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Is It Time to Upgrade to a Smart Thermostat?

Lower Utility Spend, Greater Heating and Air Conditioning Efficiency Among the Benefits

Smart Thermostat

It’s no secret. Some HVAC upgrades require a significant cost outlay at the beginning, while yielding lower overall energy expenses over time. The good news is that swapping out your old thermostat for a new, smarter one isn’t one of those upgrades. For a relatively minor investment in a better thermostat, you’ll get more out of your existing system while saving money immediately on energy bills.

How, you ask? It’s pretty simple, really.

Older Thermostats Incur Bad Energy Habits

During the colder months of fall and winter when you’re using your furnace, you may be switching your current thermostat on and off a lot. “Off” is for when you go off to work or school in the morning. Then, when a family member returns home, the thermostat is turned on again to heat things up, only for someone to turn it down again when it’s finally warm. Sound familiar?

Few people realize this is actually the worst way to heat your home. Not only are you forcing your system to work harder by warming things up from a lower baseline, but the frequent on/off, stop/start of this approach to indoor comfort incurs far greater wear and tear on your system, meaning your HVAC will break down more often and ultimately require replacement sooner than it would otherwise. You’re also spending more money on utilities, both in cranking up the heat when you get home, and in the times you inevitably forget to turn down the system when you leave. Who wants that?

Welcome to a Smart Thermostat!

In contrast, a programmable  (also known as a “smart”) thermostat lets you set a schedule for your indoor comfort 24/7. Rather than turning off the heat when you leave the house, you can simply program the system for a lower temperature when you’re not home to enjoy it. Furthermore, you can also set the system to start warming things up before you get back, so you are never returning to a freezing cold house. Surprisingly, this is a lot easier on your HVAC, as well as significantly more comfortable for all.

Other features you may be interested in include being able to adjust or monitor your thermostat controls from anywhere you have access to a phone or desktop. We have a client who travels frequently for business, leaving her animals at home with a pet sitter. To avoid unnecessary hassles, she is able to lock in the indoor temperature ahead of time with her smart thermostat, preventing any houseguest from inadvertently cranking up the heat or lowering the temperature to an unwanted level while the homeowner is away. By setting it to a standard, comfortable set of temperatures 24/7, she can plan energy costs for her home even when she’s not there to supervise.

With a myriad number of smart thermostats available, make sure you’re selecting a product that is compatible with your existing system. Once you get the right one, you’ll be able to take charge of your energy usage and HVAC expenses far more efficiently.


Have questions about ways you can improve energy efficiency around your home? Call the experts at Air-Tro. We’re the heating and air conditioning specialists the San Gabriel Valley trusts for all its HVAC needs, since 1969! Get in touch at (626) 357-3535.