Programmable thermostats are a quick and inexpensive way to reduce the heating and cooling costs of your Southwest Florida home by up to 20 percent, but conventional models can be difficult to program and may not be as flexible as your schedule demands. By incorporating the latest technologies, like touchscreen controls and Wi-Fi connectivity, a smart thermostat can make it easy and convenient to minimize your energy usage and costs.
Common Smart Thermostat Features
Most smart thermostats feature an intuitive interface with a touchscreen display, which makes it much easier to program and use than a conventional programmable thermostat, with menus that are simple to navigate and settings that are straightforward. With the included Wi-Fi connectivity, it’s also possible to program the thermostat remotely from a computer or a smart phone, allowing you to easily change settings while you’re away from home, or to create complex schedules without using the built-in interface. Some models also use Wi-Fi to connect with other smart devices in your home, such as smoke detectors or lighting, which enables some advanced home automation options. Others can use the connection to display critical information like the weather on the thermostat’s display, or to send alerts to your phone if there’s a problem with your system.
How a Smart Thermostat Makes Life Easier
A smart thermostat makes it simple to create complex programs, changing the temperature in your home as needed to accommodate your busy schedule. By lowering the temperature 5 to 10 degrees while you’re away in the winter and raising it during the summer, you can maximize your energy savings. It also makes it easy to adjust the temperature to adapt to unforeseen events, such as coming home from work early or extending your vacation by a few days. Finally, if your HVAC system develops a problem, it can help you get it repaired promptly by alerting you to the situation, avoiding damage to your home or HVAC system.
To find out which smart thermostat is perfect for your home, talk to our experts at Conditioned Air, serving Southwest Florida.
The air ducts in your Southwest Florida home are responsible for delivering conditioned air into each room so, over time, they can collect dust, pet dander, pollen and other allergens, especially when the HVAC system is not being used frequently. Periodic duct cleaning can improve your indoor air quality and may increase the efficiency of your HVAC system.
Why Duct Cleaning Is Important
Poor indoor air quality can cause symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, wheezing, itchy eyes, runny nose or fatigue, or worsen pre-existing symptoms. It is especially problematic for those who have allergies, asthma, bronchitis or other respiratory conditions. Regular duct cleaning can remove irritants like dust, dander and pollen from inside the air ducts, preventing them from being distributed throughout the home when the HVAC system is turned on. Large accumulations of dust, especially in the return ducts, can also harm the efficiency of your HVAC system by clogging the air filter and evaporator coil, making it work harder to keep your home at a comfortable temperature.
When It Should Be Done
Typically, it is a good idea to have your air ducts cleaned every 3 to 5 years, and it can be scheduled to coincide with one of your semi-annual routine maintenance appointments for extra convenience. If one of your family members has a respiratory condition, or if your area is excessively dusty or has high pollen counts, you may want to consider more frequent duct cleaning, with services scheduled annually during the spring allergy season and just before your home is closed up for the winter. Finally, if you have had recent home renovations, it is a good idea to clean the ducts afterward to remove any household dust, sawdust or other particles that may have found their way into the air ducts during the project.
To learn more about the benefits of periodic duct cleaning, talk to our HVAC professionals at Conditioned Air. We have offices in Naples, Sarasota and Ft. Myers, and we serve communities throughout the Southwest Florida region.
One of the easiest and least expensive ways to save energy in your Southwest Florida home is to install a programmable thermostat. By simply reducing the usage of your HVAC system during the times you are away from home or asleep, you can reduce your energy costs by up to 20 percent. Many of the newest programmable thermostats make it easier than ever to save money with innovative new features.
Self Programming Ability
Some of the newest programmable thermostats can automatically adjust their settings based on the times that your family is at home, away or asleep to find the most energy-efficient settings for your busy schedule. They can communicate with other sensors throughout your home, such as motion sensors, to determine when it is occupied or empty, and adjust their settings accordingly.
Many models feature WiFi connections, allowing the user to adjust the temperature or other settings from anywhere within the house with a WiFi-enabled device, such as smartphone or computer, or even over the Internet using mobile phone apps. This allows you to adjust the temperature from a distance if you are coming home early or to shut the HVAC system down remotely if there is a problem.
Older programmable thermostats could be hard to configure, with complex menus that were accessed through a very basic LCD display and a few buttons. Often, this meant that people were less likely to adjust the settings as necessary to achieve the highest energy savings, because the process was so difficult. Many of today’s models feature intuitive touchscreen interfaces that make adjusting the settings easy, and they often offer extra information, such as the current weather, thanks to available WiFi connections.
Setting the Thermostat
To save the most on your energy bills, reduce the temperature by 4 or 5 degrees when you are away from home or asleep during the winter, and raise it during the summer.
To learn which programmable thermostats would be best for your home, talk to our team at Conditioned Air. We have served the communities of Southwest Florida since 1962.