Helping the environment and saving money are the perfect homeowner’s combination. Any upgrade to your home that reduces your energy consumption can lower gas and electricity bills, cut energy production, and reduce your carbon footprint.

During the winter months, you may set your thermostat to a cooler temperature while you are away so you do not waste energy (and money). What if you could use your phone to tell your thermostat you were on your way home? Or what if your thermostat could sense when you were close to home and calculate the optimal time to make your home warm and cozy for your arrival? A thermostat might seem to be a basic feature of your home, but it can have a big impact on your energy bills. Almost half of monthly energy costs are controlled by your thermostat—a smart thermostat can help reduce your energy bills.

What is a smart thermostat?
A smart thermostat, also known as a connected or communicating thermostat, allows you to create automatic and programmable temperature settings which can be based on daily schedules, weather conditions, and/or heating and cooling needs.

Now, you could keep using your programmable thermostat, nobody’s stopping you. If you’re one of the few who are extremely diligent about monitoring and using their thermostat, you might not see huge savings from switching to a smart thermostat. But the extra benefits, such as the weekly and monthly energy reports and remote access that you get with smart thermostats might make the switch right for you. Besides, standard programmable thermostats save energy only if they are programmed correctly. Studies have shown that most residential users never program them, or use the home function to override the programming.

One of the additional advantages of a smart thermostat is its ability to learn a household’s patterns and adjust heating and cooling according to when a home is occupied or is about to be occupied. This reduces the use of heating and cooling systems when nobody is home for significant periods of time.

Now, this all sounds great if you’re making a deliberate switch to save money on your hydro bill. But does it do the job it’s supposed to? I’ll say this on the matter – we recently installed two and they’re great.

Best feature: setting up ‘zones’ because the back of the office is was always freezing. I no longer have a heater running by my feet at all times of the year.

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