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 an empty home, to changing 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 works and why it's worth it to purchase one. We'll also discuss how it can help you save money on your energy bills by reducing energy consumption.
What Is a Smart Thermostat?
A smart thermostat is a programmable device that allows you to do it all from adjusting your heating and cooling settings for various times of day, to monitoring when people are in the house, so it isn't wasting energy by heating or cooling an empty home.
Most smart thermostats have learning abilities, 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 hook up 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, such as home heating and air conditioning.
Smart thermostat features consist of a temperature sensor that can tell 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 tasks 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 some people, the answer is yes. If you do a lot of travel 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 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 right program, or if you remembered to adjust the temperature setting before you went out. 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 properly. This means you might 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 to match. You can set a comparable schedule on a programmable thermostat. But it's more effort to program your thermostat manually.
A smart thermostat conveniently adjusts and gradually 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, because your smart thermostat will learn from your temperature preferences and day-to-day activities 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 conserving money.
You can acquire 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 guidelines from ENERGY STAR® to save energy.
Suggested 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: Decrease 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 home.
- Evening: Lower than 78 degrees.
- Sleep: Increase at least 4 degrees.
To sum up, you don't have to get a smart thermostat to decrease your energy bill. All you need is a programmable thermostat, but it's important to know that any savings may come at the expense 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. households 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 possible savings differ 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 turning off your HVAC system when you're not at home or turning your thermostat up/down when you're sleeping.
Smart thermostats make this simple through their hands-off process that slowly shifts the temperature. If you're at home a lot, 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
Many utility companies offer rebates to homeowners who purchase energy-saving, ENERGY STAR-certified equipment like a smart thermostat. The rebate total varies by company, but in many instances, it will take care of most or all the cost. To learn more, visit your utility company's website for rebate information.
Trust the Experts for Your Smart Thermostat Needs
Getting a smart thermostat is an investment, but it can help you spend less 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 919-578-4329 to request yours today!