If you're looking for a way to save money and energy in your home, it might be a worthwhile 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 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 purchase 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 a programmable device that allows you to do everything from adjusting your heating and cooling settings for different times of day, to tracking when people are in the house, so it isn't needlessly consuming energy by heating or cooling a vacant home.
Most 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 keep track of your energy usage from just about anywhere.
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 include a temperature sensor that can detect when the home is vacant, and then automatically change 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 full 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 traveling or are gone for long hours during the day, it may be worth your money to invest in one of these devices. 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 be concerned 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
Most homeowners have a standard programmable thermostat, but 40% of them aren’t set correctly. This means you could be missing chances to save on heating and cooling expenses.
Smart thermostats are handy because they learn your schedule and automate heating and cooling that corresponds. You can set a comparable schedule on a programmable thermostat. But it's more work to program your thermostat manually.
A smart thermostat automatically 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 adjustments.
Do Smart Thermostats Save Energy?
Yes, because your smart thermostat will learn from 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 the same energy savings with a programmable thermostat, but it's going to take a little bit more work than a smart thermostat. To put together a schedule on programmable models, we advise 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: Higher than 70 degrees.
- Sleep: Set back 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 there.
- Evening: Cooler than 78 degrees.
- Sleep: Set up at least 4 degrees.
To sum up, you don't have to buy a smart thermostat to save on your energy bill. All you need is a programmable thermostat, but it's essential 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 prominent 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 annually
Your smart thermostat will provide you with a monthly heating and cooling report, which often compares you to other residences in the area.
Your possible savings differ based on your home, where you live, how much insulation you have and your desired temperature settings. You might experience average savings, significant savings or somewhere in the middle.
If you're finding you're only seeing small savings on energy costs, you might be optimizing for energy efficiency currently. 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 gradually shifts the temperature. If you're at home a lot, 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 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 cost. To learn 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 help you spend less money in the long run. If you’ve been thinking about installing one and want to know if they work as promised, we offer free home comfort assessments. Call our Experts at 630-246-2698 to schedule yours now!