Here at Brody Pennell, we are big fans of the connected home trend in Los Angeles. SoCal homeowners with smart homes benefit from time-saving automations, energy conservation, and peace of mind with complete monitoring and control of their home right from their smartphone. In this blog, we wanted to zero in on the benefits of the Nest Thermostat. 

You might wonder, “is a Nest Thermostat really any better than a programmable thermostat?” Short answer: yes. A 2015 study of homeowners revealed that 40% of programmable thermostat owners didn’t use the programmable features at all, while another 33% of homeowners had the features enabled but used override functions which eliminate the benefit of programming. With most homeowners not using their existing thermostat properly, a Nest Thermostat can make a big difference by automating some decision-making. 

Here are five more features of the Nest Thermostat that may sway your decision:

Save Energy and Money with a Smart Home

This one’s simple: conserving energy is good for the environment. But using less energy also translates to lower energy bills. That’s something to get excited about! 

The Nest Thermostat helps reduce energy usage through several features. One such feature is the Eco Temperature setting, which can detect if you and your family members are inside the home or not. If the Nest Thermostat determines no one is home, it will automatically change the temperature settings to conserve energy. 

Monitor Performance of all Nest Products

These days we can monitor many data in our life. We receive notifications from email, social media, and updates on our favorite sports teams. When you have any of the Google Nest products installed in your home, you’ll receive the Nest Home Report in your email each month. The report summarizes energy usage, safety events, and more. 

Control Nest Thermostat Remotely

Perhaps the best feature of the Nest Thermostat is that you can control temperature remotely. 

Simply log in to the Nest app on your smartphone and adjust the temperature. Imagine sitting in the airport about to leave for vacation and realizing you forgot to set your temperatures back. That’s a lot of energy wasted on an empty house! Now you can adjust your home’s temperature from anywhere with Nest.  

Nest Thermostats Light Up When You Approach

Have you ever tiptoed late at night to adjust your thermostat, only to realize you can’t see it? When you enter a room to check a Nest thermostat, the display automatically lights up. Now you can easily view the current temperature, time and weather, no matter the lighting conditions in the space. This is one of those small design touches that makes a big difference in your daily life!

Integrates with Google Home and Nest Hub

A smart speaker is another fun addition to any Los Angeles connected home. Here at Brody Pennell, you might overhear us saying “Okay Google, play The Eagles.” Still, smart speakers can do so much more than play music. You can connect your Google Home or Nest Hub devices. That means if you’re feeling warm you can just say, “Okay Google, lower the temperature by 2 degrees.” It’s your home… but connected! 

Brody Pennell is a Nest Elite Pro

Brody Pennell has been trained and certified as a Nest Elite Pro. That means our team has completed rigorous training on the installation and configuration of Google Nest connected home products. We can help install the Nest Thermostat, the Google Nest camera products, Nest Security products, the Google Hub, and even the Google Nest Doorbell. Trust a trained professional to get your smart home all set up so you can enjoy the benefits with no frustration. Call us today for more information!

Your thermostat is your direct line of communication to your air conditioning system. If it’s working properly, it will tell you everything you need to know about what your equipment is doing and even if there’s a problem with your AC system in your Los Angeles home. Unfortunately, sometimes the thermostat will malfunction. Here’s how to tell if the problem is the thermostat… or something else.

What To Look For If You Think Your Thermostat is Broken

When our customers call with thermostat issues, there are two main scenarios: the thermostat is blank and completely unresponsive, or it’s thermostat is acting abnormally. 

Is your thermostat display blank? Don’t be too quick to assume it’s broken. First, try pressing a button to see if your thermostat was simply conserving power and in sleep mode. 

If the display still appears to be off after pressing some buttons, make sure that there are no problems with power. Even if lights and plugs in the same hallway as the thermostat are working, that is not enough to verify that power isn’t the culprit. It is common for thermostats to get their power from the main air conditioning unit. So if your AC doesn’t have power, your thermostat won’t either. Check your electrical breaker box for any tripped fuses and reset them. If your thermostat comes back on, then there are likely no other issues. 

