These functions are so easy to control through the app or online it makes using them a very user-friendly experience.

Automating Comfort Levels

Some smart thermostats even have sensors that can be set up in each room of your home to automatically monitor when they are occupied and adjust the temperature to the desired comfort level. 

Nexia Room IQ diagram

Nexia Debuts RoomIQ (PRNewsfoto/Nexia)

They can help even out hot and cold spots in your home without making costly ductwork modifications. It works by adding temperature sensors to read the temperature in each room and following the desired set points at those areas instead of only reading the temperature at the thermostat on the wall. 

Allowing Remote Diagnostics

Many smart thermostats have remote monitoring capabilities that can be set up to send an alert to both the owner and the HVAC contractor when your HVAC system is not operating properly. 

In many instances, the contractor can contact the property owner before you even realize there is a problem.  The contractor can ask for remote access to do some diagnostics remotely to determine if a service call is needed or if there is something you can take care of on your own.

Don’t worry, access must be granted and is only enabled for a short time.  The contractor does not have access to make any changes to your HVAC system, just diagnostic monitoring.

Tracking Energy Usage

Your smart thermostat will help you track the days of the week and times of each day you are using the most energy. Monitoring energy usage can give you valuable information and allow you to make quick easy adjustments to your programming to maximize energy savings according to your utility plan.

Learn more about saving money on your energy bills here.

Touch Screen Display

Many smart thermostats have large, easy-to-read, and easy-to-use touch screens that are user-friendly and intuitive. Learning to use your smart thermostat is generally a remarkably simple process that most people learn in a few short minutes. Smart thermostats have sleek, eye-pleasing designs, and fit into any décor. 

Maintenance Reminders

Another added benefit is the ability to set scheduling reminders for filter changes and routine maintenance. By setting this feature you’ll never miss those all-important tasks to keep your system running at peak performance. Learn about our AZ Perfect Comfort Club and the savings you’ll receive.

Weather Monitoring

Yet another feature readily available on your connected thermostat is the ability to monitor outdoor temperatures and weather in your immediate area. You can see if there is a storm moving into your area. 

The ability to monitor the humidity levels both inside and outside will help you make adjustments to your system’s set point and fan modes. This helps your system to wring more moisture out of the air in the summertime and keep your indoor environment as comfortable as possible.

Home Automation- Making Your Home a Smart HomeNexia Smart Home Diagram

Nexia smart thermostats are the beginning point of a whole home automation platform with hundreds of additional smart components that can be added using an integrated Z wave bridge.  Items from timers for landscape lighting and pool equipment to garage door openers and hundreds of other options can make your home a connected home. Many of these items are easy to install yourself and can help save money on other high-energy usage items. An automated home can create a safer more comfortable home environment for you and your family.  

Can I Install a Smart Thermostat Myself?

Installing a smart thermostat is a simple task, but a word of caution – read the directions for installing before you begin to avoid unnecessary complications.

  1. Start by turning off the power supply to your HVAC system.  This protects you and avoids blowing fuses in your equipment.
  2. Remove the faceplate of the existing thermostat and take a picture of the existing wiring connections.  You will be wiring the new thermostat the same way as the old one.  Don’t assume that the letters correspond to the color of the wires- they usually don’t.
  3. Most smart thermostats do require connection of the common wire so they will not need a battery to operate. 
  4. Make sure when removing the wires that you keep them from touching each other.
  5. Secure the new subbase in place, match up the wires to the correct connections, making sure they have good contact.
  6. Once that is all finished, click the faceplate onto the base, power up the system, and follow the set-up prompts on the screen.  Make sure to set up your thermostat for the type of system you have, gas or electric, etc.
  7. Next, you will connect the thermostat to the internet.  Most smart thermostats have an app that is used to access the system remotely so you will also be setting up that account.
  8. Now you can set up your programming, geo zones, or preferences.   

Once your smart thermostat is set up and operating properly you can start enjoying the features that come along with it and start seeing savings in energy usage all year long!

Warranty Information

Most smart thermostats come with a two-year warranty when purchased from your local hardware store.  Smart thermostats purchased and installed by a licensed contractor generally come with a five-to-ten-year warranty, depending on the product, and a warranty on the installation provided by the installing contractor.

Rebates

There are often utility rebates available to help with the upfront cost of a smart thermostat. Check your local utility provider’s website (APS and SRP) for up-to-date rebate information, which thermostats qualify for those rebates and rebate applications. 

Have Questions or Need Professional installation?

If you have questions about if a smart thermostat is right for your home or business we will help you make the right choice for your situation. 

If you want to save time and effort have us install your smart thermostat and start enjoying your savings on utility bills this summer, call AZ Perfect Comfort at 602-789-3000.  We are here to help!