Smart Thermostats: A Simple Way to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

There are many different kinds of home thermostats. Older homes may come equipped with non-digital models containing small vials of mercury. Newer properties typically have digital models installed that allow homeowners to easily program the temperature in their home to a comfortable setting. In recent years, smart thermostats have been gaining popularity among eco-conscious homeowners. If you’ve been thinking about installing a smart thermostat in your home, here’s what you need to know.

The Basics
The idea for a smart thermostat was conceived by former Apple employees Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers. The two engineers developed the Nest Learning Thermostat, a product which would revolutionize the home heating and cooling world. The high-tech thermostat first hit the market in 2011. Since then, countless brands have developed their own versions of the smart thermostat. Many of these products are compatible with existing home heating and cooling systems. In some cases, homeowners can simply swap out their old non-digital or programmable thermostat for an upgraded smart thermostat. Models typically range in cost from $150-$300, depending on the features you want for your home.

The Benefits
Many people wonder how smart thermostats are different from traditional non-digital or programmable models. There are a few unique features that set these devices apart from other thermostats. First, they are called ‘smart’ thermostats for a reason. The Nest models can actually be programmed to learn your behaviors with regards to heating and cooling your home. These thermostats have a special ‘learning’ mode, and in a matter of days the device will have your heating and cooling preferences organized into a handy schedule which can be tweaked as needed.

Many smart thermostat models also offer you the option of controlling your home’s temperature through an application on your smartphone or the Internet. This is particularly useful if you leave the house and forget to turn the heat down, or head out on vacation and need to adjust the temperature in your home while you’re on the go. Another unique benefit that many smart thermostats offer is the ability to track the efficiency of your home’s heating or cooling system. Homeowners who have these thermostats installed can actually see how much energy they’re using to heat and cool their home and predict how much they’ll be spending monthly. Some smart thermostat models also have the ability to make suggestions on how you can save energy and cut costs.

According to the experts at Energy Star, smart thermostats can help homeowners save an average of $180 each year on their heating and cooling costs. The benefits here are two-fold. Not only are these devices helping to reduce your energy consumption; they are also helping you build up your savings over time. If you’re thinking about installing a new thermostat in your home, take the time to learn about the different types of thermostats available. Consider upgrading your current non-digital or programmable device to a smart thermostat. These high-tech models offer several unique benefits for home owners, including increased energy efficiency and reduced heating and cooling costs.

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