Why Smart Thermostats Are Worth It
If you want a way to spend less money and energy in your home, it may be a wise investment to research getting a smart thermostat. These devices can do everything from track when you leave the house, so that it doesn’t waste 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 works and why it’s worth it to invest in one. We’ll also talk about how it can help you spend less 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 everything from adjusting your heating and cooling settings for different times of day, to tracking when people are in the house, so it isn’t wasting energy by heating or cooling a vacant home.
Most 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 adjust and monitor 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 work with most systems, including home heating and air conditioning.
Smart thermostat features include a temperature sensor that can tell when the home is empty, and then automatically adjust to an energy-efficient setting. Your smart thermostat may be able to geofence with your phone to know when you’re at home or away.
A smart thermostat does tasks like adjust more for rooms that are full or have more people in them, as well as track 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 traveling or are out for many hours during the day, it may be worth your money to get one of these thermostats. You could save a lot, especially if you forget to adjust it when you leave for the office or go out of town for the weekend.
You won’t have to worry about whether your smart thermostat is on the appropriate program, or if you remembered to adjust the temperature setting before you went out. It doesn’t require much effort on your part, 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 properly. This means you might be missing opportunities to save on heating and cooling costs.
Smart thermostats are convenient because they adjust to your schedule and automate heating and cooling that corresponds. You can set a similar schedule on a programmable thermostat. But it’s more effort to program your thermostat manually.
A smart thermostat automatically adjusts and gradually changes the temperature inside your home for the greatest energy savings. If you manually adjust a programmable thermostat, you can overload your HVAC system and make it work harder to meet your adjustments.
Do Smart Thermostats Save Energy?
Yes, because your smart thermostat will learn about your temperature preferences and routine 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 conserving money.
You can get identical energy savings with a programmable thermostat, but it’s going to require a little bit more effort than a smart thermostat. To set up a schedule on programmable models, we suggest following these recommendations 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 there.
- Evening: Higher than 70 degrees.
- Sleep: Decrease at least 8 degrees.
Recommended Temperature Settings for Your Cooling System
- Wake: Higher than 78 degrees.
- Day: Set up at least 7 degrees, if no one is there.
- Evening: Cooler than 78 degrees.
- Sleep: Increase at least 4 degrees.
As you can see, you don’t have to get a smart thermostat to save on your energy bill. All you need is a programmable thermostat, but it’s important to note that any savings may come at the expense 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 annually
Your smart thermostat will provide you with a monthly heating and cooling report, which often compares you to other residences in your community.
Your potential savings vary based on your home, where you live, how much insulation you have and your desired temperature settings. You might experience average savings, significant savings or somewhere in between.
If you’re noticing you’re only getting minimal savings on energy costs, you might be optimizing for energy efficiency already. This includes turning off your HVAC system when you’re not at home or moving your thermostat up/down when you’re sleeping.
Smart thermostats make this easy through their hands-off process that gradually shifts the temperature. If you’re at home often, it might not save you much on energy costs as is the point in an automated, energy-efficient schedule.
How to Get a Smart Thermostat Rebate
Most utility companies offer rebates to homeowners who purchase energy-saving, ENERGY STAR-certified equipment like a smart thermostat. The rebate amount varies by company, but in many instances, it will cover most or all the cost. To find out more, visit your utility company’s website for rebate information.
Trust the Experts for Your Smart Thermostat Needs
Installing a smart thermostat is an investment, but it can help you spend less money in the end. If you’ve been considering installing one and want to know if they work as promised, we offer free home comfort assessments. Call our Experts at 403-279-5760 to request yours today!