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Ecobee Courtesy ecobee

National Grid Marketplace knows what a big difference even a small energy-saving change can make, especially when it comes to making your home more comfortable and your energy costs more affordable. They want to help you prepare for the winter months—when your home will be kept heated longer than normal—with affordable smart thermostat options that can help you conserve energy and save money.

Today’s smart thermostats provide you with a lot more than just convenience: the average U.S. homeowner could save up to $180 per year by installing one now. And with the range of technology currently available, you can select from a wide variety of models from basic operation to highly sophisticated, based on your comfort level and individual needs.

Smart Thermostats: How do they work?

Smart thermostats work to minimize your energy use by only activating your heating or cooling when it’s needed. And it’s all up to you—for instance, you can ask your smart thermostat to change the temperature setting automatically during specific, set times, such as lowering the temperature overnight, for instance, or during the workday while the house is unoccupied.

Using such a “set back” method, the Department of Energy suggests you can reduce your energy bills from 5%—15% per year. Further, many have features that allow them to become more efficient by observing your energy consumption patterns and adapting to them. Some thermostats also provide monthly reports so you can easily keep track of your energy usage and make adjustments accordingly.

How Do They Operate?

Smart Thermostat iStock

While the devices themselves run the gamut from touchscreen and voice activation to simpler (but equally effective) interfaces, nearly all smart thermostats share an important convenience: operation by mobile device. So you’re in control, no matter where you are. Many also offer integration with smart home systems (e.g., the ecobee Smart Thermostat now comes with Amazon Alexa Voice Service; Google Assistant on the Google Home Hub allows you to control the Nest Thermostat.)

Finally, a smart thermostat can not only keep you and your home heating and cooling systems safer, but it can extend the life of your systems by reminding you of necessary maintenance like filter changes, and alerting you to any trouble its sensors may detect.

Installing your Smart Thermostat (HINT: it’s easier than you’d think)

This is one DIY project that doesn’t need to be intimidating. After determining compatibility with your system—something that device manufacturers have made increasingly easy—installation can be as simple as replacing your old thermostat with an updated device through quick, step-by-step instructions available from the manufacturers and other resources all over the internet. You can watch a video ahead of time, just to see how easy it is. You’ll be relieved.

Speaking of easy: here are some helpful links to provide you with simple steps to get started:

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