The Future is WI-FI Thermostats
Controlled by Apps
New technologies give homeowners the ability to monitor, set, and change their thermostat remotely via an app. This could be great when outside temps rise or fall dramatically, or when the homeowner is away on vacation.
Buyer beware: some WI-FI thermostats ONLY store temperature info in the cloud and not in the thermostat itself. This is problematic during storms, power outages or internet outages because you lose the ability to heat/cool the home. Be sure your HVAC expert installs a thermostat that stores the heating/cooling info in the thermostat in addition to the cloud.
Rebates are often available from the thermostat manufacturers. For Massachusetts homeowners, Mass Save offers rebates when you install a WI-FI thermostat.
Setting Thermostats And Other Urban Legends
Before the advent of ultra efficient heating systems, conventional wisdom suggested that when spaces in the home were not being used that the thermostat was turned down in winter and up in summer. This, in theory, saved energy.
High efficiency heating systems operate differently than older systems. In the past, the boiler/furnace or air conditioner waited for a signal from the thermostat to turn on. Today’s ultra efficient systems automatically balance the outside temperature with the desired room temperature for optimal energy efficiency. These systems run more frequently, but more slowly to maintain a constant and even room temperature. This eliminates wild fluctuations in temperatures as rooms get heated and cooled.
Consider what happens in the winter when you set your thermostat back to 60 degrees when you go to work. Everything in the house cools off: the floors, furniture, granite counters, your walls. When you come home and want the rooms to be 70 degrees, it actually takes more energy to bring everything up to temperature. Recommendation: set it and forget it.