Like most technology, thermostats have undergone a revolution in the last decade. Manual thermostats have been replaced with smart, programmable systems that enable a number of cost-saving applications. Chances are if your home’s thermostat is a decade old or more, it may be time for a replacement.
Not only will updating your existing thermostat offer new functionalities – like remote access via a computer or smartphone – but it can also help you save money on your heating and cooling bill each month. The reason is simple: New thermostats enable homeowners to personalize settings easier.
For example, with a programmable system, it’s possible to set settings for specific times of day and days of the week, which can have a noticeable effect on your energy bill. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that using proper settings throughout the day – for instance, adjusting your settings 7-10 degrees back while you sleep – can result in a 5% to 15% savings on your energy bill each year.
How a new thermostat can save on energy costs
There are two specific ways a new thermostat can save you money. For one, your existing system may be out of date, resulting in inefficient heating or cooling throughout the home. Secondly, the system may be poorly placed, resulting in incorrect readings.
In both cases, a new system may be the ticket to energy savings. Here’s a look at a few specific ways a newly installed thermostat can cut down on heating and cooling costs:
Poorly placed thermostats
To effectively balance the temperature in your home, your thermostat needs to be placed in a central location. Thermostats that are installed in improper locations – like near a drafty garage door, or in a room with high solar heat gain – can result in misleading temperature readings, resulting in inefficient heating and cooling.
For example, a thermostat placed in the kitchen will indicate the temperature for the floor is much hotter when you are cooking. Consequently, your HVAC system will tune off, and other areas of the home will remain much cooler than the kitchen. To compensate, you turn up the heater, resulting in added heating costs at the end of the month.
Replacing an improperly placed thermostat can help homeowners balance heating and cooling throughout the home, which can eliminate incorrect temperature readings.
Programmable vs. manual systems
Manual systems are difficult to manage. In fact, it’s estimated that homeowners adjust manual thermostats infrequently, resulting in improper settings for the home. For example, during the workday when the home is vacant, adjusting temperature 7 to 10 degrees back from normal can result in a noticeable change in your energy bill.
Installing a new programmable system can help you achieve this level of personalization. For example, with a programmable thermostat, a homeowner can add a pre-determined setting for days of the week and for sleeping hours. There’s no need for manual adjustments, which can help you cut down on costs.
Remote connectivity with smart thermostats
Finally, smart thermostats are the latest gadget on the market, and they offer a greater degree of connectivity. Many smart systems allow for remote connectivity. You can control and adjust the thermostat from the office or from vacation.
Plus, these smart systems also typically provide homeowners with data about their energy use. This data can help the homeowner determine specific ways to cut costs and reduce their energy footprint.
Bottom line: If your thermostat is more than 10 years old, it’s probably time for an upgrade. Not only will a new thermostat have a number of new functionalities; there’s also a good chance it can save you money, by helping you optimize your settings for specific conditions.