The smart home, the smart phone, the smart remote…whatever happened to the smart person? We’ve been overtaken by smart devices that are programmable, learnable and savable. These tiny computer-controlled devices supposedly make our lives easier, more convenient and save time. Have you ever tried to program one of these smart devices? That’s what happened to the smart person.
All jest aside, these smart devices are designed to make our harried lives more convenient and cost-effective. They are energy-efficient and can help in the quest to save resources. The smart thermostat is no exception. In fact, it’s one of the most important contributors to saving money and energy. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heating and cooling account for over 56 percent of a home’s energy use – the largest energy expense in a typical home. Thus, the smart thermostat. It’s a step or two beyond programmable. It actually learns your habits and adjusts the heating and cooling accordingly. The amounts are so tiny that you barely notice until your energy bill arrives.
Companies like Nest, Comcast, Ecobee, Honeywell and more offer smart thermostats. The devices learn your habits – literally. They come in digital format or old-fashioned dials for the technophobe. Simply give them a week of adjusting the temperature manually and they can predict your behavior going forward. You can program them remotely through your computer, phone line or hand-held device if necessary – provided you can figure out how.
Compatibility and cost are the two obstacles for most homeowners in obtaining these smart devices. The devices need to be able to speak all computer and electronic languages and have a gateway to the internet or WiFi connection. They need to be installed by a trained HVAC contractor. Your heating and air conditioning professional can provide the best options for your home and lifestyle. The initial cost of the thermostat and installation will save money in the long run, and you’ll feel smarter for doing it.