Is the thermostat is blinking, flashing, or displaying an error code? It’s possible that the thermostat is operating correctly and notifying you of an issue with the system. One common thermostat alert is a dirty filter that needs replacing. These notifications might have an unfamiliar icon, but a quick check of the thermostat’s owner’s manual can help you verify.

More sophisticated thermostats may even notify you it’s time to schedule annual or other regular maintenance on your unit. In these cases the thermostat is the opposite of broken, it’s helping make sure you stay comfortable moving forward! 

If you’re still not sure and cannot clear any messages or alerts, homeowners in Los Angeles are always welcome to call our team. We’re happy to help troubleshoot over the phone. 

My Thermostat Is Showing the Wrong Temperature

Many homeowners call us with concerns about the thermostat displaying the wrong temperature. This doesn’t always mean your thermostat is broken. An incorrect value on the thermostat could be one of many problems: 

  • The thermostat could be displaying the temperature setpoint and not the current temperature of the space.
  • If the rest of your home feels hot but the temperature on the thermostat shows that it’s normal, it could be the result of where it’s located in the home. Most homes only have one temperature sensor in their home: right at the thermostat. If you have hot spots, that’s something we have a lot of experience in troubleshooting.
  • If your temperature setting keeps changing, that could be a result of automatic programming or a temperature schedule. 
  • If you have verified all the thermostat settings are correct but your AC still isn’t working as expected, it could be a communication issue between the two devices. In this case, it’s best to call in a professional to diagnose where the problem lies exactly.

Brody Pennell Can Help With Thermostat Repair and Replacement

If you’re confident that the problem is a broken thermostat, it may be time for a new one. There are a lot of replacement thermostat options available today, including connected smart thermostats and traditional simpler devices. 
Our team of knowledgeable, NATE-certified technicians can help diagnose your thermostat problem and give you our honest opinion about repair or replacement. We know the needs of Los Angeles homeowners are unique, and we will recommend the best solution for you. No matter what you choose, the most important thing is staying comfortable in the LA heat. A thermostat problem could be an indicator of a larger issue, so if you are unable to resolve the problem on your own, be sure to call Brody Pennell right away!

If you get sticker shock each month when you see your energy bill, you may be looking for ways to save energy around the house. Here’s a common question our customers ask: “Should I set back the temperature when I leave my house?” After all, most people turn off lights and water when they aren’t using them. Why cool an empty house?

Air conditioning is one of the appliances that uses the most energy. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, air conditioning makes up 17% of the energy used in homes in mixed-dry climates like Los Angeles. So, it’s no surprise you might be thinking about your AC when you think about saving energy.

By the way, what is setback? Setback is a term used to describe the act of changing your thermostat from the normal, comfortable temperature set-point to another temperature in order to save money on HVAC operation. The setback temperature might not feel comfortable to you if you’re sitting in a space that is cooled to the setback temperature, but the idea is that you won’t be there while setback temperature is in operation!

Is it worth it to change your thermostat when you leave the house?

Before deciding whether or not to set back the temperature, there are a few things to consider.

First, think about how long you’ll be away. Will it be a few hours, or several days? Next, is how much to set back the temperature by. Setbacks are not created equally – setting back your thermostat by 1 or 2 degrees is different than setting it back by 5 or more degrees. Finally, is humidity a problem in your house? For LA customers closer to the coast, battling humidity in your home may be more of an obstacle than for those in the city.

Leaving the house for a couple of hours

It may be tempting to leave your AC running when you leave for work or head off to run errands. It’s one more thing to think about as you scramble to get out the door. Plus, it’s nice to come home to a nice, cool house.

But if you’re serious about saving energy, it’s important to adjust your thermostat while you’re away.

The Department of Energy indicates you can save as much as 10% a year on heating and cooling if you set back the temperature while you are away for 8 hours. Turning the temperature back 7°-10°F is your best bet. The ideal summertime temperature for setback is 78°F.

