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 monitor when you leave the house, so that it doesn't waste 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 runs 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 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 links to Wi-Fi, so you'll be able to change and monitor 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, such as Google Home, Amazon Alexa and Apple HomeKit, for improved control over your comfort. They work with most systems, such as home heating and air conditioning.
Smart thermostat features include a temperature sensor that can detect when the home is empty, and then automatically adjust to an energy-efficient setting. Your smart thermostat might be able to geofence with your phone to know when you're at home or away.
A smart thermostat does things like adjust more for rooms that are occupied 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 going.
Are Smart Thermostats Worth It?
For some 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 get one of these thermostats. You could save a significant amount, 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 be concerned 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 on your part, but you'll see 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 learn 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 by hand.
A smart thermostat conveniently adjusts and gradually 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 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 conserving money.
You can acquire the same energy savings with a programmable thermostat, but it's going to take a little bit more work than a smart thermostat. To set up a schedule on programmable models, we advise following these recommendations from ENERGY STAR® to save energy.
Recommended Temperature Settings for Your Heating System
- Wake: Under 70 degrees.
- Day: Set back at least 8 degrees, if no one is home.
- Evening: Higher than 70 degrees.
- Sleep: Decrease at least 8 degrees.
Recommended 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.
As you can see, you don't have to buy a smart thermostat to save on 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 provide you with a monthly heating and cooling report, which usually compares you to other residences in the area.
Your potential savings vary based on your house, where you live, how much insulation you have and your desired temperature settings. You might see average savings, significant savings or somewhere in the middle.
If you're finding 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 asleep.
Smart thermostats make this easy 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 automatic, energy-efficient schedule.
How to Get a Smart Thermostat Rebate
Most utility companies offer rebates to homeowners who install 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.
Depend On the Experts for Your Smart Thermostat Needs
Installing a smart thermostat is an investment, but it can help you spend less money in the long run. If you’ve been thinking about getting one and want to know if they run as promised, we offer free home comfort assessments. Call our Experts at 289-273-2229 to request yours today!