What to do about your Thermostat

Often times I do not dive into the small details of individual items within home automation.  Today I’d like to discuss the often overlooked, power sucking HVAC system.  More specifically, let’s talk about your thermostat. If you’re reading this from home, go have a look at what you have.

If there is a little plastic slider at the bottom that you use to adjust the temp, cue the loud sirens!  Get rid of it.  It’s wasting AT LEAST 10% of your power bill.  Simply put, if your power/gas bills are $200 per month, you’re wasting around $250 per year.

If your thermostat is digital, but does not allow you to program a schedule, you’re in the same boat.  Again, wasting money. 

If your thermostat allows daily programming, congrats! But are you utilizing the scheduler to tell the thermostat when you’re not home?  If not, your no better off, so stop reading this article and go program a schedule. 

For those that want premium energy savings, there is a smarter thermostat.  Rather than simply programming a schedule, the Nest thermostat “knows” if you’re at home or not.  They do this by using a built-in motion sensor to determine whether to be in comfort or efficiency mode.  As you override this, it actually learns your behaviors, and tries to anticipate the best setting.  These are known to claim an extra 5% savings over the 10% of the earlier one. 

What we at Audio Intersection prefer is a smart thermostat connected to other devices in your home, like your security system or garage door.  If the system is armed to “away,” it knows to be in efficiency mode.  If it’s disarmed or in “stay” mode, the thermostat assumes comfort mode.  When you close your garage door in the morning, efficiency.  When you open it in the evening, comfort. While still saving as much energy as the Nest, you are less likely to have the system kick to efficiency mode while you’re sitting motionless on the couch.  And there’s no schedule to program.  And to me, that makes all the difference.