If you want a way to save money and energy in your home, it may be a worthwhile investment to explore getting a smart thermostat. These gadgets can do everything from monitor when you leave the house, so that it doesn't waste electricity heating or cooling a vacant home, to adjusting 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 works and why it's worth it to purchase one. We'll also discuss how it can help you save money on your energy bills by decreasing 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 different times of day, to monitoring when people are in the house, so it isn't needlessly consuming 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 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 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, such as home heating and air conditioning.
Smart thermostat features consist of a temperature sensor that can detect when the home is vacant, and then automatically adjust 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 full 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 some people, the answer is yes. If you do a lot of travel or are out for long hours during the day, it may be worth your money to get one of these devices. You could save a lot, 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 be concerned 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 much effort on your part, but you'll see it in lower energy bills.
Smart Thermostats vs. Programmable Thermostats
Many homeowners have a standard programmable thermostat, but 40% of them aren’t set properly. 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 similar schedule on a programmable thermostat. But it's more effort to program your thermostat manually.
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 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 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 conserving money.
You can acquire the same energy savings with a programmable thermostat, but it's going to take a little bit more work 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: Below 70 degrees.
- Day: Set back at least 8 degrees, if no one is there.
- 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.
As you can see, you don't have to get a smart thermostat to decrease 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. homeowners 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 provide you with a monthly heating and cooling report, which usually compares you to other residences in your community.
Your possible 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 finding you're only seeing minimal 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 moving your thermostat up/down when you're asleep.
Smart thermostats make this simple through their hands-off process that slowly shifts the temperature. If you're at home often, it might not save you money 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 purchase energy-saving, ENERGY STAR-certified equipment like a smart thermostat. The rebate total varies by company, but in many instances, it will take care of most or all the cost. To learn more, visit your utility company's website for rebate info.
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 provide free home comfort assessments. Call our Experts at 817-380-5647 to schedule yours today!