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 gadgets can do everything from track when you leave the house, so that it doesn't throw away 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 invest in one. We'll also discuss how it can help you spend less 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 different 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 over time 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 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 improved control over your comfort. They're compatible with most systems, such as home heating and air conditioning.
Smart thermostat features consist of a temperature sensor that can detect 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 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 traveling or are out for many hours during the day, it may be worth your money to invest in one of these devices. You could save a lot, 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 see 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 might be missing chances to save on heating and cooling costs.
Smart thermostats are convenient 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 automatically 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, since your smart thermostat will learn from your temperature preferences and routine 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 acquire 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.
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: 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: 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 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, states 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 potential savings differ 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 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 turning your thermostat up/down when you're sleeping.
Smart thermostats make this simple 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 automatic, energy-efficient schedule.
How to Get a Smart Thermostat Rebate
Many utility companies give rebates to homeowners who install energy-saving, ENERGY STAR-certified equipment such as a smart thermostat. The rebate total varies by company, but in many instances, it will cover most or all the cost. To find out more, visit your utility company's website for rebate information.
Depend On the Experts for Your Smart Thermostat Needs
Getting 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 provide free home comfort assessments. Call our Experts at 847-250-6729 to request yours today!