The truth is that you won’t get much benefit from setting back the temperature by only one or two degrees – but something is better than nothing. We always recommend our customers set back the temperature, even when they only leave for four hours.

If remembering to set back the temperature is a problem for you, consider investing in a programmable thermostat. When you use a programmable thermostat, you can set up your thermostat to set back automatically. And, you can start cooling your home before you arrive home by programming your thermostat to automatically turn on sooner.

When you’re away for several days

If you’ve read this far then you already know: it is absolutely beneficial to set back the temperature if you’ll be away from your home for several days. If your home is empty for weeks on end you may be tempted to turn off your AC completely.

But, there are a few more considerations when you’ll be gone for a long period of time. The most important consideration is humidity. Air conditioners help remove humidity from the air in your home. So, it’s important to keep your AC running even if the home is empty.

If you’re leaving for travel, set back your temperature setpoint by at least 10 degrees. But, don’t turn it off completely!

Another benefit to temperature set back

Setting back the temperature is an easy way to save energy. But, you’ll get even more bang from your buck when you turn up the temperature.

Because your air conditioner won’t be working so hard, you’ll be adding years of life to your AC system. When you run your AC at full-blast even when you’re not home, it is more likely to break down sooner. So, all the more reason to set back the temperature.

A question that we often get asked by our customers is – do I need a smart thermostat? It’s a great question. It seems like so many L.A. homeowners want the latest and greatest technology to keep their homes comfortable. It can be difficult to discern what it necessary or helpful and what is just hype. Below, we’ll talk more about the benefits of a smart thermostat to help you determine if your home actually needs one.

What is a Smart Thermostat?

A smart thermostat is a Wi-Fi enabled home comfort device that automatically adjusts your home’s temperature for optimal performance. In addition to allowing you to set your ideal temperature for different days and time frames, the thermostat actually starts to learn which settings you prefer and adjust the temperature to help you save more energy during the times when your HVAC system is not typically in use.

Benefits of a Smart Thermostat

Overall, a smart thermostat helps make home comfort easy. Here are just a few of the main benefits of this smart HVAC accessory:

Save energy.

Using a smart thermostat helps you save more energy over time. As the thermostat learns your comfort preferences, it starts to adjust your system use over time. That means that your equipment isn’t constantly running at the same temperature throughout the day. The system kicks on when you need it to maintain home comfort and is on a more efficient setting while you are away. Using your system more efficiently not only saves energy, but it also helps you cut down on your electric bills throughout the year.

Control remotely.

One of the best benefits of a smart thermostat is that you can control your temperature settings remotely. Whether you want to warm your house up before you get home from work on a cold day or you’d like to turn off your HVAC system to save energy while on vacation, you have complete control of your system from your smartphone or mobile device.

Stay comfy.

With a smart thermostat, you will always come home to a comfortable living space. Your home comfort is at your fingertips and with the click of a button, you can quickly and easily adjust your temperature settings to ensure optimal comfort.

Do I need a smart thermostat?

Though smart thermostats may not be a necessity for homes, they are nice to have if home comfort is a priority for you and your family. When customers ask us about ways that they can improve their home comfort or have better control over their energy costs, we often recommend getting a smart thermostat. It makes home comfort easy, which is just one less thing that you need to think about when creating a happy, healthy, and comfortable space for you and your family.

Got more questions about smart thermostat technology? We’d be happy to help enlighten you. Call us today to speak to a home comfort specialist: (310) 896-4911.

Many people in Glendale who are concerned about energy savings are often on the lookout to find the best possible solutions to make their home efficient, without having to compromise on comfort.

Oftentimes, one of the first questions that comes to mind is: what is the difference between manual and electronic, or programmable, thermostats. While they both do essentially the same things, regulate temperature fluctuations within your home so you stay comfortable no matter what the temperature is outside, they do have a few differences. Read on to learn more.

Manual Versus Electronic Thermostat

For more information about thermostats and other home-comfort related products that we offer, give us a call, or visit our products page. At Brody Pennell, we have been in the HVAC business for over 68 years, so our knowledgeable and helpful HVAC technicians can help you to find exactly the best comfort solutions for you and your loved ones’ needs.

