Programmable thermostats can reduce heating and cooling costs in your home by 25% or 30%, and the Nest thermostat is one of the most popular of these devices.
But if you balk at the $249 price of a Nest, there’s some potentially good news coming down the pike for you.
Read more: How to fix a broken lightbulb
Nest’s new developments
Local utilities will often subsidize the cost of a Nest for your home if you’re their customer. Sometimes you can even get one entirely for free! It’s worth a 5-second web search to see if this is a possibility for you.
But for those people who can’t get a subsidy, Bloomberg reports that a cheaper Nest could be on the way in 2018.
The cheaper Nest is said to include remote sensors that would allow for zoned heating, i.e. individualized temperature control of select rooms vs. the entire home at large.
The lower price point will likely be achieved by having cheaper components. Bloomberg says ‘at least one internal prototype lacks the flagship model’s metal edges,’ citing an unnamed source familiar with the matter.
Also in the works at Nest headquarters are said to be an alarm system and a second-generation version of the company’s security camera, both of which could ship as early as this year.
Nest is also believed to be exploring the idea of a digital doorbell that would allow for remote visual communication with visitors at the door via a smartphone app. That product could be ready by next year.
Taken together, all of these developments signal that Nest’s parent company Alphabet is trying to deepen its position in the Internet of Things as our homes become smarter and more connected.
Here are some other ways you can save money on your energy bill
Change your light bulbs
Changing out your bulbs is like minting money. If you take a single 40-watt incandescent traditional bulb and replace it with a comparable LED bulb, you will save $4.10 annually (based on three hours of daily use.)
It’s easy to find an LED for around that price, so payback time is just one year. After that, it’s all profit back in your pocket! Play around with Cree’s savings calculator to customize a scenario for your home.
Get rid of your second fridge
Nearly one in three of us have a second refrigerator in our homes, according to The Washington Post.
When we buy a new fridge, we often take the old one and put it in the garage or the basement instead of ditching the thing. A lot of us think, ‘Hey, now we can buy more frozen foods when on sale.’ But the reality is older fridges consume massive amounts of electricity.
The cost of running a new fridge is next to nothing; older ones, though, can be hundreds of bucks a year to run. So that money you think you’re saving buying food on sale, you’re actually spending on your electric bill!
Use the microwave instead of the oven
Opt for the microwave when you just want to reheat something small like a soup or piece of pizza. You’ll save up to 80% of the energy you would use if you went with the oven method, according to the federal government’s Energy Star program.
Additional quick tips to save money on energy:
- Seal drafts around doors and windows using weather stripping or caulking.
- Make sure your attic is well insulated.
- Get a water heater blanket if your unit is over 5 years old.
- Use natural sunlight for heating when available.
- Make sure your vents are not blocked by furniture.
- Try zoned heating and cooling. Close off rooms and vents in rooms that are not in use.
- Close off your fireplace and the flue on your chimney.
- Consider warming your bed with an electric blanket on chilly nights.
CES 2017: Clark shows some of his favorite new tech
Source: CES 2017: Clark shows some of his favorite new tech by Clark on Rumble