FEATURE FRIDAY: Secure Your Thermostat with Keypad Lockout

thermostat lock

New thermostat lock feature prevents accidental setting changes

Do you have a child who loves to play with anything that has buttons? Like the television, the remote control, or your thermostat?

Do you own a business where employees and customers who fiddle with the temperature settings?

Perhaps you’re a property manager or realtor who wants to make sure those visitors can’t tinker with the thermostat. Because you need to keep the energy costs low when the property is vacant or the house is empty.

SensiWi-Fi Programmable Thermostat now gives you even greater control of your home, business or property. The new thermostat lock feature – Keypad lockout –  provides an easy and convenient way to prevent accidental setting changes. Lock the buttons on the thermostat but maintain full control from your Sensi mobile app.

 

What are the benefits of Keypad Lockout?

1.  No lock box.

Your home or business will continue looking comfortable and inviting. No cumbersome and unappealing lock box.

 

2.  Reduced energy costs.

Your Sensi thermostat will keep your schedule instead of fluctuating widely at the whim of your family, employees, or customers.

 

3.  Comfortable family, comfortable customers and comfortable you.

No one enjoys being freezing cold one minute and stifling hot the next. A thermostat lock lets you safeguard your thermostat and keep everyone comfortable.

 

 

4.  Minimize the need for expensive HVAC service calls.

With Keypad lockout, you’ll be sure that any heating or cooling loss is not related to someone accidentally changing settings. Don’t pay for costly service visits. Save these calls for the important system maintenance or emergency.

 

5.  No interruption in the Sensi service you’ve come to love.

There is absolutely no change to app functionality while you are using the Keypad lockout feature. And, if you lose or turn off your Wi-Fi connection, Sensi thermostat will continue to follow your personal schedule.

 

How to get Keypad Lockout on your Sensi thermostat

 

1.  Download the latest Sensi app from Google Play or the Apple App Store.

a.  Android version: 1.091 or greater

b.  iOS version: 1.1.0 or greater

 

2.  Enable Keypad lockout from the Sensi app or web interface.

a.  Mobile App – Settings>Advanced Settings>Keypad LockoutKeypad Lockout App

b. Web – Thermostat Settings>Advanced Settings>Keypad Lockout

Web Interface

3.  Check for the lock icon.

After enabling Keypad lockout, a lock icon will appear on the thermostat display and the mobile app. To turn off, simply disable it from the Sensi mobile app or on your web account.

Click here for frequently asked questions about the new thermostat lock feature.

Keypad Lockout Display

 

Get ready to set it and forget it with the new Keypad lockout feature. Enjoy simple, easy control like never before.

TIPS & TRICKS: Router Connectivity and Performance

router connectivity

Get the most out of your home wireless network

At some time or another, we have all experienced the pains of having a weak Wi-Fi signal. You know the frustration. Your laptop is operating at lightning speed from your living room. But when you move to your bedroom, it feels like a simple Internet search is moving at a snail’s pace. Even in comparing speeds amongst devices connected to a single router can prove frustrating.

Did you know that there are simple adjustments that you can make to help improve your overall connectivity? Making these changes can prepare your router to better handle additional connected devices, like a SensiWi-Fi Programmable Thermostat.

Tips and Tricks to Improve Router Connectivity and Performance  

Tip #1: Move your router

Wireless networks have distance limitations. A typical home network includes one wireless router that can cover a single-family home without many issues. And most connected consumer devices operate on the 2.4GHz band, which as a rule of thumb, reaches up to 150 feet indoors.

However, the unique structure of your home can negatively impact your Wi-Fi signal, even if you are within the recommended distance range. Commonly used construction materials like brick, plaster, concrete and metal have a medium to high interference level. Additionally, your Wi-Fi signal strength will weaken if it has to bounce around too many corners in your home.

The easiest solution for this problem is moving your router to a central location in your home, where the signal does not have to compete with the building structure or metal home appliances like televisions, washers and dryers, that can cause interference. Like the old real estate adage, when it comes to router performance and connectivity, location is everything.

Tip #2: Change the band and the channel

Many household items such as microwave ovens, cordless phones and baby monitors can cause interference with your wireless network. Another common contributor interference is your neighbor’s wireless network, especially if you live in an apartment building, or in a densely populated area.

You can also try changing the router channel. The 2.4GHz band uses three non-overlapping channels, typically 1, 6 and 11, so switching your router to a less crowded channel can help to improve your Wi-Fi signal strength. There are a variety of Android apps, desktop applications, or even build-in diagnostics tools like Mac Wireless Diagnostics that can help you to analyze nearby networks and choose a less crowded channel for your router. You should be able to change the channel from your router’s interface. If you have questions on how to do this, please consult your router manual or the manufacture website for more information.

Tip #3: Update hardware and firmware

To figure out if it’s time to update your router hardware, check your router’s Wi-Fi radio capability. If your router is labeled 802.11b or 802.11g, you should consider updating your router to a newer model that supports the 802.11n wireless networking standard. This alone can boost your signal speed and range.

You should also frequently check to see if your router has had any firmware updates. Older routers might not have automatic notifications enabled, so it is important to check your router manufacturer website. Updating your firmware to the latest version will also enhance your network performance.

While you might not be thrilled at the thought of having to make these updates, these are two of the biggest factors that can significantly improve your router connectivity and network’s performance.

 

Lastly, when you are adding additional connected devices to your network, it’s important to note the specific requirements for that device. Click here  for a full list of tips to help you optimize your wireless network for the Sensi Wi-Fi Programmable Thermostat.

These small changes to your router and its network configuration will help its performance and provide you with a consistent, stable, and headache-free Wi-Fi connection.

