The HVAC system has come a long way from its early days when ancient Greeks used the sun to help heat their homes and ancient Egyptians cooled the air with intricate systems of water-soaked reeds. A thousand years later, in 1620, the Dutch inventor Cornelius Drebbel came up with the first mercury thermostat. That led to the invention of the “damper-flapper” by Swedish-born Albert Butz. In 1906, the Honeywell company bought Butz’s business, its first step toward becoming a famous modern HVAC brand.
However, programmable thermostats didn’t become available until the 1980s. You would think that, since this technology has been around for almost 40 years, many Americans would already have it in their homes. Sadly, this isn’t the case. Although 85 percent of U.S. households access their heating system through a thermostat, only 37 percent of those thermostats are actually programmable. The same is true of cooling systems. Of the 60 percent of U.S. households that use thermostats to access their air-conditioning units, only 29 percent of those are programmable.
Why is this technology so important? Programmable thermostats help you save money and maintain the perfect temperature for any occasion. Smart thermostats, invented in 2007, take savings even further, making your thermostat accessible from afar. At home, smart thermostats are equally easy to use, thanks to their sleek touch-screen interfaces and handy voice controls. Many smart thermostats will even tell you how much energy you’re consuming in real-time. This feature helps you stay comfortable as well as keep you within your monthly budget.
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