Upgrade Your Thermostat Before the Holidays

Why upgrade your thermostat? Imagine a holiday evening…

The extended family is full of joy sitting in the overpacked living room. The fresh smell of pine coming off your tree and the hot cocoa setting the tone of the holiday season. The laughs, cheers, and carols fill your home with joy and fulfillment. The last thing that should be on your mind is feeling the drip of sweat coming down the forehead because it’s too warm in the living room. Especially, don’t let the in-laws tell you it’s too warm. Let your thermostat do the work!

The holidays fast approaching, it’s often a good time to think about those small improvements that could make the joyous season even better. A thermostat, especially a smart one can really change your home.

If you haven’t really got underway with smart home technology, but you’re curious and eager to start, we’ll walk you through 7 reasons to upgrade your thermostat before the holidays.

Before we look at the direct benefits of these intelligent thermostats, we’ll glance at the 3 types of thermostats at your disposal if you don’t want the expense of replacing your whole HVAC system.

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Types of Thermostat

  • Digital Thermostat: Older slide and mercury-based dial thermostats were inaccurate. With a digital thermostat, you can enjoy far more precision in a user-friendly package
  • Programmable Thermostat: Most programmable thermostats let you set a schedule up to 7 days in advance. You can then merely loop the program if you don’t need to make any changes. You’ll get the flexibility to account for weekends and vacation time, too
  • Smart Thermostat: Program, control, and monitor the temperature in your house in-app using your smartphone for the ultimate in accuracy, convenience, and energy-efficiency

We’ll highlight 3 of the best thermostats across these categories after we look at why, exactly, you should think about why you should upgrade your thermostat in the first place.

Don’t get impatient, though…

There are a few specific points to take into account before rushing in and deciding to upgrade your thermostat. 

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Preparing To Upgrade Your Thermostat

Once it’s installed, a smart thermostat should be child’s play to use. Getting there can take a little time, though.

  • Check The Wiring: Although your HCAV system might be compatible with the thermostat you have in mind, you need to make sure you have enough wires. Most thermostats like Nest require a C wire, so you need to make sure you have one. It’s at this early stage you should ask yourself the most searching question of all…
  • Decide If You Should Get Professional Installation: There’s no shame whatsoever in calling in an electrician to install your smart thermostat. In fact, we’d actively encourage you to do so unless you’re confident and experienced in this area. If you need servicing or any other electrical work carried out at the same time, it can end up being by far the best option to hire in the pros
  • Confirm Voltage of Your System: Assuming you’re going to give things a go, be aware that the majority of smart thermostats only work with low-voltage 24V systems. There are too many variables for us to outline here but all major brands like Nest and Ecobee offer online checking tools to make sure you won’t end up with a mismatch
  • Take Photos of Wiring: It’s all too easy to become impatient and forget to take plenty of photos of the old thermostat and wiring. Spend a few minutes snapping away at this point, and you might end up very grateful you did if anything goes wrong during installation

With the planning and legwork done, it’s time to look at why replacing a thermostat is a good move.

7 Reasons to Upgrade Your Thermostat Before the Holidays

If a thermostat strikes you as a tedious purchase that will deliver little, you might want to rethink that.

Here are some immediate advantages to upgrade your thermostat and how you can get by stepping up your game to control it from anywhere!

1) Make Significant Savings on Your Energy Bills

Arguably the prevailing reason for most people installing smart thermostats is the way automating temperature control can save you money on your utility bills.

With the average monthly American electricity bill coming in at $107, any savings you can make are always welcome.

Simply switching from a manual thermostat to a programmable one can immediately yield dividends.

Using the proper settings with an energy-efficient smart thermostat can save you up to 10% a year on your electricity consumption. With some of the leading models, the temperature will be optimized without you even needing to lift a finger.

If you often leave the air conditioner running when you’re out because you can’t face walking back into a sauna, the cost of that wasted energy soon spirals. By taking advantage of a programmable thermostat, you won’t heat or cool empty rooms, yet you can wake up in comfort and return home from work to the perfect temperature.

The best smart thermostats might not seem particularly cheap, but you should consider it an investment rather than an expense. Even if you reap a few other advantages, the direct savings on energy consumption alone can give you a positive ROI in a year.

2) Enjoy All The Convenience of Remote Control and Automatic Temperature Regulation

For many happy, smart home users, it’s all about convenience. Smart thermostats deliver fully on that front so what can you expect to get?

Firstly, being able to change the temperature using nothing but your smartphone is a huge boost. You’ll be able to keep an eye on things even if you’re not at home.

More importantly, the ability to program your thermostat enables you to create the ideal environment both during the week and at weekends without needing to make endless tiresome adjustments. The added inbuilt advantage here is the savings we just mentioned, so it’s a win-win with smart thermostats.

Not only do you get a much more streamlined experience by not needing to constantly monitor and fine-tune the temperature, but you’ll also save an enormous amount of time you’d have otherwise spent fussing around with dials.

If you’re put off investing in a smart thermostat because of the tech involved, you might find using one is a lot easier than you might have imagined. And on the convenience front, there’s no content.

3) Get Useful Feedback on Your HVAC System

Proper maintenance is key if you want your HVAC system running reliably and efficiently.

The problem is, it’s all too easy to forget when air filters need swapping out or other routine maintenance performing.

