If you want a way to spend less money and energy in your home, it may be a worthwhile investment to research 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 a vacant home, to changing 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 runs 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 lowering energy consumption.
What Is a Smart Thermostat?
A smart thermostat is an automated device that allows you to do it all from changing 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 change your settings and make automatic adjustments as time passes based on what they learn from you.
A smart thermostat connects to Wi-Fi, so you'll be able to change and keep track of 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, like Google Home, Amazon Alexa and Apple HomeKit, for improved control over your comfort. They work with most systems, including home heating and air conditioning.
Smart thermostat features consist of a temperature sensor that can tell 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 away.
A smart thermostat does tasks like adjust 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 going.
Are Smart Thermostats Worth It?
For some 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 get one of these thermostats. You could save a significant amount, 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 right 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 lower 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 costs.
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 effort to program your thermostat by hand.
A smart thermostat conveniently adjusts and gradually changes the temperature inside your home for the biggest 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, since your smart thermostat will learn about 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 saving money.
You can get the same energy savings with a programmable thermostat, but it's going to require a little bit more effort 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: Under 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.
Recommended 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: Increase at least 4 degrees.
As you can see, you don't have to get 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 cost 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 annually
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 house, 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 seeing 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 asleep.
Smart thermostats make the process simple 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 automated, energy-efficient schedule.
How to Get a Smart Thermostat Rebate
Many utility companies offer rebates to homeowners who purchase 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.
Depend On the Experts for Your Smart Thermostat Needs
Getting a smart thermostat is an investment, but it can save you money in the end. If you’ve been considering getting one and want to know if they work as promised, we offer free home comfort assessments. Call our Experts at 303-647-5853 to schedule yours now!