If you didn’t know by now, there’s a heat wave sweeping the nation. The brutal temperatures combined with high humidity doesn’t make it pleasant at all to be outdoors. There doesn’t seem to be any relief anytime soon because this heat wave will be running through the weekend for many of the lower 48 states, so there’s always the possibility of a brownout or blackout looming if the power grid is unable to sustain the demand.
Today’s homes are significantly smarter and more efficient when it comes to combating unpredictable weather like this. Take, for instance, the beauty and wonder of smart thermostats, which monitor and regulate the temperature of your home. They’re far more efficient because they’ll kick off your air conditioning system when you’re not home, or simply operate them at a lower capacity to maintain a specific temperature. They learn your habits over time to reduce power consumption, thus, saving you money in the long run.
Here are some tips on how you can protect your home from brownouts using a smart thermostat:
- Set your temperature to a lower level or turn it off completely if no one is home. If you have a pet, you’ll want to keep them comfortable by maintaining a specific temperature.
- Don’t set your AC system to kick on as soon as you get home. Instead, it’s more efficient to have your smart thermostat to turn on earlier, prior to your arrival, to give it more time to slowly get your home to a pleasant level.
- Close or lower your blinds. This will help with maintaining a cooler home when you’re not there, and will allow your smart thermostat to work more effectively as well.
- Sign up for programs that can reward you for using a smart thermostat.
If you happen to own a Nest Thermostat, there’s even more of an incentive for you because of the Rush Hour Rewards program that’s available if you sign up for it. Energy rush hours occur when there’s a surge of power consumption during a heat wave, when people in a particular area turn on their air conditioning system in an attempt to cool down their homes quickly. You can imagine the stress that the power grid endures during these energy rush hours, which can potentially result in a brownout or blackout.
However, by signing up for Nest’s Rush Hour Rewards program, you’ll be sent alerts to when these energy rush hours are expected to occur by the power company. Rather than being set to kick on at your usual time, your Nest Thermostat will automatically modify your cooling schedule to work around during rush hour. Right now, New York residents who are under Con Edison’s coverage can earn $135 when they buy a Nest thermostat and sign up for the program.