Heating in cooling costs can be the most expensive utility on your utility bill. In colder months, your heating cost can skyrocket and in warmer months your air conditioning bill can get quite expensive. Although with the latest developments in technology, you can reduce the utility costs incurred while heating and cooling your family’s home without sacrificing comfort for affordability. I’m going to discuss some of the newest thermostat technologies that have popped up in the HVAC market.
The most common type of thermostat that the average family household uses currently are programmable thermostats. These thermostats are designed to adjust the temperature based on a series of programmed settings that take effect at different times of the day according to what you have set it on. Programmable thermostats are great because they allow you to reduce the amount of heat or air conditioning that you lose by allowing the temperature differences to be reduced when the loss of hot or cold air would not be objectionable. So if you know your family’s schedule you can set the programmable thermostat to match your family’s schedule, so if you or your family isn’t home, it will allow the temperature to fluctuate to a greater degree. According to Consumer Reports magazine, programmable thermostats can reduce your energy bill by nearly $180 a year.
The best overall thermostat in 2021 is the Honeywell Home 7 Day Programmable Thermostat ($71) because it’s easy to program and read, and it can automatically sense when your house needs to be heated or cooled. If you and your family are on a budget, your best option for a programmable thermostat is the Lux 7-Day Manual or Programmable Thermostat ($32) because it costs less than one month of your energy bill and can either be programmed by a week or five-two schedules. The best basic thermostat available is the Orbit Clear Comfort Programmable Thermostat ($41) because it has a large, easy-to-read LCD screen and you can create a seven-day program to match your schedule.
The latest trend in thermostat technologies is Smart thermostats because they can be used with home automation and can control your home’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning through more accurate built-in sensors and WiFi connectivity. These Smart thermostats allow you to adjust heating and air conditioning settings from other internet-connected devices like laptops and/or smartphones. Not only that, but they also record internal and external temperatures, the amount of time your heating and cooling systems have been running, and can notify you if your home’s air filter needs to be replaced. Smart thermostats use built-in algorithms to “learn” your family’s temperature preferences and daily routines and can adjust the temperature for you accordingly.
The best 2021 Smart thermostat is the Ecobee Smart with voice control (EB-STATe5-01) and costs around $244. This Smart thermostat is so nice because the user interface is simple and it also has all of the high-tech attributes for precision programming. This thermostat can learn your heating and cooling habits and adjust its programming accordingly. The Ecobee Smart thermostat will uniformly cool or heat your house because it comes with a remote sensor that you put in the least used part of your house and then it averages the temperatures at the sensor and the thermostat itself to accomplish this feature.
A bit more modest but equally efficient Smart thermostat is the Honeywell Home T9 test well in manual operation but can also be easily programmed to learn the heating and cooling habits of your family. Similar to the Ecobee Smart thermostat, the Honeywell Home T9 also utilizes a remote sensor that is placed in a lesser-used location in your family’s home to average temperatures throughout the house. This allows your thermostat to optimize your air conditioner or heating system for maximum efficiency and will reduce the cost of your energy bill. Another great and popular option for Smart thermostats is the Google Nest Learning Thermostat. It rates excellent for efficiency in automating the heating and cooling habits of your household. It also has a wealth of smart features like an occupancy sensor and geofencing to detect when you leave or enter your home. The only challenge to this thermostat is that it doesn’t have the most user-friendly manual controls but overall is still a great choice.
As you can see the options for thermostats are abundant and the technological improvements of Smart thermostats have come a long way. If you’re on a budget and are not the most tech-savvy homeowner, choosing a programmable thermostat is likely your best option. However, if you are interested in Smart thermostats, they will likely be your best option if controllability and efficiency are what you are after. Either way, choosing a good quality thermostat is important and will save you money on your energy bill, but most importantly cool you down when you’re hot and heat you up when you’re cold!