Smart thermostat options
It’s happened to all of us. We leave our homes and halfway to our destination, we remember our thermostat was left on a setting that may cause our heating and air unit to keep running even though no one is home to enjoy that climate-controlled air. With heating and cooling costs accounting for approximately 40-50 percent of energy bills, we’re all looking for ways to be more energy efficient, and a great way to do just that is by upgrading your thermostat. The right thermostat settings could yield energy savings of 8-15 percent, and new technology is making it easier than ever to achieve those settings.
Smart thermostats are Wi-Fi enabled and may be controlled remotely through an app that can be accessed by a tablet, smartphone or voice control using a smart speaker system. If you’re interested in controlling your thermostat with your voice or an app, or want to be totally hands-off with a device that will learn your habits, you should consider a smart thermostat. To narrow your choices, factor in smart features, price and attributes that matter most to you, and make sure the chosen product supports your HVAC system.
Two of the most popular types are “Wi-Fi enabled” and “Smart” thermostats. Wi-Fi enabled thermostats will look the same on the wall as a traditional thermostat, but with the added benefit of having an app that can control many features, such as changing the temperature when you are away, scheduling a program for the week or monitoring the use away from home. These thermostats allow you to change the temp on your way home or after you leave in case you forgot to set it on your way out. You can also verify that no one has changed the setting while you’re away or even create a schedule of settings based on your weekly routine.
Smart thermostats, such as the Nest 3rd Generation and the Ecobee4, will learn your habits and predict temperature settings automatically. If you wish to set your own schedule, you can do so with an app, or you can even control them with your voice through a smart speaker, such as those offered from Amazon or Google.
Whichever fits your lifestyle, preferences and tech savvyness, a Wi-Fi enabled or smart thermostat is a good investment that can help you save energy and money in a more convenient way. If you have questions about which might be best for you, contact one of our Energy Service Representatives at 334-351-2178 and start saving today!
Myths About Your Thermostat
Your home’s thermostat controls how long your heating or cooling system operates. You can save energy and money by learning how this simple device operates.
One common myth is that the higher you set your thermostat when you return home, the faster your house will warm-up. This isn’t true since most heating systems deliver heat at the same rate no matter how high the thermostat is set. So just set your thermostat at the temperature you’d like, and your system will heat your home as fast as it can.
Another myth regards the efficiency of setting your thermostat down when you don’t need heating or cooling, such as at night or when no one is home. This myth states that a heating system works harder than normal to heat your home back to a comfortable temperature after the thermostat has been set back, resulting in little or no savings. This is not true, as has been proven by years of research and field observations. The longer your house stays at a reduced temperature when heating–or at an increased temperature when cooling–the more energy and money you’ll save.
This is because your heating or cooling cost depends mostly on the temperature difference between indoors and outdoors. When you adjust your thermostat down in the winter–or up in the summer–you simply reduce this temperature difference. If you set your temperature back 10 to 15 degrees for 8 hours while you’re asleep or at work, your energy savings can be 5% to 15% on your energy bill.
By the way, you can install a setback thermostat that automatically adjusts your home’s temperature at pre-set times. But your can achieve the same savings if you faithfully remember to change your thermostat whenever you leave home or go to bed.