Save Energy and Maximize Comfort With a Smart Thermostat

January 4, 2024
Smart thermostats in Orchard Park, NY

During the cold, winter months in Erie County, New York, keeping your indoor space comfortably warm can be challenging. While you might want to crank up the heat and pull out space heaters, doing so can cause your utility bills to skyrocket. Instead, it would be best if you took advantage of the settings on your smart thermostat to remain comfortable while also keeping your energy bills low. Here are some steps to make the most use of your smart thermostat’s settings this winter to maximize your indoor comfort and minimize your heating costs.

Train Your Thermostat

Smart thermostats learn your habits and adjust accordingly, so your first step should be to train your device. The thermostat learns about your habits and comfort needs each time you adjust the temperature. Depending on the type of thermostat you have, you can take advantage of the following features to train your device to meet your preferences.

  • Automatic – Adjusts the temperature based on the user’s habits.
  • Scheduling – Sets daily schedules based on the day.
  • Geofencing – Detects the user’s smartphone when they are nearing home to turn on.
  • Feedback – Sends texts or emails to inform the user how they are doing.
  • Vacation mode – Allows users to turn off schedules when they will be away.

Learn your thermostat’s features, and then, train the device to the temperature settings you prefer and your personal schedule.

Use Your Device Correctly

If you program your device and use it correctly, your smart thermostat can help you conserve energy and save money on your heating bills. Your thermostat will begin tracking your temperature habits and provide feedback. You can use that feedback to identify where you can cut back and enjoy further energy savings.

If you leave home and forget to turn off your thermostat, you can do so from your smartphone by using an app. Being consistent can help to ensure your smart thermostat functions optimally to save you the most money on your heating bills.

Avoid Manual Mode

While your thermostat likely has a manual mode, do not use it. When you use your thermostat in manual mode, you lose out on all the benefits the smart thermostat offers. Manually changing the temperature setting forces your HVAC system to use energy to turn off or on more often. Rather than adjusting the temperature manually, set a schedule and allow the thermostat to follow it.

If you frequently want to change the temperature, it is best to adjust the schedule instead of using manual mode. The thermostat will then adapt to your needs.

Let Your Body Adjust

While the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recommends people keep their thermostats set at 68 degrees Fahrenheit during the winter months, you might find this temperature a little chilly. If you think this is too cool, try taking a smaller step by adjusting your thermostat settings down by one degree during the day when you are home.

If you typically set your thermostat to 71 degrees during the day hours you are home, your body likely will not notice a one-degree temperature drop. Change the setting to 70 degrees, and then allow your body time to adjust. Once you have adjusted, you can adjust it down by another degree to see how you feel. You might find that you can adjust to 68-degree temperatures during your waking hours without too much effort.

Do Not Close Vents

Many people try to cut back on heating costs by closing vents in unused rooms. However, doing this can negatively affect the airflow and make your HVAC system more inefficient.

Leave your vents open. You can also utilize zoning to keep the temperature low in unused rooms while keeping your used spaces warm and comfortable.

Schedule Lower Temperatures at Night

When you are sleeping, you should not need your home to be heated to the same level as when you are awake. Schedule your thermostat to turn down the temperature in your home around 30 minutes after your bedtime and back up around 30 minutes before you wake up. This can help you conserve energy without thinking about it.

Talk to Our Heating and Cooling Professionals

At Vastola Heating & Cooling, our HVAC professionals have proudly served residents across Western New York for the past seven decades to address their heating and cooling needs. Our family-owned business provides top-quality heating and cooling products, full installation services, repair services, and maintenance to meet your needs. To learn more about smart thermostats and how we can help, contact us at Vastola Heating & Cooling today!