Wednesday, November 30, 2016

How We Upgraded Our Heating and Cooling System with a Wiser Air Thermostat

This post brought to you by Schneider Electric . The content and opinions expressed below are that of Creative Green Living.
Our farmhouse makeover hit a bit of a hang up this year. All for good reasons, fortunately, but it was a hang up nonetheless. You see, I've always wanted to write a book so when an editor at Skyhorse Publishers asked if I would be interested in writing a cookbook about smoothie bowls I was so excited to get on board (psst, you can order your copy here!). Great for me. Unfortunate for my house. 

Let's just keep the fact that I have lived here for a year now and I still don't have my baseboards installed between you and me, ok? 

One of the things on my very. very. long upgrade list was to get a better thermostat. The thermostat that came with the house was probably extra fancy in the 90's but was not nearly as responsive or easy to use as I wanted it to be. So when Schneider Electric asked if I would be interested in working with them and trying their Wiser Air thermostat in my home I was game!

Wiser Air

The Wiser Air thermostat is available on Amazon (you support this site when you use that link) as well as the Microsoft Store, New Egg, Best Buy and Home Depot. It comes in both black and white and unlike my old clunky thermostat from the 90's, it's smart.

In this case, that means it is capable of learning your schedule and preferences and adjusting its behavior automatically to balance comfort with saving energy (and money!). It has an easy to use smart phone app that can control it as well as a Windows app for use from your windows tablet or computer (it's the only smart thermostat on the market that can say that!)

Set Up

When shopping for smarter thermostats in the past, I got really overwhelmed with the installation instructions - some thermostats even require an electrician to get involved. Luckily, Wiser Air was surprisingly easy to install - no professional help needed!

Please note: This is an overview of the installation process and not intended to be a step-by-step guide. For actual installation instructions of a Wiser Air unit, please see the print instructions or their helpful website for simple installation and setup directions and FAQ.

After turning off the power to your HVAC system (safety first!), Wiser Air has you start by taking a photo of your current thermostat wire set up so you can refer back to it later. 
Then you attach the easy-to-use labels to each wire to help minimize any confusion about what goes where. 
You can either mount the adorable little square unit directly to the wall or if you are like me and upgrading from a dinosaur unit that was big and ugly and left an ugly hole (ahem), you can install the backplate to go with it and cover up any wall damage, paint lines, etc.
Once that's installed you follow the directions to put all the wires in their correct spots. We did have a little confusion with the paper directions regarding the "jumper" portion but luckily Wiser Air has an extremely helpful website and after consulting that, we were no longer confused and finished the install right up.

Using Wiser Air

While you do set some initial parameters for it, the Wiser Air thermostat is a bit like a pet and needs some training and feedback for the first week or so that you are using it - and any time after that if you become uncomfortable with the temperature.

All you have to do it push the up or down arrow to tell it if you are too cold or too warm. You can also tell it to do a "comfort boost" where it will blast warm or cold air for fifteen minutes without changing the self-learned program. You can do that either right on the unit or from the app.

When Wiser Air is working, it will put out a colored, pulsing glow. Blue is for cooling, yellow is for heating and green means the Eco IQ software is working to save energy.

Overall, it's been really easy to use and I'm excited to compare our energy bill from last winter to the bill from this winter (info from my electric company was not yet available at time of writing - I'll keep you updated, though!).

If you're interested in a Wiser Air thermostat, pick it up on Amazon or go here to purchase.

About the Author:

Carissa is a green lifestyle expert and mom of two boys. The owner and lead writer for Creative Green Living,  she is also the author of two e-books including the best-selling beverage cookbook, Infused: Recipes for Herb & Fruit Infused Water, Tea and More and the forthcoming cookbook (spring 2017), Beautiful Smoothie BowlsYou can also find her recipes featured in periodicals like Urban Farm Magazine. Her goal is to empower families to make healthier choices that are easy, taste great and are fun! Follow her on PinterestInstagramTwitter or join the Creative Green Living community group.
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Carissa's Creativity Space (creativecarissa.com) became Creative Green Living in February 2013. As such the watermarks on many of our old posts may reflect the previous site name.