If you want a way to save money and energy in your home, it might be a wise 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 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 purchase one. We'll also talk about how it can help you save money on your energy bills by lowering energy consumption.
What Is a Smart Thermostat?
A smart thermostat is a programmable device that allows you to do it all from changing 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 an empty home.
Most smart thermostats have learning capabilities, which means they pay attention to how you adjust your settings and make automatic adjustments as time passes 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 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 work 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 things 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 gone for long hours during the day, it may be worth your money to get one of these thermostats. You could save a lot, 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 appropriate program, or if you remembered to adjust the temperature setting before you went out. It doesn't require much effort from you, but you'll notice it in lower energy bills.
Smart Thermostats vs. Programmable Thermostats
Many homeowners have a standard programmable thermostat, but 40% of them aren’t set correctly. This means you could 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 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 overload your HVAC system and make it work harder to meet your changes.
Do Smart Thermostats Save Energy?
Yes, since 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 saving money.
You can acquire 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 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: Greater than 70 degrees.
- Sleep: Set back at least 8 degrees.
Suggested 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 decrease 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 prominent smart thermostat manufacturers, says 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 the area.
Your possible savings vary 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 between.
If you're noticing you're only getting 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 turning your thermostat up/down when you're sleeping.
Smart thermostats make the process simple through their hands-off process that slowly shifts the temperature. If you're at home often, it might not save you much 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 like a smart thermostat. The rebate amount varies by company, but in many instances, it will take care of most or all the cost. To find out more, visit your utility company's website for rebate info.
Depend On the Experts for Your Smart Thermostat Needs
Installing a smart thermostat is an investment, but it can help you spend less money in the end. 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 574-218-6404 to schedule yours today!