If you're looking for a way to save money and energy in your home, it might be a wise 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 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 lowering 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 different 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 abilities, 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 improved control over your comfort. They're compatible 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 change to an energy-efficient setting. Your smart thermostat might be able to geofence with your phone to know when you're at home or away.
A smart thermostat does tasks 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 some 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 devices. You could save a significant amount, 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 left. It doesn't require much effort on your part, but you'll notice it in reduced energy bills.
Smart Thermostats vs. Programmable Thermostats
Many 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 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 progressively changes the temperature inside your home for the biggest 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 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 conserving money.
You can get identical energy savings with a programmable thermostat, but it's going to take a little bit more effort 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: Under 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.
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 cost 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 each year
Your smart thermostat will give you 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 desired temperature settings. You might see average savings, significant savings or somewhere in between.
If you're noticing you're only seeing 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 asleep.
Smart thermostats make this easy 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 automated, energy-efficient schedule.
How to Get a Smart Thermostat Rebate
Many 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 many instances, it will take care of most or all the expense. To learn more, check your utility company's website for rebate info.
Trust the Experts for Your Smart Thermostat Needs
Installing a smart thermostat is an investment, but it can save you money in the long run. If you’ve been thinking about installing one and want to know if they work as promised, we provide free home comfort assessments. Call our Experts at 843-410-6103 to request yours today!