To upgrade your thermostat, you can get the benefit of scheduled maintenance with alerts pinged to your smartphone.

You’ll also get a notification if the system isn’t running as it should do. This allows you to consider preventative action rather than waiting for the situation to develop into a costly repair.

For maintenance and system data on tap, you can’t beat a smart thermostat.

4) Prolong The Life of Your Heat Pump

Perhaps you can’t afford to replace your entire HVAC system but simply upgrading your thermostat can dramatically lighten the load on your heat pump.

If you make this small change, you could get several years more out of your ailing system before needing a complete overhaul.

Sometimes, it’s easy to think too big with smart home technology. If you haven’t really got going yet and worry you need to do too much, keep it simple. Starting off with necessary upgrades like thermostats can have more benefits than you might first think.

5) Sidestep Many Common Thermostat Problems

If you’ve got an older thermostat in your home, you’ll know they can be temperamental. Since technology has come so far, why not take advantage of it with a new smart thermostat?

With the traditional thermostat, you can struggle with placement, the build-up of grime and debris and shoddy electrical connections. All of these can drag the efficiency of your HVAC system down while also reducing performance.

The precision and almost maintenance-free experience you’ll get with a smart thermostat is the polar opposite of this so you can kiss goodbye to many common thermostat problems by making the change.

6) Create Temperature Zones Throughout The House

Smart thermostats allow you a superb degree of flexibility when it comes to creating personalized micro-climates.

In plain English, zoning allows you to set different temperatures for specific areas of your house. Cater to the whims of your wife and children while ensuring your den is heated exactly to your liking, so everyone has a smile on their face.

If you’re going to the time and trouble of automating your home, it’s well worth going in all-in to get maximum convenience.

7) Experience Indirect Improvements To Air Quality

Although you won’t get a superior quality of air from a new thermostat itself, the fact you’ll be reminded about filter replacement and maintenance means you’ll indirectly benefit.

With some thermostats, you can also get the lowdown on humidity levels in your house. Regulating this is necessary can lead to definite improvements in comfort and air quality.

Now you can see clearly exactly what you could gain from upgrading your thermostat before the holidays, we’ll give you a snapshot of 3 very different approaches to a new thermostat.

Before that, though, we’ve got some pointers.

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3 of The Best Thermostats

1) Ecobee 4 WiFi Smart Thermostat with Alexa

black ecobee smart thermostat. Purchase today!

 

The Ecobee 4 smart thermostat coming with Alexa installed is a solid challenger to the dominant Nest and a great way to update your thermostat without needing to overhaul your whole heating system.

The embedded mics and far-field recognition allows the unit to hear your voice commands from a distance so take full advantage of all Alexa has to offer.

The set-up is straightforward with phone support available if you do happen to run into any snags. You’ll get everything you need including even if you don’t have a C wire in your home. You should be up and running in 30 minutes or so.

You’ll be able to take full charge of monitoring and programming the temperature in your home using nothing but an app and your smartphone. If you’re looking to bring your climate control crashing into the 21st century, the Ecobee 4 is a great starting point.

Pros

  • Room sensors measure temperature and occupancy with one sensor included in the package
  • Control your thermostat remotely from your iOS or Android device for complete convenience
  • Alexa integrated so make use of your favorite digital assistant even if you don’t have Echo

Cons

  • Some issues with recovery from a lost WiFi signal
  • Not the cheapest thermostat

2) Insteon Thermostat

INsteon wall thermostat connects to your iphone

Insteon is a firm favorite in smart home devices around the world and this starter kit comes with a hub included so you can start saving money on your power bills while adding an extra edge of convenience to your life.

If you already use Insteon and have the hub, this is the easiest solution.

Pros

  • Hub provided means you’ll be able to control far more than just your thermostat depending on what devices and appliances you invest in
  • Control multiple devices from a single remote
  • Control thermostat with your phone to control the temperature from a distance

Cons

  • Not as aesthetically pleasing but still gets the job done

3) Aube Programmable Thermostat

If you’ve got electric baseboards or other installation with a load of fewer than 4000 watts, this Aube programmable thermostat is a cost-effective way to reduce your energy consumption while simplifying your life at the same time.

You can set up to 4 settings within the same day, and you can also take vacation time into account. If you don’t want to program the thermostat, it comes with some defaults so you can get straight down to business.

For an accurate and silent programmable thermostat, this no-nonsense Aube is a smart choice.

Pros

  • Works with a diverse spread of baseboard, fan-forced and convector heaters as well as radiant ceilings
  • Incredibly easy push-button programming to simplify your routines
  • Use personalized or programmed settings for total versatility

Cons

  • Not compatible with low-voltage controllers

Pros

  • Works with a diverse spread of baseboard, fan-forced and convector heaters as well as radiant ceilings
  • Incredibly easy push-button programming to simplify your routines
  • Use personalized or programmed settings for total versatility

Cons

  • Not compatible with low-voltage controllers

Final Word

You can see clearly there’s no need to rip out and replace your whole HVAC system if you want a more convenient and energy-efficient home.

Upgrade your thermostat for something more flexible has the ability to generate significant savings by optimizing your energy use even when you’re not at home. But if you’re looking for more insight on smart home products and devices, check out the smart home blog for the latest information on smart home products. 

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