But recently Les Bowles, a retired American Airlines pilot living in a suburb not far from the Dallas-Fort Worth airport, became part of a possible solution. He is a beta tester for a program called Rush Hour Rewards, wherein a lusciously designed thermostat with artificial intelligence and an Internet connection eases his domicile into a zone of thrift and earth-friendliness. True, temperatures can inch into the mid-to-high seventies—but the thermostat orchestrates the AC so the increase sneaks up on him. If he does get uncomfortable he can always override the procedure and lower the temp, but he hasn’t done it yet; he says he’s learned to trust the wisdom of the thermostat in such matters. Overall, he’s come to love his thermostat. “I’m kind of overwhelmed and amazed,” he gushes. And his power bill, he reports, hasn’t been as low for decades, when he was a much younger man living in a basement apartment.
Yesterday my wife calls me and tells me the thermostat on the unit is dead. Our heat pump / AC is original to the house and is 26 years old and a dead t-stat wasn’t out of the question. So on the way home, I picked up a Nest to replace it with. Turned out to be unnecessary as it was just a float switch that had tripped, but the Nest is an ingenious invention and, being that our unit is so old, anything we can do to help reduce energy usage (and thus, costs) is a good thing.
Now, this line is funny
True, temperatures can inch into the mid-to-high seventies—but the thermostat orchestrates the AC so the increase sneaks up on him.
The lowest we keep the house is 77, and that’s just at night. I guess we’re so used to the heat that 78°/77° feels ‘cold’ to us.