Can I Use a Programmable Thermostate with an Old Furnace?
LESLIE: Now we’ve got Gene from South Dakota on the line who’s got a question about a thermostat. What can we do for you today?
GENE: My wife and I, we’ve lived in our house for 14 years. And we inherited the furnace; it’s 24 years old. We do due diligence and get it serviced and looked at every fall. And that’s proved prudent but I was thinking about adding a programmable thermostat to see if that’s going to save me money. Or should I just wait until the furnace lives its full useful life – some people say that’s already past with 24 years – and then just replace the whole deal? Or will I end up saving money if I’m able to put in a programmable thermostat now with the old furnace?
TOM: Well, I absolutely think that you should go ahead and move forward with that thermostat. You know, thermostats, in most cases, are not specific to the heating system that they operate. They’re really a stand-alone unit.
Gene, do you have a wireless network inside your house?
GENE: We do.
TOM: Well, one that you might want to take a look at is the Nest Thermostat – N-e-s-t. I’ve got two of these in my house and I absolutely love it because it’s a really smart thermostat. And the return on investment you will get rather immediately. But what the Nest thing does is in addition to setting it for the peak times, it’s got this cool capability called Auto-Away. So that there’s no movement near the thermostat, so nobody’s walking back and forth by it, it knows the house is empty and it automatically brings it down to that lower temperature.
So it’s kind of smarter than you are when you program it. It has a mind of its own and it does a really good job. And it really does cut your energy bills. So take a look at that or frankly, any other programmable thermostat. Any thermostat you put in there that’s programmable is going to save you money over a standard thermostat. And then you can reuse it when the new furnace is put in.
GENE: Good deal. Thanks. I’m glad I called.
TOM: Yeah, you’re very welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.