Posts Tagged ‘thermostat’

It’s vacation time!

June 24, 2014

If you have plans to travel this summer, ensure your home will be in good shape when you go. The sun is out and you should be too, but keeping your home safe and energy costs down is important. Vacation Here are a few tips:

  • Use a programmable thermostat.  Depending on where you live, programmable thermostats can help regulate the temperature and humidity in your home.  When programming it, remember you don’t need to cool your home as much when you are away and no one is home.
  • Check your insulation.  Believe it or not, having enough insulation and duct work that works properly can help reduce your energy costs.  Let us explain, watch this short video.
  • Leave a light on, but only if it’s a CFL or LED.  It’s good to leave a light on or two maintain the appearance of being home.   Save money and energy by using CFL’s or LED’s.  Changing your lightbulbs is an easy thing to do.  More facts about lightbulbs can be found here.
  • If no one’s using hot water, turn it off.  If you plan on being gone for a while, think twice about leaving your electric water heater on.  Turning it off at the breaker will help you reduce energy costs.  Your water heater might even have a vacation setting too.

Have a safe trip!


Photo from MrJack  on

Is It Getting Smart in Here or Is It Just Me?

June 12, 2012

It used to be that thermostats sat on the wall waiting to be turned.  It was a very manual affair.  A simple dial to turn or lever to push and if you left the house and forgot to change it, you kept it warm for the cat and houseplants at least.  And with that, we did not think much about our energy bill, kind of dumb.

The nest thermostat is elegant in design but also learns in a sense.  The little leaf guides you (it’s lets you know you’ve set the temperature to one that is efficient) and you guide it, as it learns your behavior.

Another thermostat is the Ecobee, somewhat more conventional looking, but just as “smart”.   Both of these devices, as well others on the market, are wireless enabled and allow you to connect to your phone, tablet or computer.

You can also get weather information or be alerted when things aren’t working at home (good to know if your pipes could freeze in the winter, or you do butter sculpture in your living room in the summer).

I like these but I’ll say it again, monitoring our usage isn’t worth much unless we change our behavior, and I think devices like this might help.  Maybe it won’t really make me smarter, but it reminds me when I’m not being smart about energy, and that can only help.



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