The thermostat on your wall is the most visible part of your home’s comfort system – and also offers the easiest way to cut energy costs. If you adjust the setting whenever you don’t need your home to be as warm in winter or cool in summer, you will save real money on your utility bills. How much? Some studies have found over 20% is possible.
So why doesn’t everyone do it? Most of us don’t remember to adjust it down in the winter when going to bed, or up in the summer when leaving for the day. We also don’t like having to get out of bed to a cold house or come home to a warmhouse.
The old answer to this challenge was to use a “programmable thermostat” that would make the adjustments automatic. However, studies have found that very few homeowners ever learned how to actually program them. It’s the “blinking 12:00” on the VCR problem. In fact, EnergyStar stopped allowing the manufacturers’ to use the EnergyStar label a few years ago because of this. They CAN save energy, but in the real world they rarely do.
Well, things have changed. One of the most exciting new HVAC developments is the introduction of wifi thermostats that can be controlled by your smart phone from anywhere. This new generation of thermostats is amazing! They are super-easy to use due to much better designed interfaces. Some even have “automatic habit learning” capabilities.
They can be easily be programmed to follow routine patterns just like the standard programmable ones. But, what really sets them apart is the ability to adjust them on your phone (or any other internet connected computer or tablet).
Say it’s the Fourth of July and you take the family to the beach for a long weekend. Just as you are getting out of town, you remember you didn’t turn off the AC or turn it up to say 80. Instead of fretting over how many ice cream cones you could have bought with all the money being wasted overcooling the house, just whip out your phone, open the thermostat app, and slide the setting from 70 up to 80. You can program in when you’d like it to automatically start cooling the house down on Sunday afternoon – or do it yourself on your phone as you leave the beach parking lot.
Or, you are watching TV on a cold winter’s evening and you find your feet are cold and it’s a bit drafty. Just pull out your phone, and raise the temperature a few degrees without needing to even pause Netflix.
Truly, thermostats have come a long way. They save money, are much more convenient, and are a lot of fun too! Give us a call to find out what new options are available, and pick a unit that’s compatible with your system.