If you want a way to spend less money and energy in your home, it may be a wise investment to explore getting a smart thermostat. These devices can do everything from track when you leave the house, so that it doesn't waste electricity heating or cooling an empty home, to adjusting 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 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 everything from adjusting your heating and cooling settings for different times of day, to tracking when people are in the house, so it isn't needlessly consuming energy by heating or cooling an empty 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 adjust and monitor your energy usage from just about anywhere.
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, such as home heating and air conditioning.
Smart thermostat features include a temperature sensor that can tell when the home is empty, 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 tasks 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 many 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 devices. You could save a significant amount, 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 appropriate program, or if you remembered to adjust the temperature setting before you left. It doesn't require much effort on your part, but you'll notice 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 could be missing opportunities to save on heating and cooling expenses.
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 work to program your thermostat manually.
A smart thermostat automatically adjusts and gradually changes the temperature inside your home for the greatest energy savings. If you manually change a programmable thermostat, you can overburden your HVAC system and make it work harder to meet your changes.
Do Smart Thermostats Save Energy?
Yes, because 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 saving money.
You can get identical energy savings with a programmable thermostat, but it's going to require a little bit more work than a smart thermostat. To put together a schedule on programmable models, we advise 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 there.
- Evening: Cooler than 78 degrees.
- Sleep: Set up at least 4 degrees.
To sum up, 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 essential to note 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, says 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 annually
Your smart thermostat will provide you with a monthly heating and cooling report, which usually compares you to other residences in your community.
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 minimal 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 moving your thermostat up/down when you're asleep.
Smart thermostats make the process easy through their hands-off process that slowly 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
Many utility companies give rebates to homeowners who purchase energy-saving, ENERGY STAR-certified equipment such as a smart thermostat. The rebate total varies by company, but in most instances, it will cover most or all the expense. To find out 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 save you money in the end. If you’ve been considering installing one and want to know if they work as promised, we provide free home comfort assessments. Call our Experts at 780-800-7092 to schedule yours now!