Your HVAC is the Heart of Your Home

HVAC

Why we love HVAC (and you should, too!)

Emerson, the company behind Sensi Wi-Fi™ Programmable Thermostat, is the world’s leading provider of heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration solutions for residential, industrial and commercial application. We have also been manufacturing quality thermostats for more than 75 years and deliver the most precise temperature control with +/- one-degree (F) accuracy. So we have a long history with HVAC. We understand HVAC. And we are passionate about HVAC. We understand that not everyone shares our enthusiasm. After all, most people don’t even notice their heating or cooling systems until something goes awry. Then love is probably your furthest emotion. We’d like to change that and give you a newfound appreciation for HVAC.

There is an old adage that the kitchen is the heart of the home. We vehemently disagree.

HVAC is the (true) heart of your home

HVAC keeps you healthy

 

1.  It keeps you healthy

HVAC ductwork helps to circulate air throughout your home and the filters serve as purifiers that trap allergens in the air that can cause discomfort, illness or even be life-threatening to those with severe allergies or asthma.

 

HVAC keeps you safe

2.  It keeps you safe

HVAC systems regulate and maintain your indoor temperature and protect you from the outdoor elements. Can you imagine suffering a hot, humid, Midwest summer without air-conditioning? Or bracing against a brutal northeast winter blizzard without any heat? The sick, elderly and children have the most difficulty regulating body temperature. For them, HVAC systems are truly a lifesaver.

 

3.  It provides comfortHVAC provides comfort

A kitchen is a gathering place. A place to fellowship. A place of comfort. But while food can comfort the soul, can it comfort you when it’s 104-degrees inside and you’re sweating into your dish? HVAC systems work non-stop to pump comfort into every nook and cranny of your home. When you are physically comfortable, Grandma’s biscuits ‘n’ gravy tastes a whole lot better.

 

For all of these reasons, we love HVAC. And we hope you now do, too.

 

6 Considerations When Choosing a Wi-Fi Thermostat

thermostat checklist

Use this Wi-Fi thermostat checklist to find your perfect match

You’ve read all the news stories about smart home products. You learned about the benefits to home automation. And you see many of your friends bragging about their connected gadgets. So you’ve finally decided to take the plunge into a connected home. One of the easiest smart home entry-level devices is a Wi-Fi thermostat. But how do you know which one is right for you? Use this simple thermostat checklist to help narrow down the Wi-Fi thermostat selection in order to find your perfect match.

 

  1. Budget

One of the first things people look at is price. Some Wi-Fi thermostats can go as high as $250 and that’s just for the device. Others charge monthly monitoring fees and not all have a free mobile app. SensiWi-Fi Programmable Thermostat is one of the lower priced options, has no monthly fees and includes a free mobile app (Android or iOs device). Before you purchase, you can also check online to see if you qualify for a rebate from your utility provider. Some rebates are as high as $100, which nearly pays for your entire Sensi thermostat.

 

  1. Quality

After you’ve narrowed down the field with price, you’ll want assurance that you are purchasing a quality device. Emerson, the company behind Sensi thermostat, has been manufacturing quality thermostats for more than 75 years and delivers the most precise temperature control with +/- one-degree (F) accuracy. Sensi thermostat is also one of the few Wi-Fi thermostat choices that are Energy Aware Qualified®.

 

  1. System Compatibility

Next, you want to make sure that the thermostat you purchase will work with your thermostat wiring and the type of heating and cooling equipment in your home. One of the most important factors in determining compatibility is whether or not your system has or will require the common, or c-wire. If you aren’t an engineer, or familiar with HVAC systems and how they work, wiring can be intimidating. But, Sensi thermostat is compatible with the majority of combined heating and cooling systems and, in most cases, doesn’t require a c-wire, which makes replacing your old thermostat an easy, DIY process (see next point). Before making your selection, read more about the c-wire here to help you better understand what it is and how it works with your thermostat.

