If you're looking for a way to save 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 cover what a smart thermostat is, how it runs and why it's worth it to invest in one. We'll also discuss how it can help you save money on your energy bills by decreasing energy consumption.
What Is a Smart Thermostat?
A smart thermostat is an automated device that allows you to do everything from changing your heating and cooling settings for different times of day, to monitoring when people are in the house, so it isn't needlessly consuming energy by heating or cooling a vacant home.
Many smart thermostats have learning capabilities, which means they pay attention to how you change your settings and make automatic adjustments over time based on what they learn from you.
A smart thermostat links to Wi-Fi, so you'll be able to change and monitor 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 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 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 away.
A smart thermostat does things like adapt 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 many people, the answer is yes. If you do a lot of travel or are gone for long hours during the day, it may be worth your money to invest in one of these devices. You could save a lot, especially if you forget to change it when you leave for work or go out of town for the weekend.
You won't have to worry about whether your smart thermostat is on the right program, or if you remembered to adjust the temperature setting before you left. It doesn't require much effort from you, but you'll see it in reduced energy bills.
Smart Thermostats vs. Programmable Thermostats
Most homeowners have a standard programmable thermostat, but 40% of them aren’t set correctly. This means you could be missing chances to save on heating and cooling expenses.
Smart thermostats are handy because they learn your schedule and automate heating and cooling to match. You can set a similar schedule on a programmable thermostat. But it's more effort to program your thermostat by hand.
A smart thermostat conveniently adjusts and progressively changes the temperature inside your home for the biggest 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, since your smart thermostat will learn about your temperature preferences and routine to make a schedule that reduces 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 acquire 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 advise following these guidelines from ENERGY STAR® to save energy.
Suggested Temperature Settings for Your Heating System
- Wake: Under 70 degrees.
- Day: Set back at least 8 degrees, if no one is there.
- Evening: Higher than 70 degrees.
- Sleep: Set back 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 home.
- Evening: Cooler 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 important 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 prominent 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 usually compares you to other residences in the area.
Your potential savings differ based on your house, 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 seeing small savings on energy costs, you might be optimizing for energy efficiency currently. 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 simple through their hands-off process that gradually shifts the temperature. If you're at home often, it might not save you money 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 install energy-saving, ENERGY STAR-certified equipment like a smart thermostat. The rebate total varies by company, but in most instances, it will cover most or all the cost. To find out more, check your utility company's website for rebate information.
Depend On the Experts for Your Smart Thermostat Needs
Installing a smart thermostat is an investment, but it can save you money in the end. 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 866-397-3787 to request yours now!