Making the most of your smart thermostat - Part 2

Making the most of your smart thermostat - Part 2

By George Land, General Manager, Digital Products

Older couple

In August, I was happy to share some tips for HVAC energy savings with smart thermostats, including using scheduling, managing climate settings through a smartphone app, geofencing and voice control. Now that the weather is getting cooler, it is a great time to find more ways to keep lowering your bills. Let’s take a look at a few more ways modern smart systems can help you manage comfort and energy consumption. Like the last blog post, I will review their strengths and weaknesses.

Learning Modes

With the rise in artificial intelligence, several methods are available to learn your temperature preferences throughout the day and week. These algorithms figure out your preferences and schedule and constantly adapt as these change over time. They work best when you have a somewhat consistent schedule in the short term and are excellent at adapting to changes over the longer term.

Occupancy Detection

Another common approach to eliminating wasteful heating and cooling is to automatically detect when the home is unoccupied and set back the thermostat. Some smart thermostats do this with an on-board motion sensor, some do it with motion sensors mounted around the house, but both work best when the sensors are located where it is almost guaranteed to see motion when someone is home. If you have ever woken up in the middle of the night in a hotel room and had to wave your arms at the thermostat for it to turn back on, you’ve experienced the potential downside to motion sensor-based occupancy detection.

Zoning

Zoning optimizes heating and cooling for the parts of the house that are occupied at a given time through a sensor and programming approach. Using the intelligence of temperature and humidity sensors paired with your smart thermostat, the system is able to prioritize and customize air flow. For example, during the night, you may only care about the temperature in the bedrooms, while during the day, you may only be concerned with the temperature in the living areas. You can also take this concept to the next level by having an HVAC professional install a climate zone system. These systems work inside your ductwork to open, close, or partially restrict airflow to redirect heated or cooled air to where it’s needed, providing maximum comfort where you want it most, and savings in areas where you don’t.

We know that each of these techniques are valuable but none solve every need. That’s why our Nexia team works every day to continually make improvements to our full suite of solutions so they can seamlessly integrate with your home and lifestyle.

What will work best for you to help manage your comfort and energy consumption? Learn more here.