Also, If you already own a home automation system, you’ll want to make sure your new Wi-Fi thermostat is compatible. Sensi thermostat works with Wink smart home platform so you can control it along with your lights, locks, garage door and other Wink-compatible smart home products from your Wink app.

 

  1. Ease of Install

“Will I be able to install it myself?” is another homeowner concern. Complicated features and wiring demands on some other Wi-Fi thermostats make DIY installation impossible. Which means you are out a costly service fee for a professional install. Sensi thermostat is different. Since it doesn’t typically require a c-wire, you can use your existing thermostat wiring. We’ve also simplified the installation process. Why waste an hour thumbing through a user manual when you can install and connect simply by using your phone? Simply download the free Sensi mobile app and it will guide your through each step of the installation process, from wiring to connectivity. The app includes several helpful features and videos that will ensure your new Sensi thermostat is set up properly. Most homeowners are able to install their new thermostat in 15 minutes or less. You can do it!

You’ll also want to consider the thermostat design. Sensi thermostat was designed to cover the existing thermostat footprint, which means no messy wall patches, repairs or painting. Its traditional look is deliberate and designed to blend in with more home styles and décor so it is your home, not the thermostat, which is the focal point.

 

  1. Features and Functions

A 2010 study by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory revealed that most people who have programmable thermostats don’t actually program them and use the manual settings instead. But Energy.gov says that by “simply turning your thermostat back 10 to 15-degrees for 8 hours, you can save 5-15% a year on your heating bill”. So why aren’t people programming their thermostats? Simple. Because they can’t figure it out.

The Sensi app was designed for you with easy to understand navigation. Using the mobile app, you can create custom temperature schedules for each day of the week (up to seven independent schedules); making it a snap to create one or multiple schedules to match your family’s routine. You can also run heat-only or cool-only schedules.

In addition to the easy scheduling options, Sensi thermostat has several features and settings, including Early Start (ensure your home is at the exact temperature you want at the time you want it), Keypad Lockout, (prevent accidental settings changes) and Temperature Offset (change the temperature display +/- five degrees to match the temperature you are used to from your previous thermostat).

Click here to learn more about Sensi schedules, settings and other advanced features.

 

  1. Remote Access

It’s not a connected device if you can’t stay connected. Using the free Sensi mobile app, you can change your settings and adjust your Wi-Fi thermostat schedule from across the room or across the country. It’s the perfect tool for the moms and dads too busy herding the family for the annual vacation to think about the thermostat settings. Or for the harried business traveler who is more worried about the big client presentation than home energy efficiency. There’s nothing worse than realizing that you forgot to adjust your thermostat when you are just arriving at the airport or have already driven halfway across the state. If you have a Sensi thermostat, it’s not a problem. Simply whip out your Sensi app and you are back on track to energy efficiency and savings.

And, although most people are connected to their smartphones at all times, we understand that there are those rare occasions when it’s simply not available. Lost phone. Unfortunate pool accident. We’ve all been there. But losing your phone doesn’t mean you lose control of your Sensi thermostat. If for any reason you are unable to access your Sensi mobile app, you can still change your schedules and adjust your thermostat settings from the web interface at SensiComfort.com.

 

As you can see, there are a lot of things to consider before your purchase your first Wi-Fi thermostat. By following this thermostat checklist, you’re well on your way to choosing the perfect match…Sensi thermostat.

 

Sensi Tech Tips: Fall HVAC Maintenance

Fall HVAC maintenace

Fall HVAC maintenance will optimize your heating and cooling equipment for the new season

It’s the perfect season for performing simple fall HVAC maintenance. After staying dormant during the spring and summer months, the switch from cooling to heating can put a strain on your equipment. The last thing you want is an expensive maintenance call or repair at the peak of the cold weather. It’s much better to see if you have any small issues now to take care of them before then turn into bigger problems. Luckily, there are easy tasks you can do to optimize your HVAC performance and make sure your home stays comfortable and cozy in the upcoming winter months. Here’s a quick list of fall HVAC maintenance tips…

 

  1. Check for drafts and leaks

Drafty windows and doors are the first culprit of low energy efficiency. Not only do they let cold air into your home, they let all of the hot air out. Check the caulking and window-stripping on your windows and doors and replace anything that is broken or cracked. You should also seal the attic with weather-stripping and clean the chimney. Finally, check your insulation for damage and replace and look at places that would benefit from additional insulation, like crawlspaces, attics and basements. Insulation slows the heat transfer through building materials so it can help maintain your home temperature and alleviate some stress on your HVAC system. All of these small projects will go a long way in preventing the heat from leaching out of your home.

Click here for more tips on finding home energy leaks.

 

  1. Clear the air

Inspect all of the heating vents and registers for any obstructions and vacuum out all of the summer dust. Also, look for any furniture that might be blocking the vents and consider redecorating to maximize the airflow. Another easy HVAC maintenance task is to change the air filter. A clean air filter can increase the efficiency of your HVAC system and can also help to keep your family healthy by decreasing allergens Sensi thermostatin your home. Lastly, adjust the blades on your ceiling fans clockwise to help pull the air up to the ceiling.

 

  1. Use a programmable thermostat

Using your Sensi Wi-Fi Programmable Thermostat is the easiest way to ready your HVAC equipment for fall and winter savings. Use your Sensi mobile app to adjusts your temperature set point or add new schedules for the colder season.

 

 

“You can easily save energy in the winter by setting the thermostat to 68°F while you’re awake and setting it lower while you’re asleep or away from home. By turning your thermostat back 10° to 15° for 8 hours, you can save 5% to 15% a year on your heating
bill — a savings of as much as 1% for each degree if the setback period is eight hours long. The percentage of savings from setback is greater for buildings in milder climates than for those in more severe climates.”

Source: Energy.gov

And since you’re always connected to your home thermostat through your Sensi app, you can easily adjust your settings on the go. Like during a rogue heat wave in the middle of November.

Click here for more Sensi thermostat schedules and settings tips.

 

  1. Call the professionals

Call your local heating and cooling contractor and schedule a professional inspection and tune-up of your HVAC system. Their knowledge and tools can help detect small problems before they turn into big ones and make sure your home is ready for the new season. A fall HVAC maintenance tune-up will help to ensure proper functionality, improve your energy efficiency, reduce the need for future repairs, maintain your manufacturer’s warranty, and most importantly…keep you and your family safe and comfortable.

 

 

Take a Vacation from High Utility Bills

save money on vacation

Use these tips to save money at home

Whether you’re planning a quick weekend getaway or a longer vacation to extend these last days of summer, no one wants to come back to a high energy bill. Take some small steps that can help you save money on vacation by conserving energy at home while you’re away.

Short Trips

  1. Use window shades and keep curtains closed to keep the house cool from afternoon sun.
  2. Turn off the lights. If you have a security timer, use CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Bulbs). CFL bulbs use about 70% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs.
  3. Unplug small appliances and surge protectors. Small appliances can use big amounts of energy. The average cable box without a DVR uses 17.83 watts even when it is turned off! Click here to see how other appliances could be raising your bill without you even knowing.

Extended Getaways

  1. Turn your water heater settings to the lowest setting or put on “vacation mode” if you’re going to be gone for a few days or more. This will make sure you aren’t wasting money with stand-by losses.
  2. For extended absence, clean out refrigerator and turn the thermostat control to a slightly warmer setting. Also, refrigerators and freezers run more efficiently when they are full. Try filling them up with water jugs to fill the space.
  3. Turn off any outdoor water features like fountains and pumps.
  4. Unplug appliances or tools in the garage or shed.

Finally, no matter how long you are gone, always use your SensiWi-Fi Programmable Thermostat to help save money on vacation. Use the mobile app to create a vacation schedule or to easily adjust home temperature settings on the fly. It will also help to lower the wear and tear on your heating and cooling equipment to save on costly maintenance fees.

Headed to a vacation home? Click here to learn more about the perks of using a Wi-Fi thermostat in your second home.