Programmable or “Smart” thermostats are the latest in energy savings and comfort devices on the market. The smart technology follows you around the house to learn your habits, such as where you spend most of your time.
It determines what level of heat generating activity you are participating in and all other energy relevant activities and locations in the home. Then it simply programs itself. It computes when you are home in which case the house needs less power. It anticipates when you get home and racks up the cooling or heating. You can program the device from wherever you are. For instance, you can turn to cool or heat on your way home.
These devices are no joke. They can save substantially on your energy bill and have a built in SAVINGS mode.
Just like any electronic device, however, they can be prone to giving you trouble with the way that they operate at times. Instead of pulling your hair out and calling up your heating and ventilation system technician at the first sign of trouble. Take a look at the below tips that will help you with troubleshooting your smart thermostat device.
Trouble Shooting Guidelines
1. Be aware that during certain peak energy usage times the thermostat will display SAVINGS. During that cycle, the thermostat initiates a cycling event for a “critical peak period”. The savings period lasts 10 minutes and during that time you cannot adjust the machine. The Smart Thermostat will continue in a mode where it blows normal temperature air. When it recycles after 10 minutes, the device will determine the cooling cycle automatically. The word SAVINGS is gone, and the device reverts back to normal function.
2. If your device will not come on and you see no indicators lighted, check the fuse, circuit breaker or plug-in. Remember the device will usually not display a temperature less than 45 degrees Fahrenheit or higher than 88 degrees Fahrenheit.
3. Sometimes a temperature change may happen and change the temperature not programmed into the device. If so check the programmed times and check the AM and PM indicators. You may have to reprogram the device in such cases.
4. If the cooling mode will not kick on check that the system is set to COOL. Again check circuit breakers. If the SAVING mode is reflected on the device remember you cannot program during that time.
5. If the setting on your Thermostat is less than the current temperature, and the COOL is displayed, but the air conditioner is still off, turn the device off for 10 minutes. Then return the system control to COOL the air conditioner will likely come on.
6. For problems with your device that can’t be fixed manually, call the company that installed your thermostat or a designated repair company.
Smart thermostats are just the tip of the iceberg for an entire home control system. These systems are on the market as we speak. They are in the beginning stages but are the wave of the future.
Bill Gates of Microsoft has had an experimental full control house since 1994, improved every two years. That house is completely computer operated from the thermostat to the contents of the refrigerator by a well-programmed supercomputer. You can have the current model of full house control available now for $11,000 to $30,000 or more.
Alternatively, you can wait 3-5 years and get a newer breakthrough design. However stay ahead of the curve now with getting the most of your programmable smart thermostat by implementing the above tips if you find that your unit is giving you any trouble.
The writer, Edrick Hypolite, is an Orland resident and software engineer working on many examples of home automation technology, and generally helping home owners to save money on energy costs. For further savings on home energy use, he highly recommends solar panel installation from a qualified solar panel expert such as the one at www.bobheinmillersolar.com. You can learn more about Edrick from Google+.