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It’s 2022, and home automation is no longer a futuristic dream. With applications like smart appliances, locks, and app/Bluetooth control becoming more affordable and widely available, modern homeowners have more opportunities to get the most out of their homes than ever before. One gadget that’s getting a particular amount of attention as of late is the smart thermostat. Long a treasured member of any household – and sometimes a point of contention between relatives – the humble thermostat has come a long way. Imagine a world where you can set different rooms to just the right temperature, program a schedule on your phone, and enjoy greater convenience while saving on energy bills. Yes, it’s possible! You can be more comfortable in your home and save money while doing it. And, given that we’re in the “40 degree swing within 12 hours” part of the season, having greater control over your temps and bills is pretty enticing.

If you’re thinking about getting a smart thermostat, or have one installed but aren’t sure how to make the most of it, look no further. Here are 5 tips that will make you feel almost as clever as your thermostat.

1) Program Rooms Separately

When I was growing up, my bedroom was located directly over the garage, so it wasn’t the most insulated area of the house. The northern Illinois winters hit hard with wind chills as low as -30F, and while our summers can’t exactly match Alabama’s heat waves, we did experience humid 80 and 90F days for a good chunk of the season. My bedroom mimicked these swings, and was regularly a solid 10-15 degrees colder/hotter than the rest of the house, depending on the time of year. The simple truth is that most homes have these pain points, and it’s almost impossible to maintain an even temperature throughout the entire structure, especially if you have multiple levels. In addition, you’re just going to have the issue of every person in the household having their own preferences.

Nowadays, many homes have more than one thermostat installed to control different levels of the home – and sometimes they can even provide extra control for those “pain points”. Each member of the family can control their space from their phone, keeping everyone comfortable and avoiding yet another argument about who touched the thermostat. It’s the little things that make life easier, after all.

2) Schedule and Save

It’s storytime again. As it happens, one of our sales consultants, John Newman, and I have a similar conundrum when it comes to thermostats and sleeping habits. We “run hot” at night but “run cold” in the morning – that is, we like the temperature to be cooler at night to help us sleep in a comfortably refrigerated state (maybe it slows aging?) but then we are complete and utter weenies when our alarms go off in the morning and we have to remove our security blankets to face the cold reality of another day. Thank GOD for thermostat scheduling. We can keep it cool around bedtime and have temps gradually rise as dawn breaks. I still find reasons to hit the Snooze button several times, but at least I’m comfortable.

Even if you naturally maintain stable homeostasis throughout the day, using preset schedules can still come in handy. If your home is empty for a good chunk of the day, there’s no need to keep the temperature at the perfect place all day. For example, in the heat of summer, even if your preferred temp is 72F, there’s no harm in letting it rise a few degrees while you’re at work with a schedule to gradually come back down starting in the early afternoon. By the time you get back, you’ll be back at 72F, and you won’t have wasted all that energy maintaining that temperature for all those hours you weren’t there. Not only is it a greener solution, but you’ll save on energy costs!

3) Moving Beyond the Days of Mold

With hot and humid weather on the horizon, it’s important to consider the areas of your home that are prone to mold. Beyond being stinky and gross looking, mold can cause considerable damage to your home and make you sick. Humidity sensors in smart thermostats can help you identify pain points even if you don’t sense the humidity yourself (which, depending on your natural comfort levels, you might not) for optimal placement of dehumidifiers even in places where you didn’t previously think it was necessary.

4) “Alexa, raise the temperature by two degrees.”

That’s right, smart thermostats even work with everyone’s favorite digital butler. If you’re like John or myself, hiding under the blankets regretting the decision to refrigerate yourself the night before, you could change the temperature from your phone or simply say the word with an integrated smart speaker. This isn’t the technological dawn that 1980s sci-fi flicks imagined, but it’s pretty sweet nonetheless.

5) Set Up Safety Notifications

Smart thermostats don’t just keep you comfortable – they can also keep you safe. You can program your thermostat to send you notifications in the event of a sudden change in temperature, which could be due to your HVAC system malfunctioning or even a fire! Imagine escaping a deadly fire because your thermostat warned you. Another, less dramatic use is setting up reminders to replace your filter. See what I mean when I say that your smart thermostat might sometimes outsmart you? Thank God it’s on our side – let’s make sure it never becomes sentient and develops its own will.

If you don’t have a smart thermostat, you’ve been missing out. It adds comfort, convenience, and even safety to your home life. And in a world where we’re living, sleeping, and working in our homes more than ever before, it’s worth it to ensure that our spaces are optimized to keep us safe and cozy. If you’re curious about these clever little gadgets or other smart home devices, give us a call at 877-720-2527 or email us at [email protected].