High-tech thermostats offer glimpse of the future

Those who want to better control the temperature of their homes may want to invest in new manual thermostats, rather than pricey alternatives.

This morning a reader alerted me to a developing story in the thermostat world. That's right, you heard correctly – a developing story in the thermostat world. (Now, I know thermostats haven't changed since I was a kid, but hey, it's a new decade). Since I know that proper thermostat use can lead to big winter energy savings (I currently use a manual model), I figured I'd take a look and see what the hubbub was about.

The article, which was published by The New York Times, indicated that one of the brains behind Apple's uber-influential iPod is attempting to redesign the energy-saving device by introducing the Nest thermostat. This little contraption is already getting positive reviews, and it's not hard to see why. After all, the thermostat is capable of learning your habits and making energy-saving adjustments accordingly.

While manual and programmable thermostats only have a few settings, the Nest is capable of collecting information on how you keep heat levels in your home (based on factors like time of day or outside temperatures). As a result, it is being touted as an energy-saving device of the future.

However, with a price tag of more than $250, homeowners who want to save money this winter may want to turn to more affordable alternatives. For example, manual thermostats can be just as effective at providing energy control, as long as you make sure to monitor them properly.

In addition, the $250 doesn't include a shipping and handling fee that many buyers will likely pay. For my money, I'd opt for a tried-and-true model from an online retailer that's offering end-of-the-year sales if I was seeking a solution to my heat concerns this winter. While bandwagons can be trendy, there's usually a few kinks in the first run of any new technology, and I'd rather they didn't affect my heating bills.

Related posts:

  1. The future of thermostats
  2. Protecting manual thermostats from drafts
  3. Coping with the start of winter

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