Relationships are the best, right? Never complicated, consistently functional and they always energize you.
Hmm… If you’re like me, then you know those first two sentences are not based in reality. Relationships are tricky and complicated. They’re beneficial, but they need boundaries. And I’m not just talking about our relationships with people – in our modern era, we also have relationships with our technology. And just as our relationships and how we interact with people can look different as we grow, our relationships with technology grow as the options available to us do.
As a society, we talk a lot about managing the technology we hold in our hands every day, while we often neglect to consider the many other forms of tech that we’re not only surrounded by every day, but truly impact our daily experiences. One that affects us most daily is our thermostat, and while you might think it’s all about how cool you feel as you walk into your home on a hot summer day, or the heat that welcomes you in the middle of January, it’s also about your wallet.
We recently installed a Nest Learning Thermostat in our home, and I started to think so much about how little we consider the less prevalent technologies in our every day lives. We’re surrounded by microwaves, home alarms, smart speakers and more. While some homes have upgraded their home technology to be fully “smart,” others, like mine, are likely a mix of old and new technology. And perhaps, if you’re also like me, you put off changing or upgrading to a newer system because you’re averse to learning new things, even if they just might make your life much easier.
The temperature our thermostat is set to is a huge point of contention in our home! I grew up in a house that was 72 degrees pretty much all year round, while my husband did not, and we’re working toward compromise. To loosely quote one of my kids’ Fancy Nancy Books, “compromise is when Mom gets what she wants.”
All jokes aside, we truly have very different opinions on what our normal temperature should be, and I’m often found sneaking to bump the temperature up or down depending on the season, completely breaking our agreement on whatever temperature we’d decided to land on together. We’ve had the new smart thermostat installed a very short time and I already am falling head over heels!
Minnesota Energy Resources notes that having a smart thermostat can lower your bills, and you could cash in a rebate of up to $100 on your monthly energy bills. No joke, every month when the bill arrives from our energy company and it shows we are higher than our neighbors, my husband passive aggressively slides it to me or leaves it on my desk to be found by me later- it’s become the running joke. This is where the relationships with our new tech is already going to help the relationships in my home.
Installing The Nest was incredibly easy, and part of the process in downloading the app is walking step by step through removing your old thermostat. As a couple who has seen a few DIY projects go awry, it was a huge relief to have such thorough instructions, while not having to hire a professional to do so (be sure to follow every step, especially checking and double-checking that you’ve turned off the power source before beginning!).
Smart thermometers allow you to schedule varying heat and cooling settings for weekdays differently than weekends, specific days getting a whole new schedule, etc. We’ve both worked from home for years, so while we don’t generally need a different weekday schedule, we’ve often talked about how nice it would be to adjust while on the go. We’re a somewhat spontaneous family and I love that we can save energy by adjusting things even after we’ve hopped in the car as we head out on a day or week-long adventure.
It might seem a little obsessive to focus so intently on these little changes, but recently our family has been more focused on little savings here and there, and just as little changes and savings in the spending side of your budget add up, small changes and savings in these ways will add up and save us so much money in the long run. I’m here for the long game and excited to see these savings add up over the months and at the end of the year.
Be sure to check out how you can get up to $100 rebate from Minnesota Energy Resources by using a smart thermostat, and find all of their available rebates here.