If you want a way to save money and energy in your home, it might be a worthwhile investment to research getting a smart thermostat. These devices can do everything from monitor when you leave the house, so that it doesn't waste electricity heating or cooling an empty home, to adjusting energy usage based on 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 worthwhile to purchase one. We'll also talk about how it can help you spend less money on your energy bills by reducing energy consumption.
What Is a Smart Thermostat?
A smart thermostat is a programmable device that allows you to do it all from adjusting 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 connects to Wi-Fi, so you'll be able to adjust and keep track of your energy usage from just about anyplace.
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 improved control over your comfort. They're compatible with most systems, such as 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 may be able to geofence with your phone to know when you're at home or out.
A smart thermostat does tasks 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 used.
Are Smart Thermostats Worth It?
For some people, the answer is yes. If you do a lot of traveling or are out 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 work 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 change the temperature setting before you left. 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 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 convenient 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 by hand.
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 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 day-to-day activities 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 require a little bit more effort than a smart thermostat. To set up a schedule on programmable models, we advise following these guidelines from ENERGY STAR® to save energy.
Suggested 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: 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 there.
- Evening: Lower than 78 degrees.
- Sleep: Increase at least 4 degrees.
To sum up, you don't have to get a smart thermostat to spend less on your energy bill. All you need is a programmable thermostat, but it's important to note 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. households about:
- 10-12% on your heating bill
- 15% on your cooling bill
- $131 to $145 on your energy bill each year
Your smart thermostat will give you a monthly heating and cooling report, which usually compares you to other residences in your community.
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 already. This includes switching 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 gradually 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 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 such as a smart thermostat. The rebate total varies by company, but in most instances, it will cover most or all the expense. To learn more, check your utility company's website for rebate information.
Trust the Experts for Your Smart Thermostat Needs
Installing 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 804-548-4480 to schedule yours today!