Skip to main content

How to change your smart home settings for fall

Fall is officially here, and that means it’s time to make some adjustments to your smart home! Home automation works best if you update a few settings in key devices for the changing seasons. We’re going over the most important changes to make to your smart devices so that they’re prepared for fall and winter — and ready to help you save money or time.

Tweak your smart thermostat

Nest thermostat on a wall beside a dresser and a plant.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Smart thermostats are, well, smart — and if you have had yours for some time, it’s probably adapted to your schedule pretty well. But if your climate gets significantly colder during the fall, then there are a few additional changes you should make to settings.

First, set your upper limit (when the thermostat starts cooling) to the mid-70s or higher if it’s not already there. Homes can heat up quickly due to fireplaces and heaters in colder months, and you don’t want your AC accidentally triggering.

Second, set your lower heating temperature to around 65 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on your personal preferences. The lower you set it, the more energy you will save: We’ve had great results setting a Nest smart thermostat at 65 degrees without giving up much in the way of comfort.

Finally, set your schedule so your lower limit is much lower when no one is home or when everyone is in bed for the night. Setting it to 55 or 60 degrees is often a sweet spot, but you’ll want to leave it a little higher in the day if you have pets at home.

If you are planning on a fall or winter vacation, check out the option to set your smart thermostat to a vacation mode. Smart lights also have vacation modes of their own that make it seem like people are still home, and both modes are worth using.

Reprogram lights and blinds

A smartphone with a blinds app in front of opened blinds.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

As the fall season continues, days grow shorter and there’s less light to work with. Some smart devices have sunrise/sunset settings so they will automatically adjust based on current daylight hours, but many do not. Smart lights and smart blinds in particular can benefit from making some fall changes.

Start by heading to the handy Sunrise and Sunset Calculator at Input your location and get information on what to expect for daylight hours. Then you can program your lights and blinds accordingly (for a quick snapshot, just googling “daylight hours” usually provides some quick data, too).

If you are programming smart blinds, it’s a good idea to leave the blinds open as much as possible in fall and winter. Sunlight can heat the air inside your home over time and help you save money on heating bills. It’s also an excellent time to check your weatherstripping to see if any of it needs to be replaced around windows or doors.

Replace your HVAC filters

Wear and tear on HVAC filters.
via: Reddit/u/SD70MACMAN

If you have a whole-house HVAC filter, now is the time to replace it with a new version. If you’ve never done this before, check your filter’s dimension (they will be clearly printed on the filter and your HVAC unit), then buy a replacement model the same size. Filters have arrows on them that are meant to face the way air is flowing through your unit.

It’s important to do this swap now, because as homes close up for the winter, the amount of dust and other allergens (as well as infectious particles) inside increase and are harder to get rid of. If allergies are a concern, it may be time to pick out a smart air purifier that can help keep the air clean.

Switch your ceiling fans

Honeywell ceiling fan in a living room setup.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Smart or not, make sure all your ceiling fans are set to spin clockwise. This adjustment is important in the winter months because it helps cycle the warm air (which naturally rises) back down to the bottom of a room. You can switch it back in summer when the days get warmer.

Set up a home humidifier

Levoit Humidifier control panel.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Have you noticed that the air in your home seems a bit dryer during fall and winter? That’s partly because of the heating process, partly because of the outdoor weather, and rarely fun for anyone. Sinus irritation, bloody noses, and stuffed nostrils can all become more common ailments in these seasons.

An effective way to combat this dry-out is with a smart humidifier. You can set these devices to add moisture to the air and even monitor air quality conditions inside your home.

Check out smart home Halloween ideas!

Ring app halloween settings.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

October is also an excellent time to plan some smart home Halloween plans. For example, if you have an Alexa device you can set up smart routines for motion sensors and enacting lighting changes for a spooky effect whenever trick-or-treaters visit.

That’s just the start of what your smart home can do for Halloween: You can check out our full guide for more ideas.

Editors' Recommendations

Tyler Lacoma
If it can be streamed, voice-activated, made better with an app, or beaten by mashing buttons, Tyler's into it. When he's not…
The best Amazon Alexa smart speakers
Amazon Echo Dot (4th Gen, 2020 release)on a table with a yoga matt and water bottle.

The best Alexa smart speakers don't just offer support for the voice assistant -- they also sound good, look good, and bring great value to your home. They often serve as the "brains" of a connected smart home, as you can give commands to the rest of your Alexa-enabled products just by talking to your smart speaker.

But with so many Alexa smart speakers on the market in 2023, it can be a challenge when narrowing down your options. It's hard to go wrong with anything from Amazon, Bose, Sonos, and other reputable brands – but which model is best for you?

Read more
Top ways smart tech can save Thanksgiving dinner
zoom thanksgiving setup guide

Thanksgiving is approaching and, for many people, that means hosting the big event. While some may find hosting the holiday meal to be stressful and chaotic, you’re not worried. Because you’re a smart cookie, you know you can use tech and gadgets to streamline everything and have your kitchen run like a Gordon Ramsay-approved assembly line. If you need ideas on how to make things easier and more efficient, you’ve come to the right place. Here are the top ways smart tech can help you plan, organize, and execute the best Thanksgiving dinner.

Read more
The best indoor security cameras of 2023
The Blink XT2 cam sitting on a table.

Indoor security cameras have a host of uses around a home or business. They can watch for intruders, keep an eye on pets, serve as baby monitors, help guide guests, and generally be on the lookout for anything unusual. If you’re interested in an indoor cam that can do it all, these are the top smart options from the best brands on the market.

Read more