If you're looking for a way to spend less money and energy in your home, it might be a wise investment to explore getting a smart thermostat. These devices can do everything from monitor when you leave the house, so that it doesn't throw away 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 review what a smart thermostat is, how it works and why it's worthwhile to purchase one. We'll also talk about 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 everything 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.
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 connects to Wi-Fi, so you'll be able to change and keep track of 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, such as Google Home, Amazon Alexa and Apple HomeKit, for even better control over your comfort. They're compatible with most systems, including home heating and air conditioning.
Smart thermostat features consist of a temperature sensor that can tell when the home is vacant, and then automatically adjust 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 occupied 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 some people, the answer is yes. If you do a lot of traveling or are gone for long hours during the day, it may be worth your money to get one of these devices. You could save a lot, 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 worry about whether your smart thermostat is on the appropriate 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 reduced energy bills.
Smart Thermostats vs. Programmable Thermostats
Many homeowners have a traditional 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 handy because they adjust to 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 manually.
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 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 conserving money.
You can get the same 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: Under 70 degrees.
- Day: Set back at least 8 degrees, if no one is there.
- Evening: Higher than 70 degrees.
- Sleep: Decrease 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: Lower than 78 degrees.
- Sleep: Increase at least 4 degrees.
As you can see, you don't have to get a smart thermostat to spend less on your energy bill. All you need is a programmable thermostat, but it's important to note that any savings may come at the cost 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. 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 provide you with 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 seeing small savings on energy costs, you might be optimizing for energy efficiency already. This includes turning 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 gradually shifts the temperature. If you're at home often, 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 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 take care of most or all the expense. To find out more, visit your utility company's website for rebate info.
Depend On the Experts for Your Smart Thermostat Needs
Getting a smart thermostat is an investment, but it can help you spend less money in the end. If you’ve been considering getting one and want to know if they work as promised, we offer free home comfort assessments. Call our Experts at 518-205-3324 to request yours today!