How old is the thermostat in your home? Have you thought about upgrading? Today, many thermostats offer significant new technologies and can do things thermostats of the past just could not do. That said, it’s certainly worth asking if these new thermostats can save enough money to justify the extra cost.
Let’s start by looking at the three main options for thermostats.
Manual thermostats are simple to operate. There are no batteries to wear out and replace. Just remember to raise or lower the temperature setting a few degrees in the morning and evening, and whenever you leave the house.
Programmable thermostats allow settings for four different periods each day. You control the settings so they will suit your climate, schedule and temperature preferences. You can easily override your program settings anytime.
Smart thermostats connect to a home’s Wi-Fi network. After installation, you input the basics of your schedule and temperature. Over time, as you change the settings, it learns your habits and adjusts to minimize energy use. Smart thermostats also can detect when no one is home. You also can control it remotely by using a smartphone or tablet app.
The move to smart technology is a significant investment. Units can cost up to $400, and it’s important to note not all homes have the proper wiring in place to accommodate smart thermostats, so you may need to hire a professional to handle the installation.
Worth the cost?
Are newer, more expensive thermostats worth the extra cost? How much a thermostat can save depends on how much you spend on heating and cooling your house.
Estimate your heating and cooling expenses by examining your electric bills. Compare the bills for winter and summer to those for spring and fall. Most of the difference is likely due to heating and cooling. If that amount is more than $900 per year, which is the national average, you have a chance of a good return on your investment.
The second factor that determines your potential savings is how you operate your current thermostat. If you conscientiously adjust the temperature to save energy when leaving the house or going to bed, the new thermostat may not reduce your bills that much, even if you program it correctly.
A thermostat is just one piece of the energy efficiency puzzle. Regardless of the thermostat you choose, Union Power is here to assist. Contact one of our Energy Specialists at 704-289-3145 to discuss the best option for you! Or, use our energy usage alerts to monitor your home's power consumption. Visit us online to learn more.