Traditional programmable thermostats were all the rage when they debuted. People are always blown away by technological advancement, but automating even your most basic household functions was a novelty just 20 years ago. In complete disbelief, customers could (probably) be heard saying things like:
“What do you mean? We can set a schedule?”
“So we won't have to wait for the house to heat up?”
“What's next, electric cars? Video phones? Rocket skates?”
While we, unfortunately, didn't end up with rocket skates, to many, this was the beginning of the future – or at least it sounded like it. But it turns out you needed an advanced degree just to use the unintuitive screens and interfaces. Setting a schedule was hard enough. Changing it? Nigh impossible, unless you want to take a nice chunk out of your day. Factor in the nuisance of updating the digital clock for daylight savings time and you're left in a kerfuffle that most homeowners quickly grow sick of.
So, many programmable thermostats turned into… regular thermostats. According to this study conducted by the renowned Berkeley National Laboratories, only 30% of programmable thermostats are actually set to a schedule. Between the difficulty of actually programming the thing and ever-changing schedules, they now just sit on walls, never getting used to their full ability. What sounded like a great idea turned into something that over-promised and under-delivered. So how can we fix it?
A New Age in Home Heating
Well, we already did. Welcome to the age of the Smart Thermostat! They're everything that programmable thermostats promised to do and more. Control has never been easier – first, they have control through a smartphone app, allowing you to craft and instantly change a schedule that's unique to your household. There's also geofencing, where your thermostat picks up your location and starts the heating process as you get close to home, or shuts off as you leave.
Don't Deny It: We're All Attached to our Smartphones
Sure, learning features and automatic scheduling are nice. But when it comes to manual control, Smart Thermostats also have a leg up. Most of them function with WiFi. This means all manual scheduling can be done from the safety of a phone app. Getting notifications and reminders will lead to a lot more energy savings than having to rely on that old brain of yours. Changing temperature on a whim is easy too; just use a smart device, or, in the case of some thermostats, simply ask a smart home voice assistant like Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, or Apple Homekit to set the room the way you like it.
Flexibility for the Modern Family
Let's be honest, too – the world is changing. The average family is no longer stuck to a 9-5 schedule. Technology allows for more people to work from home than ever before, and from extracurricular activities to daycare and even sneaking away for some “me time”, no one's life takes place in a single location anymore. The modern family has a flexible schedule – so should your thermostat. The future is green, so taking a second to change your schedule from your smartphone will help you save a ton of money and peace of mind in the long run.
Programmable Thermostats can Actually Cost You More
Did you upgrade to or install programmable thermostats thinking it would help? You're not alone. Millions of people took the jump, but today, over 70% of them don't even bother to use it. But even if you're one of the 30% that actually set, update, and maintain your schedule, I've got some bad news: you might be losing money. Think about it: If your thermostats are turning on at a set time and you've made last minute plans and won't make it home, well guess what – you're wasting energy and that can add up. Even a traditional, non-programmable thermostat is more efficient – it doesn't use a significant amount of energy until you tell it to, which sacrifices comfort. A smart thermostat has the best qualities of everything. It learns your schedule, but you can actually change it if life gets in the way. Not to mention, the advanced hardware is built for energy efficiency. PID control and precision heating save you money even if you don't care for the rest of the bells and whistles – managing your schedule from anywhere on the planet is a huge bonus.
It's Time to Get Smart
There are more modern, efficient solutions out there that will actually work, are easy to use, and will help bring your home into the modern day – one where you can both save money and energy. Smart Thermostats are everything programmable thermostats promised to be and more. It doesn't matter what kind of home heating system you have, there are fully featured options available.
If you have high voltage (baseboard/electric) heating, Mysa is your best bet. Full of smart features, it’ll help you save up to 26% on your electric bill every month. Find out more here.