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Ross Tretheway and Kevin O’Connor talk about smart thermostats. Ross explains how far thermostats have come to Kevin, and even some of the most up-to-date, cutting-edge features that today’s thermostats have to offer. As Kevin asks the hottest questions on the topic, Ross explains the features, cost, savings, and convenience that a smart thermostat can offer to almost any home.

Blades Come in Various Sizes

Most stock blades with new miter saws in the box are general-purpose blades. These blades are fine for cutting a wide variety of materials, but they might not be as accurate or easy to use as a material- or project-specific blade. Having the right blade for a particular saw can significantly impact the quality of the cuts you make and your safety while performing those cuts.

Thermostats Continue To Evolve

Thermostats have come a long way in recent years. Long gone is the gold knob-style thermostat, which required running wires from the furnace, heater, or air conditioner through the home to the thermostat. To adjust the temperature, the user would have to physically touch the thermostat.

Even the first smart thermostats are now 10 years old. Now, smart thermostats can communicate with sensors throughout the house, automatically balance air temperatures, and more.

6 Smart Thermostat Features To Look For

1. Geofencing

The latest and greatest thermostat tech allows for several convenient (and money-saving) features. For instance, many use geofencing technology. This technology detects when your smartphone leaves a preset radius (5 miles, for instance), and reduces energy consumption by adjusting the temperature. When you return to the area with your phone, the thermostat adjusts to a more comfortable setting automatically.

2. Multiple Sensors

Modern smart thermostats can communicate with sensors set throughout the home. The sensors give the boiler or furnace a more complete picture of the home’s temperature. This improves comfort and efficiency.

4. Auto Scheduling

Many smart thermostats now offer auto-scheduling, which is far more advanced than the on-off scheduling of the older smart models. Auto scheduling detects when you’re present and when you’re not through motion detection. This allows the thermostat to develop its own schedule without user input.

5. Smart Fan Activation

Some systems will have temperature imbalances, with one room being much warmer than another. To combat this, new smart thermostats can automatically activate the furnace’s fan, mixing the air in both spaces to balance the temperatures. Since only the fan is running (not the burner or air conditioner compressor), smart fan activation can save on energy consumption.

6. Voice Activation

As one might expect, the latest and greatest smart thermostats respond to voice activation. The resident can adjust the temperature settings with their voice without touching the thermostat or even their smartphone.

Smart Thermostat Costs

Most of the newer smart thermostats cost between $75 and $300, but they can actually pay for themselves. With half of a home’s energy bill going to heating and cooling, the 5% to 10% improved efficiency can result in real savings very quickly.

They Might Not Be Plug-and-Play

Beware that when upgrading to a smart thermostat, your old thermostat’s wiring might not cut it. Older thermostats required two wires to control the home’s temperature, while today’s models require five.

There Are More Features on the Horizon

As utility companies adjust their rates based on usage and demands, smart thermostats will become even more critical.

During high-usage hours (the evenings and weekends), utility companies see an increase in demand. With improved thermostats, many folks will volunteer for a demand response program that allows the utility company to adjust their temperature remotely, saving them money.

Also, as peak-hour rate increases occur, smart thermostats are the answer. The thermostats can be programmed to preheat or cool the home up until the time peak rates occur. At that point, the thermostat will reduce consumption and cost until the peak hours pass.


Ross explained the benefits of installing smart thermostats that provide both convenience and energy efficiency. You can control the temperature of your house from anywhere, and by sensing and regulating air temperature, motion, and humidity, they can also save you money.

Ross displayed and discussed four different smart thermostat models: