If you're looking for a way to spend less money and energy in your home, it may be a worthwhile investment to explore getting a smart thermostat. These gadgets can do everything from monitor when you leave the house, so that it doesn't waste electricity heating or cooling a vacant home, to changing energy usage according to 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 worthwhile to invest in one. We'll also discuss 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 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 a vacant home.
Many 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 links to Wi-Fi, so you'll be able to adjust and monitor your energy usage from just about anyplace.
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 improved 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 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 tasks 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 many 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 get one of these thermostats. You could save a significant amount, 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 a lot of effort from you, 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 correctly. This means you could be missing chances to save on heating and cooling costs.
Smart thermostats are handy 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 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 change 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 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 saving money.
You can acquire 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 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.
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 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 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 usually compares you to other residences in your community.
Your possible savings vary based on your house, where you live, how much insulation you have and your preferred temperature settings. You might see average savings, significant savings or somewhere in the middle.
If you're noticing you're only getting small savings on energy costs, you might be optimizing for energy efficiency already. This includes switching off your HVAC system when you're not at home or turning 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 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 purchase energy-saving, ENERGY STAR-certified equipment like a smart thermostat. The rebate amount varies by company, but in most instances, it will cover most or all the cost. To learn more, visit 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 long run. 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 210-570-9705 to schedule yours now!