If you're looking for a way to save money and energy in your home, it may be a wise investment to explore getting a smart thermostat. These devices can do everything from monitor when you leave the house, so that it doesn't throw away electricity heating or cooling a vacant 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 works and why it's worth it to invest in one. We'll also discuss how it can help you save 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 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 abilities, which means they pay attention to how you change 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 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 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 vacant, 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 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 used.
Are Smart Thermostats Worth It?
For many 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 invest in one of these thermostats. You could save a significant amount, 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 be concerned 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 lower energy bills.
Smart Thermostats vs. Programmable Thermostats
Many homeowners have a traditional programmable thermostat, but 40% of them aren’t set properly. This means you might be missing opportunities to save on heating and cooling expenses.
Smart thermostats are convenient 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 work to program your thermostat by hand.
A smart thermostat automatically adjusts and gradually changes the temperature inside your home for the greatest energy savings. If you manually adjust a programmable thermostat, you can overload your HVAC system and make it work harder to meet your adjustments.
Do Smart Thermostats Save Energy?
Yes, because your smart thermostat will learn about 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 conserving money.
You can get the same 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 suggest 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 there.
- Evening: Higher than 70 degrees.
- Sleep: Decrease at least 8 degrees.
Suggested Temperature Settings for Your Cooling System
- Wake: Higher 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.
As you can see, 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 note that any savings may come at the expense 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 give you a monthly heating and cooling report, which often compares you to other residences in the area.
Your possible savings differ 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 the middle.
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 simple through their hands-off process that slowly shifts the temperature. If you're at home a lot, 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 give rebates to homeowners who purchase energy-saving, ENERGY STAR-certified equipment such as a smart thermostat. The rebate amount varies by company, but in most instances, it will take care of most or all the cost. To learn more, visit your utility company's website for rebate information.
Depend On the Experts for Your Smart Thermostat Needs
Installing a smart thermostat is an investment, but it can save you money in the end. If you’ve been thinking about installing one and want to know if they run as promised, we provide free home comfort assessments. Call our Experts at 304-760-5088 to request yours now!