You probably don’t spend a lot of time thinking about your thermostat, but it’s actually an important part of your home’s HVAC system. Not only does it allow you to control the temperature of your home, it is directly tied to your home’s energy efficiency and your utility costs. Oftentimes, people only replace thermostats when they are broken, but if you have an older thermostat, even if it is working correctly, you could be missing out. For this reason, it pays to consider updating your thermostat to a programmable, smart version.
Improved energy efficiency
Your HVAC system is typically the largest energy hog in your home. When it’s not operating efficiently, especially during times of high-use, the additional utility costs can be significant. A programmable thermostat will allow you to improve your energy use by tailoring how your system works to your needs. You can have it kick off when you leave for the day and kick back on in time to cool your home before you get back.
Reduce energy bills
The Department of Energy estimates that you’ll save about 1 percent for each degree you adjust your thermometer. So if you turn it up 7 to 10 degrees higher than normal for around 8 hours a day, you could see annual savings up to 10%.If you have an older thermostat or a dial version, it can be less accurate which makes it difficult to raise or lower your temperature by a few degrees. A programmable thermostat solves this, allowing you to closely control the temperature settings.
Receive enhanced information
A smart thermostat does more than simply control the temperature of your home. Depending on the type of unit you get, it can provide you greater insights into how your system is operating. For instance, some models alert you to problems within your system, or remind you when it is time to change your air filter. Some also connect to apps that you can control from your phone. You can turn your system on, off or change the settings from anywhere with a cell connection.
Does your HVAC system short-cycle, turning off sooner than it should so that it doesn’t complete the heating or cooling cycle? Does it seem to be accurately reading the ambient temperature of your home? Do you turn it on, but it fails to initiate a heating or cooling cycle? If you experience any of these situations, your thermostat might be to blame and needs to be replaced.
You have several options to consider, including programmable, smart or learning thermostats. If you aren’t sure what would be best for your home, or need help installing a new thermostat, call an HVAC professional. They can help you match your needs and your unit to the right thermostat.