Month 6 – Install a Smart Thermostat

Phones send e-mails and respond to my voice.  Maps talk to me.  I learn world news almost instantly.  And now, my thermostat knows when I’m home or away.  The future is HERE!

The most recent eco-friendly change in our house, is a Nest Thermostat.  Previously we had a programmable thermostat, however in search of even more energy and cost savings,  I decided to upgrade to a smart thermostat.  A $75 rebate from the State of Wisconsin helped with the upfront cost.

Nest ThermostatThe hardest part about installing the Nest was matching paint for a few square inches of the wall since the old thermostat had a larger footprint.  Everything else, including the electrical wiring, was easy enough for me and my husband to complete by ourselves in one evening.  Directions are simple with videos online and a custom-made wiring guide based on your previous thermostat.  Safety note: installing the Nest requires you to turn off the electricity so you don’t get shocked.  I borrowed a volt meter so I could be certain that the power had been fully turned off.

Technology that allows me to adjust the thermostat while I’m at work (or when I’m feeling lazy from upstairs) is awesome.  As opposed to a programmable thermostat, the Nest learns your behaviors so that it can heat/cool your home as much as you need and not extra.  According to research from the company, on average the Nest saves 10% – 12% on heating and 15% on cooling.  I was stingy and diligent with my programmable thermostat, so for me the savings are probably less than that.  Nonetheless, I think this will save energy and money plus its coolness alone is worth it.


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