‘Smart’ Thermostat Helps Lower Utility Bills

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(Memphis) There is a new gadget revolutionizing the way people heat and cool their homes. It's even helping people save money on the monthly utility bills.

The Nest is essentially a mini-computer crossed with a thermostat.

“It's really kind of revolutionizing the thermostat business itself,” said Sol Choate with Choate Heating and Air.

The gadget, built by former Apple employees, tracks your heating and cooling settings, remembers them, and then makes future changes for you, minimizing waste and saving homeowners money.

“They're saying it’s saving about 20 percent on their utility bill,” said Choate. “Your air conditioner system is 50 percent of your utility bill so if you can drop it 20 percent, that's a big chunk of change in your pocket at the end of the month.”

Choate says scheduling your thermostat is not new technology, claiming many thermostats already have that feature, “Most people don't use it, and they just turn the thermostat on and leave it all day.”

It wastes energy and money, Choate claims. This Nest lets you know when you're saving money.

“Every time that green leaf is on, that means you're saving energy,” Choate said. “A lot of people's goals are to see that leaf on that thermostat because they know that they're using an energy star temperature rating.”

 With the Nest, you can make adjustments on the fly. If you decide to come home on your lunch break and you want the house to be warm, all you have to do is pull out your tablet or smart phone and turn the heat up.  It connects wirelessly through the Internet enabling you to make it hotter or colder from anywhere

“That's a new technology that's really neat with this,” said Choate.

The thermostat costs around $250, but Choate says the money spent will easily turn unto money saved, “It should pay for itself within two years because it’s going to be saving you energy.”