Get Smart About Your Home Comfort

Smart thermostat

Put smart thermostat technology to work for you 

There are many reasons why people consider purchasing a Wi-Fi thermostat. Some want energy efficiency and need a smart way to go green to help the environment without sacrificing comfort. Others might live in areas where the temperature fluctuates greatly throughout the day. And with such unpredictable weather, they would like to adjust their home temperature from the office so they don’t have to walk into a stifling hot house at the end of a hard day. Business travelers and property managers want to reduce energy waste on an empty house or vacant property. Because they need to lower bills and extend the life of their heating and cooling systems. What do all of these people have in common? The need for improved control of their thermostat.

When considering a smart thermostat upgrade, it’s important to ensure it provides the right mix of features for you. Some thermostats try to take this control from you by claiming to learn your habits. Are you really that predictable? We don’t think so. Your schedule is varied. You are always on the go. Things change at the last minute. If you’ve had to work late for a solid week, you shouldn’t have to suffer a hot, humid house because your thermostat “learned” that you wouldn’t be home at that time. It’s time to take back control of your home comfort.

The Sensi Difference

Sensi Wi-Fi Programmable Thermostat gives you complete control of your home comfort from anywhere, anytime, using Wi-Fi and smart thermostat technology. The Sensi mobile app gives you instant access to your thermostat via your smartphone. It lets you adjust the temperature, change system settings, or set and change schedules for each day of the week. When heating or cooling your home, the screen changes colors – red for heat, blue for cool, and grey when the system is off – so you instantly know which system is currently in use. But that’s not all. There are several smart, advanced features to provide even greater control of your HVAC system.

For example, turn on the Quick Timeline View and you can see all of your scheduled temperature settings for the next 24 hours.

Next, you can adjust Fan Settings and also use the Temperature Setpoint and Controls to keep your home temperature within a specific range.

Local Weather conditions are tracked by your zip code and your indoor Humidity readings are conveniently located right at the top of the screen. Use these to decide if you need to adjust your schedules or if you should remember to take your umbrella with you on the way home.

In addition to the smart features on the mobile app home screen, your Sensi thermostat detects and Alerts you of any potential problems with your system. This includes everything from humidity alerts to High/Low temperature warnings, so your system runs efficiently. You can also read more about advanced features and settings at SENSI TIPS & TRICKS: Schedules and Settings.

Sensi smart thermostat

 

If you already have a Sensi thermostat, be sure to check out these great features. And if you are considering adding a Wi-Fi thermostat to your home, choose Sensi and let our technology help you to get smart about your home comfort.

Your Sensi Support Team: Meet Julie D.

support team

Get to know the support agents behind our world-class service

Calling a customer service hotline is something that most people dread. The experience can seem disingenuous and impersonal and you are often left wondering if the person on the other end of the line even cares. Fortunately for Sensi Wi-Fi Programmable Thermostat customers, a call to the support team is drastically different. Here, our agents take great pride in their work and are highly valued. Their unique talents and extensive knowledge directly contribute to your experience. Each one is truly a “people person”, a problem-solver, an expert, and above all, personally committed to giving you 5-star service.

In this blog series, we’ll introduce you to one of our support agents, so you can get to know the people you’ll be speaking with should you ever need our support.customer support team

Meet Julie D.

Prior to joining the Sensi Support Team as a Customer Experience Analyst, Julie studied Computer Management and Japanese and is known to periodically chatter with fellow agents in Japanese. When she’s not helping customers to set up their Sensi thermostat or troubleshooting complicated heating and cooling systems, Julie enjoys writing fiction novels, playing video games and spending time with her husband and four cats.

 

Describe a typical day at work.

“My top priority is addressing customer inquiries and troubleshooting HVAC equipment and connectivity when needed. When I’m not on the phone, I have my hand in a variety of projects including writing support articles for sensicomfort.com. I also design wiring diagrams and user guides that we send to customers. This gives me the opportunity to enhance the customer experience, and promote our world-class service and brand.”

What do you enjoy most about being part of the Sensi Support Team?

“I love being able to provide real solutions to customer problems. It motivates me to continuously enhance and share my knowledge with the entire team. Also, the team dynamic and culture of our department is so unique, and like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. Everyone is so supportive of each other, which is really motivating. And since we all have such different backgrounds and talents, we’re constantly learning from each other.”

What is your favorite thing about the Sensi Thermostat?

“The ability to adjust my thermostat while I’m in bed is by far my favorite feature. The upstairs of my house is much hotter than the downstairs, but the Sensi mobile app allows me to easily turn the air conditioning on to cool the space, and then turn the thermostat off when I don’t need it. It’s easy and convenient!”

What is one piece of advice that you would give to customers before they call you?

“Take a picture of your old wiring! When you take your old thermostat off the wall, snap a picture of the wiring using the camera feature in the Sensi mobile app. This is extremely useful for you and it helps us to troubleshoot your system. Also, your specific wire colors may not always correspond with wire terminals. For example, a wire in the “W” terminal could be white, or blue, or green. If you forget to take a picture of your old wiring, you may have to trace the wires down to your furnace control board to see where they attach to your system, and that is not fun for anyone!”

Sensi Thermostat customers sing Julie’s praises…

“Today, I had the pleasure of working with Julie…[She] was calm, cool and collected…I want to recognize the extra steps Julie took helping us.” – Linda B.

“I want to take the opportunity to bring to management the wonderful assistance given me by Julie…She went out of her way to determine how to connect the changeover from [the previous thermostat] to a Sensi.” – Jose Escobar

“I love the product and more importantly, I really appreciated the help I received from Julie. She went the “Extra Mile”…I am the President of a manufacturing company and have about 100 employees, therefore, I have a great appreciation for good people.” –Thomas J.