Because sweaters, space heaters, and good insulation only go so far.
t’s hard not to crank up the heat when it’s 10 degrees outside ⏤ especially with kids in the house. The mere thought of little ones shivering in their cribs makes even the most miserly (and/or eco-conscious) parent throw caution to the wind when adjusting the thermostat. The problem, of course, is that the utility company doesn’t care about your parental responsibilities ⏤ and your family’s finances may be strained when that outrageous heating bill finally comes due.
So, how can you keep kids cozy during the winter (and cool in summer) without going broke ⏤ other than sweaters, space heaters, and good insulation? Being mindful of how you use your heat and air conditioning, especially when asleep or away from the house, is key. And one way to fine tune that usage is by installing a smart thermostat, which do far more than simply run the furnace on a set schedule. Most of today’s smart ‘stats work over wifi, are controlled (from anywhere) using a smartphone or tablet, and can be integrated with Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and Apple Homekit. They learn your daily schedule, detect movement in specific rooms (and adjust the temp accordingly), and can even turn down the heat when the lights go out. And in the process, they save you real cash on your bills. Plus, you never have to worry about accidentally leaving the heat or A/C on when you go on vacation.
But which ones will pay for themselves over time and/or are worth the effort to install? Here are five we think fit ⏤ and will lower ⏤ your bill.