I really need to stop titling every post with “Title: Subtitle,” but the format just seems to suit me. No use fighting it.
In any case, I expected to write a post on how my early adoption of a home-energy monitor like TED 5000 was a mistake when a flood of better products hit the market. Unfortunately, a flood of better products has not hit the market, and the competitors either tend to do the exact same thing TED does, or they are astronomically expensive and require an advanced degree in nuclear physics to install.
Nope, my early adoption curse comes this time from the thermostat. You’ll no doubt remember my battle with the auxiliary heat, a 10 kW ($1 per hour) “emergency” heater that my heat pump keeps as a backup for when it’s too cold outside to do its job. My original programmable thermostat was switching to expensive aux heat every time it cycled, costing me between $150 and $200 each winter.
I scoured the web and found a thermostat that would solve my problems: the Globe EnerSaver Touch Screen thermostat for $120. The thermostat has done its job fairly well, though I did end up having to disable the auxiliary heat manually for much of the year.
Now, Home Depot will begin carrying a $99 web-enabled model from a company called Radio Thermostat. Instead of programming each day with the traditional “wake-work-return-sleep” cycle, you can manage it via the web. It even apparently works with heat pumps, a feature that many other thermostats you find in the store don’t have.
The relationship with Home Depot and a reasonable price point are expected to draw consumers down the smart-grid/smart-home pathway. If this had been available a year ago, I’d be right there with them.
But of course, I’d never have been happy with the $99 CT30 model. I’d demand the $199 CT80 model! Check out those features!
- The CT80 works with nearly every HVAC system – including traditional furnaces and heat pumps.
- Can control 3 stages of heat and 2 stages of cool. This allows for more precise temperature regulation and less fluctuation with today’s most sophisticated HVAC systems.
- True Auto mode to switch automatically between heat and cool depending on environmental factors.
- The CT80 can control an external air baffle.
- Can also control an external humidifier AND de-humidifier.
- You can program up to 7 independent periods per day.
- Can monitor and control your HVAC system based on humidity as well as temperature.
7 independent periods per day? I NEED THAT! Running the HVAC based on humidity? HOW HAVE I SURVIVED THIS LONG WITHOUT IT?
Yes, I’m being dramatic, but not sarcastic – this summer I was lamenting the fact that I couldn’t find a way to run the AC in a way that managed the high humidity in the house. I would seriously use those features.
So, unless the good folks at Radio Thermostat want to send me a free sample that I can test and shamelessly plug on this website (hint hint), I’m stuck with my 2009 model thermostat that apparently doesn’t realize there’s an internet now. Sigh…