Tag Archives: programmable thermostat

Upgrade Indoor Home Comfort With a Wi-Fi Thermostat

Upgrade Indoor Home Comfort With a Wi-Fi ThermostatWhen it comes to making your Portland home more comfortable throughout the year, making the switch to a Wi-Fi thermostat can help. This type of thermostat offers a number of benefits compared to standard thermostats. Knowing more about these thermostats can help you decide whether or not to invest in one for your home.

How They Work

Wi-Fi thermostats are designed to adjust the temperature in your home just as standard thermostats do. However, these thermostats can be programmed and adjusted from any device in your home or even on devices that you have with you while you’re away from home. This convenience offers several important advantages over standard thermostats and makes it easier for you to keep your home comfortable at any time.

Benefits of Wi-Fi Thermostats

Wi-Fi thermostats can be programmed to gather information on the current conditions inside your home and adjust the temperature accordingly. This means that you don’t have to worry about remembering to turn the thermostat up or down before leaving the house or before heading to bed. Your thermostat can handle that for you, which helps ensure that your home stays as cool or as warm as you need it to be.

These thermostats can also be programmed or adjusted from nearly any location, as long as you have Wi-Fi access. You can program your Wi-Fi thermostat or make changes to it from your mobile phone, laptop or tablet when you’re out and about. Even if you are traveling or away on vacation, you can still program your thermostat as needed to make sure your home doesn’t get too hot or cold.

Some Wi-Fi thermostats can also alert you when your HVAC system starts running less efficiently than normal. This helps ensure that you have your system inspected and repaired as needed.

If you need more information on getting a Wi-Fi thermostat for your home, please contact Roth Heating & Cooling. We offer reliable HVAC services in the Portland area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland, Oregon area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “tejasp/Pixabay”

How You Can Reset Your Programmable Thermostat


How You Can Reset Your Programmable Thermostat
With the summer cooling season over, now is the time to think about how to keep your home warm this coming winter. Of course, you may still have summertime settings left over in your programmable thermostat. The following shows how you can reset your thermostat for optimal savings and heating comfort this winter.

Resetting Your Thermostat

You can start off by wiping your thermostat’s slate clean through a reset, which will clear all settings and return it back to its factory state. Thermostat controls tend to vary among manufacturers and models, so you may need to consult your thermostat’s user guide for more detailed steps.

Temperature Setbacks for Cooler Weather

Temperatures of around 68 to 72 degrees are not only comfortable with the right amount of clothing, but they’ll also help you keep your heating bills to a minimum. You can set your thermostat at these temperatures while you’re at home for maximum comfort.

Just as you would during the summer, you should program your thermostat to set itself back 10 to 15 degrees during periods when your home is empty (for example, while you and your loved ones are away at work or school). You can also use these setbacks as you sleep, since you’ll be in bed and won’t need as much heat from your HVAC system as you’d normally would while you’re up and about.

You’ll be able to save a significant percentage on your annual heating bills, especially if the setback period lasts for eight hours.

Contact the professionals at Roth Heating & Cooling to discover more programmable thermostat savings. We proudly serve Portland and the surrounding area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “GreenStockCreative/Shutterstock”

Going on Vacation? Consider These Ways to Save While You’re Away

Going on Vacation? Consider These Ways to Save While You're AwayGetting ready for your summer vacation? Don’t forget to take the time to prepare your home for energy conservation. Keeping your home as energy efficient as possible will help you come home to a comfortable house and a reasonable utility bill. Here’s a look at some of the easiest ways to save while you’re away.

Change Thermostat Settings

Think you should shut down your air conditioner while you’re on vacation? Think again. Doing so will mean that you don’t spend money on cooling your home during your getaway, but it also means your house will become a lot hotter than normal. This can wreak havoc on woodwork and cause your system to work extra hard to restore normal temperatures when you get home.

The smarter solution is to turn the programmable thermostat up by about four or five degrees. This causes the system to cycle on less frequently but won’t allow your home to heat up too much.

Utilize Window Treatments

You can reduce the energy your A/C needs to exude even further by using blinds, curtains and drapes to shade your home and act as a barrier against radiant heat from the sun.

Adjust Refrigerator Settings

For relatively short vacations, consider turning your refrigerator’s thermostat to a slightly warmer setting to save energy. If you’ll be gone for a prolonged period of time, though, it’s probably in your best interest to empty the unit and unplug it entirely. Be sure to leave the door open to prevent mold and mildew.

Unplug Devices

Electrical devices and appliances that are plugged in while not in use are true energy vampires. One of the simplest ways to save while you’re away is to go around and unplug TVs, computers, clocks, and other devices before your departure.

Set Timer Lights

Keep your home safe without wasting energy. Placing security lights on a timer ensures that you don’t build up a hefty bill during vacation.

