If you want a way to save money and energy in your home, it may be a worthwhile 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 changing energy usage based on 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 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 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 wasting energy by heating or cooling a vacant home.
Most smart thermostats have learning abilities, 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 change and keep track of your energy usage from just about anywhere.
How Do Smart Thermostats Work?
A smart thermostat has learning algorithms and can hook up with other smart home technology, such as 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 detect when the home is empty, 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 things 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 many people, the answer is yes. If you do a lot of travel or are gone 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 change 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 change the temperature setting before you went out. It doesn't require much effort on your part, but you'll notice it in reduced energy bills.
Smart Thermostats vs. Programmable Thermostats
Many homeowners have a standard programmable thermostat, but 40% of them aren’t set properly. This means you might be missing opportunities 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 comparable schedule on a programmable thermostat. But it's more work to program your thermostat manually.
A smart thermostat conveniently adjusts and gradually changes the temperature inside your home for the greatest energy savings. If you manually adjust 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 routine 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 acquire identical energy savings with a programmable thermostat, but it's going to take 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.
Recommended 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.
Suggested Temperature Settings for Your Cooling System
- Wake: Greater than 78 degrees.
- Day: Set up at least 7 degrees, if no one is home.
- 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 spend less on your energy bill. All you need is a programmable thermostat, but it's essential to know 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 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 desired temperature settings. You might see average savings, significant savings or somewhere in the middle.
If you're finding you're only getting small 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 sleeping.
Smart thermostats make the process easy 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 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 cost. To learn more, visit your utility company's website for rebate information.
Trust the Experts for Your Smart Thermostat Needs
Installing a smart thermostat is an investment, but it can save you money in the end. If you’ve been thinking about installing one and want to know if they run as promised, we provide free home comfort assessments. Call our Experts at 613-817-1591 to schedule yours today!