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I had a friend text me last evening asking me if a thermostat could really save him 30% off of his air conditioning bills. When I inquired why he was asking, he explained to me that he was in the market for an alarm system for his house, and the alarm company sales person was telling him that he could pay for the alarm system with the savings on his air conditioning energy consumption by having one of their FREE thermostats installed. They were touting their latest and greatest Wi-Fi enabled programmable thermostat and how it will save him 30% off of his energy bills and he can use that savings to pay for his new alarm service.

I asked him to call me so that I could get more information from him. When he did I asked him what type of thermostat he was using now, he told me that he had a Honeywell programmable thermostat. I know there is information out there about how a thermostat can save you up to 30% off of your energy bills, but that is compared to the old style mercury thermostats from the 70’s and 80’s that you would set for a temperature and then leave. Today’s programmable thermostats have the ability to alter the temperature in your home based off of your schedule which is where the “Big Savings” by changing a thermostat would come from.

The only advantage to the new Wi-Fi technology is that you have access to your thermostat through your mobile device, so say you leave home and forget to turn up your AC you have the ability to change the temperature in your home remotely. It is not any more or less efficient than a traditional programmable thermostat that is installed in most homes. There is no way possible that this device can save you 30% or even 1% more than a regular thermostat unless you fail to use the set back features of your existing thermostat and now work religiously with the new thermostat to adjust the temperatures.

The Wi-Fi technology is a great convenience and is worth having if you like to have the flexibility, they are excellent thermostats and we use them all the time. My problem with the whole scenario is that there is a lot of bad information out there about the new technology and false claims of savings, like in this case where you have a unscrupulous sales person trying to use a savings off of your monthly energy bills to entice people into signing up on their service.

In a nutshell, Buyer Beware! If someone offers you a deal that is too good to be true, it usually is!

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