If you're looking for a way to spend less money and energy in your home, it might be a worthwhile investment to explore getting a smart thermostat. These gadgets 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 changing 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 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 it all from changing your heating and cooling settings for various times of day, to tracking when people are in the house, so it isn't needlessly consuming energy by heating or cooling a vacant home.
Most smart thermostats have learning abilities, which means they pay attention to how you adjust your settings and make automatic adjustments as time passes 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 anyplace.
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 even better control over your comfort. They work with most systems, including home heating and air conditioning.
Smart thermostat features consist of 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 things like adapt more for rooms that are occupied 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 many people, the answer is yes. If you do a lot of travel or are out for long 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 change 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 left. It doesn't require a lot of effort on your part, but you'll notice it in lower energy bills.
Smart Thermostats vs. Programmable Thermostats
Many homeowners have a traditional programmable thermostat, but 40% of them aren’t set properly. This means you could be missing opportunities to save on heating and cooling expenses.
Smart thermostats are convenient because they adjust to 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 progressively 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 changes.
Do Smart Thermostats Save Energy?
Yes, since 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 conserving money.
You can get the same energy savings with a programmable thermostat, but it's going to take a little bit more effort than a smart thermostat. To put together 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: Greater than 70 degrees.
- Sleep: Set back at least 8 degrees.
Suggested Temperature Settings for Your Cooling System
- Wake: Greater than 78 degrees.
- Day: Set up at least 7 degrees, if no one is there.
- Evening: Lower than 78 degrees.
- Sleep: Increase at least 4 degrees.
To sum up, 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 essential to note that any savings may come at the cost of your comfort and convenience.
Do Smart Thermostats Save Money?
Nest, one of the most prominent smart thermostat manufacturers, states 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 usually compares you to other residences in the area.
Your potential savings vary based on your home, where you live, how much insulation you have and your preferred temperature settings. You might experience average savings, significant savings or somewhere in between.
If you're noticing you're only seeing 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 turning your thermostat up/down when you're asleep.
Smart thermostats make the process simple through their hands-off process that slowly 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 give rebates to homeowners who purchase energy-saving, ENERGY STAR-certified equipment like a smart thermostat. The rebate amount varies by company, but in most instances, it will take care of most or all the cost. To find out more, check your utility company's website for rebate info.
Trust 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 thinking about installing one and want to know if they run as promised, we provide free home comfort assessments. Call our Experts at 226-773-3357 to schedule yours now!