There's an old saying that goes something like this: "If you want to experience all four seasons in one day, come to Alabama." Mind you, that's true of many other places beside the Yellowhammer State, especially this time of year. With the seasons changing, chances are you need the heat in the morning, AC at lunch, and heat again by bedtime.

That's no reason for you to overheat or come home to a cold house, though. With a Z-Wave thermostatconnected to a larger smart home control system, you'll be able to keep your home dialed into the perfect temperature, whether you're home or away, coming or going. What sets Z-Wave thermostats apart from the hard-to-program thermostats you may have tried (and possibly failed) to set up in the past is that they don't operate in isolation. The same intuitive software that you use to set up lighting scenes and mobile notifications can be used to dial in a daily heating and cooling schedule that's easy to see and easy to understand. And better yet, easy to modify, even if you're away from home.

That's especially handy if you have an irregular schedule or if your kids have after-school activities that vary from day to day. But it's just the start of what you can do with a Z-Wave smart home system and a compatible thermostat. If you have a SmartThings hub, for example, you can add geo-fencing to your system for the ultimate in hands-off climate control. What could be easier than simply leaving home to set your thermostat to your preferred away setting? And unlike thermostats that rely on motion and noise sensing to determine whether you're home or away, a Z-Wave control system with geo-fencing won't be fooled if you simply spend a lot of time in the back of the house. If your phone is home, the system knows you're home too.

Having a thermostat as part of your comprehensive Z-Wave home control system also allows you to keep a lid on energy usage in other intelligent ways. You can easily set temperature limits, for example, so no one can override your schedule with settings that are too hot or too cold. But your thermostat doesn't have to do all the work. You can also use window and door sensors to let you know if someone in the house is trying to heat or cool the entire neighborhood.

The bottom line is that the more intelligent your home is, the more adaptable it is to the changing seasons. With Z-Wave, you'll always be able to keep your home perfectly comfy when you're there and conserve energy—without sacrificing convenience—when you're not.