How to Save Money With High Tech Thermostats

Author: Kent Keith | Find Us on Google+


Technology was caught up with heating and cooling thermostats. With more and more internet based devices coming out, tech savy people can utilize this technology to save money. Since the heating and cooling of a home makes up the majority of the utilitiy costs, it makes sense to keep a tight rein on how long and often it cycles off and on.

The thermostat has evolved somewhat over the years from simple manual controlled units with a mercury switch to programmable ones that gave people the ability to have their air conditioning or furnace temperatures set back during the night or at work to the newest version that can be controlled through the internet. Programmable thermostats may not benefit everyone, for example if someone is at home all day it may not make sense to have automatic set back feature. But depending on the lifestyle of the household, having greater control may prove to provide significant savings.

One problem with standard programmable thermostats is that your household may have an unpredictable schedule with people coming and going and leaves programming the thermostat usless. The new internet controlled thermostats, or “smart thermostats” are controlled through a wireless gateway connected to the home’s internet connection and transmits signals to the wall mounted thermostat to lower and raise temperatures and even switch between heating and cooling modes. This allows you to remotely control the thermostat through any internet connection from anywhere, even with internet enabled phones and PDAs. Most of these have the ability to control up to four different thermostats so if you lived in a two story home for instance, you could turn on the air conditioning to your upstairs office before you get there and leave the downstairs set back.

Not all electric providers have the service, but may in the future. TXU is offering these at a low price if you join their energy conservation program. For more information, you can visit their website at: https://www.txupartners.com/thermostat/programdetails/index.php

Kent Keith

www.fortworthinspector.com

Fort Worth / Dallas Home Inspections

4 thoughts on “How to Save Money With High Tech Thermostats

  1. Thanks for taking the time to write that, I found it very interesting. If you get a chance you should check my blog as well. I hope you have a good day!

  2. Thanks for the post. Here is my concern since I was just “sold” one of these items: I live in rural Hunt county. I have satellite internet. Although it is very reliable, sometimes we do lose connection for hours at a time, usually during bad weather. What happens then? Does it cause issues with my thermostat?

    Also, and an even bigger concern is: this gives control to the power company to decide if I can use power during peak times or not. They can now remotely shut off my A/C or heat for up to 15 minutes during a one hour period. That doesn’t exactly give me a warm fuzzy feeling. What are your thoughts?

  3. Hi Kelly,
    Sorry it took so long to get back to you…..having problems with email spam filters.
    If you lose the internet connection to the thermostat, it should work as it normally does. You just can’t remotely control it at that particular period of time.
    It is my understanding that these thermostats are not remotely controlled by the utility company, only by you. The idea behind these is that you can remotely control the thermostat with another computer at your office, laptop, or cellphone. I can find no info that says that the utility company can control it…..just think of the legal ramifications of turning up or down someone else’s heating and air….especially someone with an illness.
    Let me know if you hear anything different.
    Kent

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