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 gadgets 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 works and why it's worthwhile to invest in one. We'll also talk about 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 an automated device that allows you to do everything 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.
Many smart thermostats have learning capabilities, 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 monitor 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, like 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 consist of a temperature sensor that can tell when the home is empty, and then automatically adjust 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 going.
Are Smart Thermostats Worth It?
For many people, the answer is yes. If you do a lot of traveling or are out for many hours during the day, it may be worth your money to invest in 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 a lot of effort from you, but you'll see 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 chances to save on heating and cooling costs.
Smart thermostats are handy because they learn your schedule and automate heating and cooling to match. You can set a similar schedule on a programmable thermostat. But it's more work to program your thermostat manually.
A smart thermostat conveniently adjusts and progressively changes the temperature inside your home for the greatest energy savings. If you manually adjust a programmable thermostat, you can overburden your HVAC system and make it work harder to meet your changes.
Do Smart Thermostats Save Energy?
Yes, since your smart thermostat will learn from 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 acquire identical 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 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 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: Lower 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, 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 provide you with a monthly heating and cooling report, which often 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 the middle.
If you're noticing you're only getting minimal savings on energy costs, you might be optimizing for energy efficiency already. 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 this simple through their hands-off process that gradually shifts the temperature. If you're at home often, 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 like a smart thermostat. The rebate amount varies by company, but in many instances, it will cover most or all the cost. To find out more, check your utility company's website for rebate info.
Trust 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 considering installing one and want to know if they run as promised, we offer free home comfort assessments. Call our Experts at 613-707-2421 to schedule yours now!