Contact the experts at Roth Heating & Cooling to learn more effective ways to save while you’re away this summer. We serve the greater Portland area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “SandraViolla/Shutterstock”

Keep Your Cool This Summer by Avoiding These Home Cooling Myths

Keep Your Cool This Summer by Avoiding These Home Cooling MythsKeeping your home comfortable during the summer in Portland can be costly, especially if you follow some of the commonly believed myths about more efficient cooling. Here are five of the most common home cooling myths, as well as the facts dispelling each.

A Larger Air Conditioner Improves Cooling

If the system in your home was sized properly at installation, but it’s not cooling effectively, it’s likely in need of maintenance, which includes cleaning the evaporator or condenser coils, replacing the air filter and checking the coolant levels. Upgrading to a larger model will result in a system that cycles off when it reaches the set temperature, then back on when more cooling is called for. This constant cycling is inefficient, costing you more money, and leading to frequent maintenance and premature failure.

Turning the A/C Off When Leaving Wastes Money

Many people believe that it takes more energy to cool a warm home than it does to leave the A/C on while you’re away. The truth is that anytime the system is running, it’s using large amounts of energy — far more than cooling down your home when you arrive. To save money and remain comfortable, install a programmable thermostat and have it lower the temperature about an hour before you’re due home so that it’s cool when you arrive.

Lowering the Temperature Cools Your Home Faster

Turning the thermostat all the way down won’t cool your home any faster, as the air conditioner has a set amount of cool air it can generate at any time. Additionally, if you forget to reset the thermostat, you may end up wasting money.

Air Conditioners Only Cool the Air

In addition to cooling air, air conditioners also remove humidity, which makes you feel comfortable at a higher temperature.

Fans Help Cool a Room

Fans only help to circulate the air, making you feel cooler by evaporating sweat faster via the wind chill effect. Using fans in an empty room wastes energy.

For more information about these common home cooling myths, talk to the HVAC experts at Roth Heating & Cooling.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “marinini/Shutterstock”

Is a Zoning System Right for Your Portland Area Home?

Is a Zoning System Right for Your Portland Area Home?With a standard HVAC system, you can only control the temperature of your Portland home as a whole unit. If you would like more flexibility in controlling your home’s temperature while saving energy, you may want to consider a zoning system.

How a Zoning System Operates

Zoning systems divide a home into two or more sections or “zones,” each of which can have its temperature controlled independently from the others. In a forced-air system, special electronically controlled dampers open or close to control the volume of conditioned air that enters a zone, according to the current temperature and the thermostat settings. In water-based systems, electronically-controlled valves adjust the flow of hot or cold water to your radiator, baseboard or radiant floor system.

The Advantages of a Zoning System

With multiple zones, you can customize the temperature in each zone to accommodate the preferences of multiple people or to compensate for areas that are warmer or cooler than the rest of your home. You can also save energy by reducing the heating or cooling in rarely-used rooms, or by adjusting the temperature based on current occupancy. For instance, during the daytime, the bedrooms could be cooled or heated less, while the occupied living areas remain at your preferred temperature. By automating the temperature changes with a programmable thermostat for each zone, you can reduce your energy usage by up to 30 percent.

Where Zoning Systems Work Best

Almost any house is a good candidate for a zoning system, but they work especially well in homes that feature the following:

  • Living spaces in areas that are difficult to condition, such as basements, attics, sun rooms, lofts or garage living spaces
  • Rooms used only periodically, such as offices or libraries
  • New additions
  • Multiple large windows or doors
  • Multiple stories
  • Hot or cold spots

Zoning systems can be installed in nearly any home, but it’s easier to install them when the house is built, when the existing HVAC system is replaced or during large renovation projects.

For more information about installing a zoning system, talk to the HVAC experts at Roth Heating & Cooling.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Angela Waye/Shutterstock”

Are You Using Your Programmable Thermostat Correctly? Guidelines to Follow

Are You Using Your Programmable Thermostat Correctly? Guidelines to FollowYour programmable thermostat is a proven energy saver, allowing you to cut back on heating and cooling costs when you’re away from home. But programmable thermostats don’t start saving you money until you start using them correctly. Here are the guidelines to follow to get the most out of yours.

  • Pick the thermostat that meets your scheduling needs. Some households have a regular weekday/weekend schedule, whereas others have different schedules every day of the week. Different models of thermostats allow for different levels of control.
  • Try to set temperatures back for large blocks of time. Eight hours or more a day is a good length for energy savings. This can cover a standard work day or a standard sleep schedule.
  • If your schedule changes for a day, don’t reprogram your thermostat. Use its override setting instead. It will automatically re-set at its next temperature set point and you won’t have to worry about remembering to re-program your usual schedule when the interruption is over.
  • Don’t crank the thermostat to warm or cool your home faster. A central air system can only deliver heating and cooling at a single rate unless you have a variable-speed fan or a two-stage furnace. Instead of bringing your home to a comfortable temperature faster, cranking the thermostat is more likely to make your air system overshoot the temperature you want.
  • Look for programmable thermostats that are wired directly into your home’s electrical system. If you do use a thermostat that’s battery powered, keep the batteries fresh and test them frequently.
  • If you use a zoned heating and cooling system in your home, use a separate thermostat to control each zone. Combining programmable thermostats with zoned air systems can maximize your energy savings.
  • Try to set your temperature back 5 to 15 degrees when you’re asleep or away from home.

