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How much can I save on heating costs with a programmable thermostat

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Between AI assistants, smart plugs, refrigerators with screens, auto-dimming blinds, and heated flooring, every room in our homes can be upgraded and optimized for convenience. With technology connecting and improving every other area, it may be time for homeowners to consider installing a piece of technology that could end up paying for itself through savings — a Wi-Fi connected programmable thermostat. Much like it sounds, a smart programmable thermostat replaces the old manual-style thermostat, and connects a homeowner’s HVAC system to their mobile devices through an app.

Having been on the market for a few years now, and certainly sounding like an upgrade, how will a smart thermostat actually save money for homeowners?

A Precise Touch

As mentioned, a smart programmable thermostat functions through an app that is easily downloaded on any Wi-Fi connected device, including a phone, tablet, or laptop. This means that so long as the device is connected to Wi-Fi — wherever that may be — the thermostat at home can be precisely adjusted to the exact temperature that’s most comfortable. The app also allows the thermostat to be scheduled to turn on or off at different points in the day, or increase or decrease throughout the day. So, if someone leaves for work, and doesn’t need the heat running all day, the thermostat can be set in the morning in the app to decrease the heat as the homeowner is walking out the door, and to increase the heat as their car is pulling back into the garage at the end of the day.

These settings can go even further, to rely on technology known as “geofencing” — where the temperature settings are tied directly into the proximity between a user’s device and the thermostat. This allows a homeowner to “set and forget” their options, and the thermostat will auto-adjust whenever a user is leaving range (i.e. leaving to run errands) and readjust when they are again within range (i.e. returning home).

Most of these apps provide more detailed information as well, such as a comprehensive breakdown in energy consumption, diagnostic reports, or how changing the temperature can immediately affect the heating bill. This way, it’s easier to experiment with smaller adjustments to the thermostat, rather than dramatically turning the system off and on to cool off the house faster.

Watch and Learn

Smart thermostats are so sophisticated that they can actually learn a household’s heating and cooling patterns over time and adjust automatically to account for outside factors like weather shifts. This way, even if a homeowner forgets to adjust the thermostat as they usually would to account for a temperature change outside, a humidity shift, or unseasonable weather, the thermostat can make the change itself. This way, instead of the heat running unnecessarily, or “trying to cool the entire neighborhood”, the thermostat can catch itself, adjust the temperature, turn the appropriate system on or off, and save some additional coin.

Some Wi-Fi programmable thermostats also have the ability to link with other smart thermostats or sensors to create “zones”. This allows homeowners to control the temperature in each individual room, rather than having to worry about the whole house. No more worrying about cooling those rooms that don’t see any use during the summer, as homeowner’s can choose to only set the air to kick on for the rooms that need to be cooled. Pinpointing rooms this way allows the heating and cooling system to work more efficiently, avoiding running for longer periods of time than they need to. 

Overall, smart thermostats save homes an average of 10–20% on their heating and cooling bills, so long as they are programmed correctly up front. Considering the initial upfront investment for the thermostat is usually between $100–200, the upgrade to a programmable thermostat typically saves homeowners money in the first year alone.

Most of the major programmable thermostats can be easily set up out of the box, but for others, it can be tricky. If you’re thinking about making the transition over to an updated Wi-Fi programmable thermostat, if you have additional questions about what that might entail, or if you just need help with the programming, consider reaching out to a licensed professional, such as the team at Duane Blanton Plumbing, Sewer, Heating and Cooling. The technicians at Duane Blanton can walk you through the ins and outs of a new programmable thermostat, as well as conduct a thorough inspection of your HVAC system to make sure it’s ready for the transition. If you need help with your HVAC system in any capacity, give the experts at Duane Blanton Plumbing, Sewer, Heating and Cooling a call today, at (815) 781-2567, or consider scheduling online from your laptop!


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