Home Automation: Thermostat Control

Get all the info you'll need on home automation thermostat control, and prepare to create a home automation network to control your home's HVAC system.
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Neutral Contemporary Dining Room With Multicolored Chairs

Colorful dining chairs and a whimsical elephant mobile add vibrant pops of color to this contemporary dining room. An oversized white pendant lamp and striped walls bring visual texture to the space.

By: Sean McEvoy

If you're installing a new home automation system or upgrading an existing one, you may want to consider home automation thermostat control for your home. An automated thermostat can often offer homeowners significant savings in terms of time, cost and energy consumption.

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A programmable thermostat controlled via a home's automation system can save significant costs on heating and cooling bills by ensuring that the home wastes as little energy as possible on HVAC consumption when, for example, the occupants of the home are away or asleep. Programmable, automated thermostats allow homeowners to turn heating and air conditioning on or off remotely or from within the home via a programmable schedule. Automated thermostats can often store and repeat multiple daily settings, which homeowners can generally override whenever necessary without affecting the core schedule.

One of the chief benefits of an automated thermostat is that homeowners can avoid the familiar "morning chill" experienced in colder climates simply by programming the thermostat to heat the home at the most efficient times. Generally, it's a good rule of thumb to automate a thermostat to reduce the temperature of the home at night in colder months (assuming blankets are in plentiful supply), then climb back up in the early morning hours before household activities resume. Similarly, in warmer months, programming the thermostat to reduce the home's temperature in the early morning hours will allow for a more comfortable wake-up temperature, but still incur energy and cost savings during the night. If the home is then sporadically occupied or unoccupied during the day, the automated thermostat can be shut down or programmed to use less energy during those hours, and then ramp up again as residents return in the afternoon or evening.

Some automated thermostats now even advertise a "learning" feature, which generally means that they're able to accrue data about homeowners' HVAC usage patterns over time, and then either respond dynamically to reduce usage and costs, or provide the homeowners with information that might help them choose how to configure the system accordingly.

In terms of controlling your automated thermostat, there are several options. Many energy companies offer thermostat products that can be automated and programmed from within the home by the homeowner. These generally feature digital or touch screens, which allow the homeowner to create and adjust a heating and cooling calendar. Newer systems may also be controlled wirelessly via a smartphone or other wireless device, allowing them to be programmed and controlled in real time, via a mobile dashboard, from anywhere with an internet connection.

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