If you’re curious about how a programmable thermostat can benefit your Portland home, contact Roth Heating & Cooling today!

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Dirk Ercken/Shutterstock”

Great Ways to Reduce Cooling Costs This Spring and Summer

Great Ways to Reduce Cooling Costs This Spring and SummerPortland’s springs and summers may not be brutally hot, but that doesn’t mean we’re willing to forgo air conditioning just to save money. By taking some simple steps to reduce cooling costs, you can enjoy your A/C and keep your electricity bills reasonable.

How to Reduce Cooling Costs

  • Use ceiling fans – A ceiling fan can make you feel 5 to 8 degrees cooler so you can raise the air conditioner’s thermostat temperature by an equal amount to use less energy. Every degree you set the thermostat above 78 degrees could save you up to 7 percent on cooling costs.
  • Don’t overcool your home – When you leave the house, set the thermostat to 85 degrees or higher. The A/C uses less energy to cool down a warm house than it does to maintain a low temperature for an eight-hour stretch. If you tend to forget to raise the thermostat, install a programmable thermostat.
  • Optimize your windows – Neutral-colored drapes with heat-reflective backings reduce cooling costs by lowering your home’s heat gain up to 33 percent. Using high-reflectivity blinds can cut heat gain even more. For year-round savings, consider replacing old windows with Energy Star-qualified models.
  • Weatherize the attic – Even on mild summer days, the attic temperature can rise past 100 degrees. Good attic air sealing and insulation keep that heat out of your rooms so it doesn’t make more work for your air conditioner. Air ducts running through the attic and other unconditioned spaces should have the joints sealed with mastic and be insulated to support your A/C’s efficiency.
  • Upgrade your equipment – If your home’s air conditioner is more than 10 years old or needs repairs more than once a year, it’s likely near the end of its life span. By upgrading to a higher-efficiency air conditioner now, you could cut your cooling expenses by 20 to 50 percent and save yourself from the headache of an unexpected breakdown.

For more information on how to reduce cooling costs in your Portland home, contact Roth Heating and Cooling.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “alexmillos/Shutterstock”

Why It’s Time to Switch to a Programmable Thermostat if You Haven’t Already

Why It's Time to Switch to a Programmable Thermostat if You Haven't AlreadyYou may have noticed that the trend in electronics and other industries is a digital one. Even eye glass lenses are now made digitally. So it’s no surprise that thermostats have gone digital as well. If you haven’t made the switch to a programmable thermostat, you may not be aware of the benefits a digital thermostat can have.

Why You Should Switch to a Programmable Thermostat

Making the switch to a programmable thermostat can actually save you money. Digital thermostats are more accurate than their analog counterparts, and that makes it easier to keep your home at a comfortable temperature.

An accurate thermostat also means your air conditioner will only run long enough to reach the temperature you set, which will save you quite a bit of money on your energy bill.

Another great reason to switch to a programmable thermostat is that they are not made with mercury. Analog thermostats contain mercury like a regular thermometer.

Analog thermostats are also notorious for having displays that are hard to read. They are usually a dial with a needle that points to a temperature. Digital thermostats have a digital display that tells you exactly what the temperature of your home is, making it easy to make adjustments if you want to do so.

Digital thermostats can be programmed to a lower temperature when you are home and a higher temperature when you are at work, which can also save you quite a bit of money. In the fall, you can easily set the thermostat to start heating your home to a more comfortable temperature before you get home.

Many of the newer thermostats can also be controlled via an app on your smartphone which gives you even more control over your energy consumption. If you’ll be staying late at the office, you can override your digital thermostat presets and to maintain the current temperature until you get home.

For more information about making the switch to a programmable thermostat, contact the experts at Roth Heating and Cooling. We’ve been serving the Portland area for over 30 years.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Danylo Samiylenko/Shutterstock”

Ways to Save Electricity and Brighten Your Pockets

Ways to Save Electricity and Brighten Your PocketsThe economy may be improving, but most of us still do not have money to burn. As we look for ways to save money, one area that catches our attention is our electric bill. You have heard that it is the little things that count. When it comes to electricity, they add up. Here are a few little things to do to help you save electricity and money: Continue reading

Don’t Touch the Thermostat and Keep Your Home Cool Anyway

Don't Touch the Thermostat and Keep Your Home Cool AnywaySummertime in Portland is paradise, but high energy bills during the cooling season can take some of the joy out of warm, sunny weather. This year, resolve to keep your home cool without cranking the thermostat. Here are a some low-cost and no-cost ways to stay cooler at higher thermostat settings all season long. Continue reading