If you want a way to spend less money and energy in your home, it might be a worthwhile investment to explore getting a smart thermostat. These devices can do everything from track when you leave the house, so that it doesn't throw away electricity heating or cooling a vacant home, to adjusting energy usage based on how many people are in a room or what time of day it is.
We'll review what a smart thermostat is, how it runs and why it's worthwhile to invest in one. We'll also discuss how it can help you save money on your energy bills by lowering energy consumption.
What Is a Smart Thermostat?
A smart thermostat is an automated device that allows you to do it all from changing your heating and cooling settings for different times of day, to tracking when people are in the house, so it isn't needlessly consuming energy by heating or cooling an empty home.
Many smart thermostats have learning capabilities, which means they pay attention to how you adjust your settings and make automatic adjustments over time based on what they learn from you.
A smart thermostat connects to Wi-Fi, so you'll be able to change and keep track of your energy usage from just about anywhere.
How Do Smart Thermostats Work?
A smart thermostat has learning algorithms and can connect with other smart home technology, like Google Home, Amazon Alexa and Apple HomeKit, for improved control over your comfort. They're compatible with most systems, including home heating and air conditioning.
Smart thermostat features include a temperature sensor that can detect when the home is vacant, and then automatically change to an energy-efficient setting. Your smart thermostat may be able to geofence with your phone to know when you're at home or out.
A smart thermostat does things like adapt more for rooms that are full or have more people in them, as well as monitor what time of day it is so it knows how much heating or air conditioning should be used.
Are Smart Thermostats Worth It?
For some people, the answer is yes. If you do a lot of travel or are gone for many hours during the day, it may be worth your money to invest in one of these thermostats. You could save a lot, especially if you forget to change it when you leave for the office or go out of town for the weekend.
You won't have to be concerned about whether your smart thermostat is on the right program, or if you remembered to adjust the temperature setting before you went out. It doesn't require a lot of effort from you, but you'll notice it in lower energy bills.
Smart Thermostats vs. Programmable Thermostats
Most homeowners have a traditional programmable thermostat, but 40% of them aren’t set correctly. This means you might be missing chances to save on heating and cooling costs.
Smart thermostats are handy because they learn your schedule and automate heating and cooling that corresponds. You can set a comparable schedule on a programmable thermostat. But it's more work to program your thermostat manually.
A smart thermostat automatically adjusts and gradually changes the temperature inside your home for the biggest energy savings. If you manually adjust a programmable thermostat, you can overburden your HVAC system and make it work harder to meet your changes.
Do Smart Thermostats Save Energy?
Yes, because your smart thermostat will learn about your temperature preferences and day-to-day activities to make a schedule that saves on heating and cooling costs. You don't have to do much as your thermostat does all the work for you while saving money.
You can get identical energy savings with a programmable thermostat, but it's going to take a little bit more effort than a smart thermostat. To set up a schedule on programmable models, we suggest following these guidelines from ENERGY STAR® to save energy.
Recommended Temperature Settings for Your Heating System
- Wake: Below 70 degrees.
- Day: Set back at least 8 degrees, if no one is home.
- Evening: Higher than 70 degrees.
- Sleep: Set back at least 8 degrees.
Suggested Temperature Settings for Your Cooling System
- Wake: Higher than 78 degrees.
- Day: Set up at least 7 degrees, if no one is home.
- Evening: Lower than 78 degrees.
- Sleep: Set up at least 4 degrees.
As you can see, you don't have to buy a smart thermostat to spend less on your energy bill. All you need is a programmable thermostat, but it's essential to know that any savings may come at the cost of your comfort and convenience.
Do Smart Thermostats Save Money?
Nest, one of the most popular smart thermostat manufacturers, says its smart thermostat saves U.S. homeowners about:
- 10-12% on your heating bill
- 15% on your cooling bill
- $131 to $145 on your energy bill each year
Your smart thermostat will give you a monthly heating and cooling report, which often compares you to other residences in your community.
Your potential savings differ based on your house, where you live, how much insulation you have and your preferred temperature settings. You might experience average savings, significant savings or somewhere in the middle.
If you're noticing you're only getting minimal savings on energy costs, you might be optimizing for energy efficiency currently. This includes switching off your HVAC system when you're not at home or moving your thermostat up/down when you're asleep.
Smart thermostats make this simple through their hands-off process that slowly shifts the temperature. If you're at home often, it might not save you money on energy costs as is the point in an automatic, energy-efficient schedule.
How to Get a Smart Thermostat Rebate
Many utility companies give rebates to homeowners who purchase energy-saving, ENERGY STAR-certified equipment like a smart thermostat. The rebate total varies by company, but in most instances, it will take care of most or all the cost. To learn more, check your utility company's website for rebate information.
Depend On the Experts for Your Smart Thermostat Needs
Getting a smart thermostat is an investment, but it can save you money in the long run. If you’ve been considering getting one and want to know if they run as promised, we offer free home comfort assessments. Call our Experts at 289-813-5566 to request yours now!