Installing a WiFi Digital Thermostat to Save Money

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Today’s post is about cutting costs by installing a new digital programmable thermostat. After all, nothing says “I love you” like slashing your sweetie’s electric bill! Our own heating bill has been in the honey-are-you-sitting-down-for-this territory for the past three months. Some of this has been from our many electronic devices and some of it is from forgetting to turn off the lights (granted, they’re almost all compact florescent bulbs), but most of it is from living in a two-story townhome with a heat pump that blows hot air through our ducts. Well, that and the 1″ gap we found in our dining room windowsill a month or so ago, to our horror. Sunday we fixed that gap, among a myriad of other home improvement projects. (I know! I know! We were going to take a “do nothing” day … it didn’t happen Saturday and it didn’t happen Sunday, either. So much for that!)

We made a total of three trips to Home Depot, between the two of us. Initially, we were only there to find paint chips and some coat hooks for the living room. Then, we went back to find an expandable dryer vent hose, duct tape, a heat pump filter, and to check prices on a water heater wrap. We walked out with a digital thermostat.

And not just any digital thermostat. Of course, with my husband the technophile making the final call on which thermostat to purchase, we decided on the digital wifi enhanced programmable thermostat with the ability to use your iPhone or Droid or laptop to adjust the heating or air conditioning from anywhere in the world with a WiFi signal. It’s the 3M-50 model Filtrete WiFi Enabled Programmable Thermostat. With so many adjectives, it’s got to be impressive, right? It might have been $97, but it promised to cut our bills by a third if we follow its EPA guidelins, and if it does, it will pay for itself in a single month, two tops. Even if it only pays for itself over the course of the year, it will be worth it.

Once we brought it home, we documented the installation. First step … ALWAYS TURN OFF THE BREAKER!

Next I helped Daniel label the wires by keeping the little labels ready and holding the flashlight in place while he unscrewed them all and placed the labels on the corresponding colored wires.

We rent, so we meticulously saved the old thermostat and all its screws. Daniel did have to splice new wiring to the old wiring in order to have enough slack in the wires to attach them to the new thermostat. (This was the third, and final, Home Depot trip.)

We had a spectator for the project. Hello, Zoe girl!

All the labeled wires, bundled together, and ready to be spliced with their extensions so they can be attached to our new model of thermostat.


The new thermostat is now ready to go! We programmed it with the EPA-approved temperature program. We’ll see how it goes. It’s supposed to drop the temperature to 62 degrees Fahrenheit during the night and daytime while people are away and then go up to 70 degrees in the early morning and evening when people are supposed to be home. The only problem with this is Daniel is home working during the day, so I guess he will be using our upstairs office more often! Also, you can see the small patch of wall where the drywall is exposed. Remember those paint chips I mentioned? I’m thinking of painting the wall anyway, so we’ll make sure that spot is covered then.

Oh, and I helped in one other way … apparently Daniel had turned a breaker off that also controlled or was adjacent to a breaker that controlled our stove. After a couple hours of his working at this project, I ordered pizza. It was just the good wife thing to do while my hubby was working so hard on our latest home improvement project! It was the least I could do for my Valentine.

{All Photos: Andrea B of Behind Closed Drawers}

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Installing a WiFi Digital Thermostat to Save Money

  1. We have a programmable thermostat, and it really is a money saver. My husband, who works nights, is home during the daytime, too, so we don’t do the temp drop during the day, just at night, and it still helps our bill.

  2. I’m glad to hear from personal experience that it works! We’ve had to bump the temperature up a couple of times so far, but the combination of the measures we took has already made a huge difference in how evenly the house is heated.

  3. Pingback: WiFi Thermostat Slashes Electric Bill | Behind Closed Drawers

  4. Pingback: One year later … | Behind Closed Drawers

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