Programmable thermostats can be a bit confusing to homeowners who are used to the manual styles, but there are a variety of benefits that these thermostats can provide homeowners, including lower HVAC energy usage which translates to money-saved on monthly energy bills. Below, we’ve compiled a quick list of frequently asked questions to help you better understand how programmable thermostats work and why they’re useful.

FAQs About Programmable Thermostats

Don’t be left in the dark about the benefits of programmable thermostats. Take a look at this list of common questions and answers to help you better understand why this type of temperature control can be so useful for your home, both for comfort and energy efficiency.

Here at Brody Pennell, we specialize in keeping you and your loved ones comfortable in your home and can help with any HVAC related questions you may have. To schedule an appointment, or for more information on how a programmable thermostat can benefit your home, call us at (310) 836-0606.

You might have heard of a recently developed technological innovation called a Wi-Fi-enabled thermostat, which lets you control your home’s temperature with commands sent through your Internet modem. One of the best examples of this new temperature control technology is the Cor thermostat from Carrier. Here’s a rundown of some of the main features of this device.

Wi-Fi-Enabled Thermostat Basics

All of the Wi-Fi-enabled devices you commonly use (including your smartphones, computers and tablets) connect to the Web through an Internet protocol (IP) component that sends and receives wireless Internet signals. A Wi-Fi-enabled thermostat works through the same type of setup. It allows you to remotely control your thermostat and (in some cases) carry out a number of additional tasks and commands. The range of available actions varies according to the specific type of thermostat you buy.

The Carrier Cor Thermostat’s Main Features

The Carrier Cor features a color touch screen that issues context-specific prompts and instructions during use. You can use this screen or your smartphone, tablet or computer to do such things as program your household temperature settings for the next seven days, create single-step commands that change multiple temperature settings at once, and “tell” the thermostat to adjust temperatures on its own as indoor conditions change. In addition, you can set a fixed heating/cooling schedule and sync the device with other Carrier heat and humidity control systems.

Using the Cor Apps

Carrier lets you use a selection of custom apps to wirelessly control the Cor thermostat. This selection includes separate app versions designed specifically for Apples and Windows computer users, as well as Android and iOS smartphone and tablet users. Each version lets you access the thermostat in a technology setting you’re already familiar with.

Adaptability to Your Current System

Homes throughout America contain a broad range of heating and cooling systems. The Cor thermostat is designed to integrate smoothly with a very high percentage of these systems. This built-in adaptability greatly eases the process of connecting the thermostat to your current heating/cooling setup.

Thermostat Updates

Like many Wi-Fi-enabled devices, the Carrier Cor can easily receive manufacturer updates that add new functions or iron out any significant bugs. The Cor adds to your convenience by automating the update process and ensuring that you have the latest software version installed.


The Cor thermostat is designed for professional installation by an HVAC specialist. A professional installation ensures that your new thermostat will work properly from the beginning and immediately enhance your household comfort and convenience.

For more useful information on the latest in heating and cooling solutions, make sure to check this blog regularly.

If your goal is to reduce your energy costs by being kinder to the earth, then you might want to consider having a smart thermostat installed. Smart thermostats are wireless digital thermostats that enable you to better control the temperature throughout your home (or business) while using less energy than traditional thermostats.

How do smart thermostats work?

Smart thermostats work by measuring the temperature in each room and resetting itself accordingly. For instance, if you spend a majority of your time in the living room of your home and 6 other rooms are unoccupied for a majority of the day, then the thermostat will adjust itself so energy isn’t wasted heating and cooling rooms that aren’t in use.

How can a smart thermostat benefit me?

There are many ways that a smart thermostat can benefit you. One way is that such a technologically-advanced thermostat will use less energy but provide the same comfort. You will more or less have complete control over your energy bills, which will be based on the average temperature that you prefer for each room in your home. Another way that a smart thermostat can benefit you is that the thermostat has the ability to “learn.” In other words, the smart thermostat will adjust itself according to the settings that you normally use.

