With winter almost in the rear-view mirror, and fix-up projects on the horizon, spring is traditionally a time when many homeowners are concerned about all the money they just spent on energy over the winter, and start looking for ways to save energy. While projects like attic insulation and new windows are typically the first things that come to mind, a home automation system should also be on every energy-savers’ spring projects list.
So this spring we’ll be covering some of the many ways home automation can help you save energy — and money — here in the Vera Smarter Home Control blog.
Your thermostat is usually the single biggest target for saving energy (and money!) with home automation, so let’s start with that. If you haven’t already replaced your old dial or timer-based thermostat with a new Smart Thermostat tied into a Vera home automation system here’s why you should:
- Every minute you are heating or cooling your home, or a part of it, when no one is there, you are wasting energy. It’s that simple. Your goal is to align the actual use of heating and cooling with the times you really need it.
- A built-in thermostat timer is limited in what it can do — assuming you even use it. Most thermostat timers go unused because they’re too complex and tedious to set. And even if you set a timer thermostat, when your schedule suddenly changes, such as staying late at work, you’ll be wasting energy. A Smart Thermostat lets you make last minute changes remotely.
- You can also save money by having many different temperature settings, such as heating your home to 68-degrees until midnight, and then dropping the temperature to 55-degrees until 7am, then up to 70 until 8:30am, and then completely off until 4pm. Most thermostat timers can’t do this — you need a Smart Thermostat.
- You can fly by the seat of your pants with Mobile Apps! Do you live a spontaneous life, never knowing what you’re doing from one minute to the next? Is there no point setting a thermostat timer because you honestly have no idea when you’ll be home? Then a Smart Thermostat coupled with a Vera Smarter Home Automation system is just for you! Using your convenient Vera Mobile Apps, from any smartphone or tablet, you can set heat or air conditioning to switch on a half hour or hour before you arrive home, whenever that turns out to be. Forget to shut the A/C off before you left the house? No problem! With Mobile Apps, you can turn off air conditioning from anywhere, anytime!
- Got multiple zones? Many homes have two or three or more thermostats, theoretically helping you save energy by only heating or cooling the rooms or zones you’re actually using. But how many people have the patience to go around a home and actually set 7-day timers or make adjustments on three or four different thermostats? With Vera home automation and Smart Thermostats, you can change settings on all of them at once from one convenient Vera Dashboard on your laptop or tablet! Upgrade your ordinary thermostats to Smart Thermostats one at a time, or all at once.
- A Vera Smart Home equipped with one or more Smart Thermostats is just the beginning of your automatic energy savings! Down the road you can add occupancy sensors to actually sense when people are in a room, or use door locks or other trigger devices and events to automatically turn heating or cooling on or off.
You can find several Smart Thermostat models in the Vera Store, and per our Vera Guarantee of Z-Wave compatibility and Wi-Fi connectivity, a Vera Smarter Home Automation system can control most makes and models of Smart Thermostats. If you don’t yet have a home automation system, Vera’s Energy Savings Solution is a great money-saving starter kit that includes a Remotec Smart Thermostat, a VeraLite Controller with software, and a Jasco Dimmer Module (for light control), and costs considerably less than if you bought each item separately.