When people want to reduce their carbon footprint at home, they typically think about keeping the lights off in unoccupied rooms. However, electric lighting accounts for only 6 percent of the total energy usage in the home. Heating and cooling, on the other hand, accounts for 70 percent of the home’s energy usage. For this reason, environmentally conscious homeowners often invest in items to help them conserve the energy used for heating and cooling, such as Wi-Fi enabled thermostats.
Benefits of Wi-Fi Enabled Thermostats
Most Wi-Fi enabled thermostats are programmable, which means that homeowners can establish regular temperature changes that will take place even when they aren’t at home. For example, if no one is in your home from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., you can program the thermostat to keep the home cooler in the winter or warmer in the summer during these hours. Because your air conditioner or heater won’t have to operate as frequently, you will greatly reduce your energy usage. In addition, the reduced operation will lower the cost of your energy bills.
Because these thermostats come with Wi-Fi, you can even alter the temperature of your home or the thermostat’s programming from another location, such as work or the grocery store. For example, if you and your family decide to go out to dinner on a winter evening, you can change the thermostat’s program so that the temperature in the house won’t increase until you are ready to come home. Likewise, if you are on a summer vacation and decide to stay an extra day, you can keep the house warmer until you get back.
Choosing a Model
Wi-Fi enabled thermostats vary greatly in price and available features. Below are some examples of popular models.
Nest Learning Thermostat
The Nest Learning Thermostat is somewhat expensive, but it offers a variety of useful features. The Nest is easy for homeowners to install on their own, and it is able to “remember” the temperatures you prefer and program itself. It also automatically turns itself down when you are away from the home to save energy and money. If you want to change the Nest’s temperature, you can manually override its self-programming by using the touchscreen or connecting to the thermostat via Wi-Fi. You can connect using a tablet, laptop or smartphone.
For homeowners who can’t afford to spend as much on a thermostat with wireless capabilities, the CyberStat CY1101 is a good choice. Costing only $75, this thermostat allows you to control your air conditioner and heating systems from any location. This thermostat also allows you to program a seven-day week’s worth of temperatures with four independent segments during each day. Though this thermostat doesn’t “learn” like the Nest, it is much less expensive.
Venstar T5800 ColorTouch Touchscreen Programmable Thermostat
When it comes to pricing, Venstar is middle-of-the-road. Available for around $170, this thermostat allows you to program temperature changes for every day of the week. Unlike the models mentioned above, this thermostat includes a colored screen that can be customized with seasonal images. With an inexpensive add-on, this thermostat becomes Wi-Fi enabled, allowing you to change temperatures from virtually any location.
About the Author: Adam works with All Comfort Specialist— a trusted leader in Oklahoma City air conditioning repair. Adam enjoys writing about affordable home options.