October 26, 2011 8:04 PM Subscribe
What are the major benefits of a programmable thermostat, how big a deal is the new Nest thermostat, and how much might I expect to save with either one over a non-programmable digital thermostat?
posted by brentajones to home & garden (21 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I just bought a new house in the Midwestern U.S. (all four seasons!). It has central air and heat, which I've never lived with before except in dinky apartments. It also has a digital thermostat, which I've never lived with before ever.
The current thermostat is not programmable.
I like the ease and repeatability of setting the same temperature whenever I want, and seeing how close the current temperature is to where I'd like it to be. I can see the advantages of being able to program a thermostat to heat or cool my house automatically before I get home from work or when I'm asleep.
Am I missing any other major benefits of a programmable thermostat? Assuming I often forget to adjust the thermostat before I leave for work or go to bed, is there any way to estimate what I might be able to save using a programmable one? Are the benefits of the recently-announced Nest thermostat (http://www.nest.com) -- "learning" your habits, automatically adjusting when it doesn't sense your presence, connection with the Web to grab outside temp, and ability to adjust over the Web -- worth the premium?
(And all of that notwithstanding, I would probably see a better return on my money by replacing the still-original wood frame and sash windows, right?)