I have a smartphone but sometimes get frustrated with the more difficult tasks of its operation. I try to keep my life simple. Until recently, I relied on what I thought was my good, old-fashioned, thermostat. It has a simple, plastic dial model from about twenty years ago. There are no bells, lights, or whistles. It doesn’t talk. It doesn’t glow. My thermostat’s only job is to regulate the temperature of my HVAC system. If I want to change the temperature, I turn the dial. Granted, the notches might not be perfectly accurate, but the ease of use makes the small discrepancy tolerable. Because I was used to its function, I never considered replacing it. When it came time for my furnace’s yearly service, the local HVAC technician explained the benefits of a smart thermostat, one of which is the considerable cost savings. Based on her recommendation, I did some research and found myself amazed at the technological advancements. Wireless thermostats now offer touchscreens, connect to the internet, as well as operate the furnace and air conditioner. The thermostat I chose includes room sensors. Over the first month the thermostat kept track of temperature changes and adjustments. It then generated a schedule of timed heating and cooling temperatures based on the information. It automatically adjusts to conserve energy and optimize comfort. The sensors can tell if a room is empty or occupied. If the room is empty, there is no need for the added heat or air to be activated, thus saving money on monthly electric bills. My fears about the difficulty in operating new-age technology were dispelled. I can easily use the app on my smartphone to make adjustments. The instructions are straight-forward. Whether we’re early, away, or curled up on the couch, we experience optimal comfort. Furthermore, the app will notify me if there are problems such as power outages, temperature swings, or service requirements.

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