Your Guide to Learning Thermostats

Many homeowners view their thermostats as a simple mechanism that controls their heating and air conditioning units. In reality, modern learning thermostats, like Nest, have diverse capabilities that allow you to conserve energy, save money on utilities, and make life easier. No matter which model you have, these tips will help you operate your thermostat more efficiently.

How to Use Your Thermostat Properly

Modern smart thermostats function much like computers, using sensors to assess whether a home is at the correct temperature. They also offer contemporary features, such as Wi-Fi capabilities and programmable settings that allow homeowners to alter a home’s temperature remotely.

All of these features make it much easier for homeowners to regulate internal home temperatures in ways that optimize comfort, while reducing unnecessary costs. If you want to save energy and money, however, it’s important to operate your thermostat in the most efficient way.

Know the exterior temperature: Your thermostat is battling the exterior temperature as it attempts to control the temperature inside your home. If there is a large difference between the two, your system will have to work harder. You can save a lot of energy by paying attention to outdoor temperatures and setting your thermostat close to that number.

Remain patient: When feeling exceptionally hot or cold, homeowners tend to crank their thermostat up or down, hoping for quick relief. In reality, your unit can only exert a certain amount of energy at once – the temperature won’t change any faster because you set it to extreme temperatures. For best results, try to set your thermostat so interior temperatures stay consistent without major fluctuations.

Use programmable features: Excessive changes in temperature will force an air conditioner or heater to work harder, causing unnecessary wear and tear and increased utility costs. While it may seem like a waste to cool or warm your home while you’re away, it can help you avoid extreme interior temperatures that force your HVAC system into overtime. When you aren’t home, the goal should be to keep your interior temperatures as close to exterior temperatures as possible, depending on your local climate. For regions that experience below freezing temperatures in winter, it is suggested that interior temperatures be set at 68° F to prevent pipes and critical systems from freezing. If you have a modern electronic thermostat, leverage programmable features to change the temperature after you leave home for work and then switch back about an hour before you return. If you have a Nest thermostat or another type of Wi-Fi enabled thermostat, you will have remote access using a computer or smartphone. You can also leverage precise temperature controls using intelligent alerts, which will automatically determine if your home needs to be cooled or heated.

Follow Energy Star recommendations: The federal government’s Energy Star program provides helpful suggestions on how you can get the most out of your programmable thermostat. From utilizing hold/permanent/vacation features to pre-set programming, each tip can help you reduce the risk of premature system failure, while improving energy efficiency and limiting your utility costs.


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