If you're looking for a way to save money and energy in your home, it may 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 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 worthwhile to invest in one. We'll also talk about how it can help you save money on your energy bills by reducing energy consumption.
What Is a Smart Thermostat?
A smart thermostat is an automated device that allows you to do everything from adjusting 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 an empty 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 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 even better control over your comfort. They're compatible with most systems, such as home heating and air conditioning.
Smart thermostat features include a temperature sensor that can tell when the home is vacant, and then automatically change to an energy-efficient setting. Your smart thermostat might be able to geofence with your phone to know when you're at home or out.
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 used.
Are Smart Thermostats Worth It?
For some 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 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 right program, or if you remembered to change the temperature setting before you went out. It doesn't require much effort from you, but you'll see it in reduced energy bills.
Smart Thermostats vs. Programmable Thermostats
Most homeowners have a traditional programmable thermostat, but 40% of them aren’t set correctly. This means you might be missing opportunities to save on heating and cooling expenses.
Smart thermostats are convenient because they adjust to your schedule and automate heating and cooling that corresponds. You can set a similar schedule on a programmable thermostat. But it's more work to program your thermostat by hand.
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 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 from 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 take a little bit more effort than a smart thermostat. To put together a schedule on programmable models, we suggest 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: Greater 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 home.
- Evening: Cooler than 78 degrees.
- Sleep: Increase 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 important 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 popular smart thermostat manufacturers, states 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 home, 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 minimal savings on energy costs, you might be optimizing for energy efficiency currently. 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 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 offer rebates to homeowners who install energy-saving, ENERGY STAR-certified equipment such as a smart thermostat. The rebate amount varies by company, but in many instances, it will cover 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 save you money in the long run. If you’ve been considering getting one and want to know if they work as promised, we provide free home comfort assessments. Call our Experts at 210-404-4233 to schedule yours now!