Up­grad­ing your ther­mo­stat can re­duce your elec­tric­ity bill

The Prince George Citizen - The Citizen - Real Estate Weekly - - Real Estate Weekly -

Even though Cana­di­ans can save as much as 5 per cent on their heat­ing bills this win­ter by sim­ply up­grad­ing to a pro­gram­mable ther­mo­stat, half of home­own­ers have yet to make the switch.

“Most peo­ple don’t give a lot of thought to the type of ther­mo­stat they have, and those with an old mer­cury ther­mo­stat, or non-pro­gram­mable unit, would be sur­prised how much money they’re wast­ing,” says Dave Wal­ton, the di­rec­tor of home ideas at Di­rect En­ergy.

“Think about this: You wake-up in the morn­ing and it is cold in­side, so you turn your heat up to 24 de­grees. By the time the house heats up you’re off to work, but did you turn the ther­mo­stat back down? If not, your fur­nace will be work­ing all day to heat your house to 24 de­grees when no one is home.”

With elec­tric­ity rates fore­casted to in­crease 46 per cent be­tween 2010 and 2015 , and gas prices con­tin­u­ing to rise from his­toric lows, Wal­ton ad­vises to in­vest in a pro­gram­mable ther­mo­stat, which can cost as low as $40 and could save big bucks on your en­ergy bill.

“Dig­i­tal or pro­gram­mable ther­mostats al­low you to set dif­fer­ent tem­per­a­tures on dif­fer­ent days and times, so you’re not wast­ing en­ergy while you’re not at home,” he says.“Need­less to say, you re­coup the cost of a new ther­mo­stat pretty quickly.”

Wal­ton went a step fur­ther him­self, in­vest­ing in a ‘learn­ing ther­mo­stat’ that can sense lack of mo­tion in his home and ad­just it­self to “away mode”. There’s also a “green” fea­ture which records when he sets the tem­per­a­ture be­low the norm (av­er­age home tem­per­a­ture is 22 de­grees C and pro­vides a re­port show­ing how much money he saved by be­ing ecore­spon­si­ble.

More in­for­ma­tion is avail­able online at www.dav­escorner.ca.

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