Written on: February 21, 2022
It’s likely that many folks—both young and old—grew up with a manual thermostat in their home. In most of these cases, folks remember a little white box on the wall that looked like a tiny radio or a kitchen timer. Turn it up, turn it down, and the temperature in your home would adjust. Easy enough—except when you forget to turn down the heat or the AC while you’re out for the day and end up paying for a whole lot of warm or cool air you didn’t use.
Nowadays there are far better options on the table. Programmable thermostats use a timer to let you set different temperatures on a daily or weekly schedule. If you’re schedule doesn’t change much, or you’re willing to keep up with the task of programming, these can automatically adjust your thermostat to help you save money on heating and cooling costs. They’re relatively inexpensive, and slightly better looking than the manual units.
Smart thermostats take this technology to the next level!
Smart thermostats are designed to learn your heating and cooling habits, creating a schedule that matches them. Some even connect with your home automation system like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, so you all you do is ask to turn up the heat.
Additionally, wireless connectivity lets you check your thermostat settings and your home’s temperature from anywhere, using an app on your phone or tablet. Forgot to turn on the vacation setting for your central air conditioning? No problem! Use your phone to do it while waiting in the security line at the airport.
Smart thermostats—Nest and Ecobee are popular brands—can cost a bit more than a basic programable version. However, they can be a great investment, offering significant savings when used properly over even just a few months’ time. In many instances, there are even rebates available on smart thermostats that can help you save up front, too.
At the end of the day, here’s the key reasons smart thermostats are the smartest choice for controlling your home heating and cooling:
Reducing energy use is the best way to combat high heating and cooling bills.
By “teaching” a smart thermostat to lower the heat when you leave the house and turn it back up in time to make the house comfortable by the time you to get home, you may be able to cut your heating and cooling costs by 10%, according to the United States Department of Energy. The savings you’ll enjoy will quickly offset the cost.
Old manual thermostats can vary by as much as five degrees between the temperature you set on your thermostat and the temperature of the air in your home. That makes a big difference not only in comfort but in energy costs, as each degree difference can raise your heating or cooling costs by up to 2%. Smart thermostats are much more precise, with only a half-degree difference. The temperature you set is the temperature you get!
Constantly running your heat or air conditioning, or manually making extreme temperature adjustments, like you might when you come home to a very hot or cold house, adds stress to your HVAC system. Over time, this can cause breakdowns and ultimately shorten its lifespan. By using your smart thermostat to change your heat or air conditioning automatically, it will adjust gradually, taking pressure off your HVAC system and helping it last longer.
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