If you're looking for a way to spend less money and energy in your home, it may be a wise investment to explore getting a smart thermostat. These gadgets can do everything from track when you leave the house, so that it doesn't throw away electricity heating or cooling a vacant home, to changing energy usage based on how many people are in a room or what time of day it is.
We'll review what a smart thermostat is, how it runs and why it's worth it to purchase one. We'll also talk about how it can help you save money on your energy bills by decreasing energy consumption.
What Is a Smart Thermostat?
A smart thermostat is an automated 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 needlessly consuming energy by heating or cooling an empty home.
Most smart thermostats have learning capabilities, 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 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, 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 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 things like adapt 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 traveling or are out for long hours during the day, it may be worth your money to invest in 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 appropriate program, or if you remembered to change the temperature setting before you left. It doesn't require a lot of effort from you, but you'll notice it in reduced 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 might be missing chances 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 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 adjust a programmable thermostat, you can overburden your HVAC system and make it work harder to meet your adjustments.
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 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 get 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: 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: 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 get a smart thermostat to decrease your energy bill. All you need is a programmable thermostat, but it's essential 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 prominent 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 annually
Your smart thermostat will give you a monthly heating and cooling report, which often compares you to other residences in your community.
Your potential savings vary based on your home, where you live, how much insulation you have and your preferred temperature settings. You might see average savings, significant savings or somewhere in between.
If you're noticing you're only getting minimal 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 moving your thermostat up/down when you're sleeping.
Smart thermostats make the process 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 such as a smart thermostat. The rebate total varies by company, but in most instances, it will take care of most or all the cost. 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 help you spend less money in the long run. If you’ve been thinking about getting one and want to know if they work as promised, we provide free home comfort assessments. Call our Experts at 305-440-1505 to request yours now!