If you want a way to spend less money and energy in your home, it may be a wise investment to research 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 an empty home, to changing energy usage according to 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 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 everything from changing your heating and cooling settings for various times of day, to tracking when people are in the house, so it isn't wasting energy by heating or cooling a vacant home.
Many 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 adjust 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, 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 include a temperature sensor that can tell 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 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 used.
Are Smart Thermostats Worth It?
For some 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 get one of these thermostats. You could save a lot, 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 right program, or if you remembered to adjust the temperature setting before you left. It doesn't require much effort on your part, but you'll see it in reduced 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 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 effort 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 change a programmable thermostat, you can overburden your HVAC system and make it work harder to meet your changes.
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 saving money.
You can acquire identical 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 guidelines from ENERGY STAR® to save energy.
Suggested Temperature Settings for Your Heating System
- Wake: Below 70 degrees.
- Day: Set back at least 8 degrees, if no one is home.
- Evening: Higher than 70 degrees.
- Sleep: Decrease 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: Cooler than 78 degrees.
- Sleep: Increase at least 4 degrees.
To sum up, 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 important 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, 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 the area.
Your possible savings vary based on your house, where you live, how much insulation you have and your preferred temperature settings. You might experience average savings, significant savings or somewhere in between.
If you're finding you're only getting small 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 turning your thermostat up/down when you're sleeping.
Smart thermostats make the process easy 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
Most utility companies give rebates to homeowners who install 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 expense. To learn more, check 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 thinking about getting one and want to know if they run as promised, we provide free home comfort assessments. Call our Experts at 321-428-7635 to schedule yours today!