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I have been debating whether to replace my programmable thermostat with a smart thermostat for some time to increase the efficiency of my old house (efficiency and old house sound like a oxymoron to anyone who happens to own an old house). Even though my home is 110 years old, it still ranks fairly high on the energy efficiency reports that I receive from the utility company. To be efficient the light bulbs, except for three carbon filament bulbs in an original light fixture, have been changed to LED or CFL. The washer and dryer are energy efficient along with the refrigerator. As part of my research, I have contemplated what smart devices makes sense for an old house. I concluded that replacing my 1950 Wedgewood stove is not on the list. After researching the various models of smart thermostats, I settled on the nest learning thermostat for its design and good reviews (Note: I did not receive any benefit for my thoughts on this product…I just own an old house and look for ways to lower utility costs).

The price for the nest thermostat is the same everywhere it is sold. But with a $10 coupon and $15 in rewards from the local hardware store, along with a $50 rebate from the utility company, the final price was low enough for me to finally make the switch. The installation was very simple and the programming interface is the easiest I have ever used on a thermostat. The fact I can set up the program on my smartphone is a big plus. From a design perspective, the nest is very refined. Update: I ended up selling the old thermostat for $25 which brought the overall cost down to $150.

The second project that was recently completed was installing a Hunter Original ceiling fan in the living room. The design is the same as the original, cast iron with an oil bath bearing system, and fits with the period of my old house. I have had this Hunter fan on my list of projects for several years and came upon a good deal while researching another project. The ceiling fan this one is replacing will be given a satin black paint job, to cover the 80’s brass styling, and installed in the guest room.

The Red Dog Estate is slowly evolving to be efficient while retaining the original character.