Modern Thermostats Employ Smart Technology for Energy Savings
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A broken or outdated thermostat could be costing you hundreds of dollars per year. Considering that this small but integral part of a home heating system usually costs less than $500, installing a new one is practically a no-brainer. As long as you choose an appropriate replacement thermostat, this quick and easy project will put you on a path towards improved home energy efficiency.
If your home is more than 20 years old, it probably has an old, outdated mechanical thermostat. These thermostats offer none of the new technology such as "smart" settings or an "away" button that knows where to keep the temperature during an extended leave of absence. A new digital thermostat will pay for itself within the first year and over the lifetime of a home, thousands of dollars in energy savings is possible.
Modern thermostats can be broken down into two categories: programmable and non-programmable.
- Programmable thermostats offer a backlit display, easy-to-understand controls, and various programmable options such as universal daytime and nighttime temperatures, away settings for when you're out, and much more depending on the model. This device saves money by automatically adjusting temperatures according to the time of the day and the season, eliminating the need for constant thermostat adjustment.
- Nonprogrammable thermostats are basically a modern version of the mechanical thermostat. Although they have an easy-to-read display and user-friendly controls, they don't offer any of the preset features that programmable thermostats do. They are, of course, cheaper than programmable models.
If you're determined to save a few dollars in the short term, mechanical thermostats can still be purchased. Choose from the old-school circular design or a more modern, sleek design.
Choosing the Right Thermostat
It is important to note that not all thermostats are interchangeable. Different wiring schemes are needed depending on the type of furnace or boiler installed as well as the number of heating zones in the house. Check with a licensed electrician to determine the exact model thermostat required for an existing wiring scheme.
Thermostat Replacement Costs
The following prices reflect national averages only; actual costs may be slightly higher or lower depending on the area of the country you live.
- A basic programmable thermostat costs $30 to $80. Available higher-end models can cost as much as $200.
- Nonprogrammable digital thermostats typically cost $20 to $40.
- Mechanical thermostats cost as little as $10.
- Expect to pay anywhere from $75 to $200 for thermostat installation. If additional wiring is necessary, this may add another $100 to $200 to the project cost.
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