In addition, a smart thermostat can control up to 8 separate rooms of your home, customizing the temperature for each area. This will provide you with consistent and optimal cooling and heating, which will ensure your overall comfort levels. Since the thermostat can be controlled via the internet, you can control the temperature in your home even when you’re not home. This can prevent you from wasting energy when it is not needed, and you will definitely see the difference in your energy bills.

Obviously smart thermostats can improve your life in a number of ways. Not only can they help you to drastically reduce your heating and cooling costs, but they can also make controlling the temperature in your home a lot more convenient. Follow us for more great articles on heating, air conditioning and home needs.

A digital thermostat that is set for energy savings during heating months of the season can really save you a lot of money. Resetting your thermostat when you are away or asleep can be a good way of saving on energy bills. A digital thermostat allows you to program heating or air conditioning according to a schedule that you want. The good news is, programmable thermostats can save and repeat multiple ideal thermostat settings that have been set for the day.

Basic Thermostat operations

During the cold months, you can achieve maximum energy efficiency by setting the thermostat at about 68° F and lowering it when you are asleep or away from home. Turning your thermostat back by 10° or 15° for a period of 8 hours can actually save you up to 15% of energy; so it’s something you may want to consider. The same can also apply during the hot summer months. You can lower the thermostat setting when you are at home and keep it warmer than normal when you are away.

A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that the furnace will work harder to heat the house back to a comfortable level when the thermostat has been set back. However, that is not true; in fact, if your house drops temperature below normal, the rate of loosing heat to the surrounding environment will be much lower. In other words, the lower the temperature in the interior, the lower the rate of heat loss.

How to Choose and Program a Programmable Thermostat

Programmable thermostats are basically digital or sometimes electromechanical. The programmable thermostat is the best option for day light savings but can be tough to program if you don’t have the knowhow. Before you program the thermostat, make sure you have considered the times when you go to sleep and when you wake up. If you want to sleep at a relatively cooler temperature, consider setting the thermostat back a few hours before you go to bed. If there is a time when the house is unoccupied for some hours, you can consider setting back the thermostat at this time. Follow our blog for more great HVAC information and tips.

WiFi Thermostats are the perfect solution for a wide range of heating and cooling control needs. Today, Internet connectivity is much more than simply surfing the web. The proliferation of mobile devices with Internet connectivity and Internet enabled household appliances have made life a lot easier. When it comes to Internet–controlled thermostats, it is now possible to control a building’s heating and cooling system from virtually anywhere in the world using an Internet connected cellular device, tablet, or computer.a

Home automation systems have come a long way. Home automation may include the centralized control of appliances, lighting, security, and other home or household activities. A wifi home thermostat is a type of home automation device that increases the efficiency of managing the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system. Advantages of automation include improved convenience, energy efficiency, comfort, and security.

A wireless home thermostat offers most of the same benefits as other types of home automation appliances. In addition to allowing users to control the thermostat settings from afar, modern wireless thermostats have inbuilt intuitive capabilities. They can learn the users’ preferences and habits and adjust the building’s temperatures accordingly. In addition, some models will use sensors to determine when the house is empty and can even foretell when someone will arrive back home. Using the same sensors, they can figure out the busiest rooms and focus on them more that the other less utilized rooms.

Other Benefits of a Wi-Fi Thermostat

· A wireless thermostat is easy to set up

· It allows expandability

· It allows monitoring of a building’s temperature, especially when the A/C system fails or someone else changes the settings

The latest models of Internet enabled thermostats are very smart; however, before choosing any model or make, it is important to consider its features, design, and ease of use. In addition, it is important to understand that many wireless thermostats require a professional HVAC installer for then to run at peak performance.

All conventional wireless thermostats include home security into their designs. To minimize the risk of destructive hacking by pranksters, the device’s web servers allow users to set passwords. They also use wired Ethernet instead of wireless protocols to enhance security.

Call a good HVAC contractor to find out about the Wi-Fi thermostat options available in the market.