A Honeywell Home smart thermostat on the wall.

How to Design a More Comfortable, Efficient Home

How we managed to lower the price of utilities in our old home using a smart thermostat

Kate Arends in a living room with a Honeywell Home smart thermostat on the wall. By: Kate Arends, Designer, Author, Wit & Delight owner and Honeywell Home thermostat user1

In 2020, my husband and I purchased a 1950s Cape Cod rambler, full of wild colors and “dated” bathrooms. Although we love her character, the house is incredibly inefficient when it comes to heating, cooling and temperature control altogether.

Because of the house’s layout, some rooms get the sun all day and get hot in the summer, while others stay downright cold in the winter. After living with these temperature swings for the last two years, we needed to address this issue.

This house is a project house, but I had no idea how much utilities would cost when we moved into it. We live in Minnesota – where temperatures can swing 140 degrees from one season to the next – so it's important for us to be as efficient as possible.

Designing a Comfortable Experience

I knew there had to be a more efficient way to make our home comfortable without spending much money (namely, replacing both of our furnaces). I love a good challenge, and in this case, I was determined to lower our energy bill.

Typically, I'm a DIYer, but I knew this job required someone to DIFM (do it for me). I called the experts to help upgrade our five thermostats (I had worked with Resideo and the Honeywell Home thermostat brand in the past so knew I was in good hands); and we went to work designing a better comfort plan for our home that was controlled on one app! They knew all the things about wiring requirements and zoning nuances within my home and helped me create a comfortable space.

Fast forward, it has been a few months since a HVAC technician installed our new Honeywell Home T10 Pro Smart Thermostat with Redlink Room Sensors in our home and we can already tell a big difference. The house feels more comfortable (i.e., the rooms are holding the actual temperature they should), there’s less of a drastic temperature shift between rooms, and, best of all, there’s been a difference in our monthly heating and cooling bills. There are so many simple joys to having a more comfortable and climate-controlled house.

A Snapshot of the Simple Joys, the home owner is standing in the kitchen enjoy decoration her kitchen.

A Snapshot of the Simple Joys

  • App Control . So far, my hands-down favorite part of the system is the ability to control everything on my phone. Here’s what I can do with my Honeywell Home thermostats on the Resideo app:
    • - Adjust the temperature for the whole house via one app (obviously, it’s a thermostat).
    • - Get alerts if the temp goes above/below a set temperature. I can then immediately adjust and maybe save a little money.
    • - Adjust the temperature in individual rooms. The smart room sensors help extend the reach of the thermostat and we placed them in rooms prone to temperature swings. Finally, I can cool down the sunny rooms and heat the rooms on the opposite side of the house through my zone-heating system!

  • Professional Install

    While there are some things that I can do, this installation is not one of them. The team sent a Resideo HVAC professional to install my new thermostats in about an hour. The technician was amazing and walked me through the initial setup of the thermostat. It was very helpful to have the tech there during the initial installation. I was able to ask questions, and he guided me through setting up the app on my phone and connecting it to our Amazon Alexa device. After an initial walk-through of all the features, I was up and running. (DIY-ers, I do recommend having a professional install the Honeywell Home T10 smart thermostat as it has more HVAC features. Resideo offers a Honeywell Home T9 smart thermostat that is very similar and is more of a self-installed device.)
    A homeowner holding a phone showing the smart home applications.
  • Connection to all smart home hubs

    I’m all about making smart home upgrades when you can to make your house more efficient. I love being able to control my thermostat remotely, with my other smart home applications like Apple HomeKit. They also connect to Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

    I can't recommend enough making "smart" upgrades when you can. Resideo's Honeywell Home smart thermostats and smart room sensors and have made a difference in the comfort of our homes and our energy bill.

    Oh! If you have a basement prone to leaking, I highly recommend the Resideo WiFi water leak and freeze detector. A few months back, we experienced a pretty major storm. Literally, the tiniest pool of water (about the size of a spilled glass of water) was enough to trip the sensor and send an alert to my phone. It’s nice to fix the problem immediately rather than be surprised by a flooded basement the next day.

1 Kate Arends received Honeywell Home and Resideo products for participation in this article. Portions of this article originally appeared on Witanddelight.com and were re-posted with permission.