If you're looking for a way to spend less 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 waste electricity heating or cooling an empty home, to changing energy usage based on 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 worth it to invest in 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 an automated device that allows you to do everything 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 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 connects 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 connect with other smart home technology, such as Google Home, Amazon Alexa and Apple HomeKit, for even better 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 detect when the home is vacant, and then automatically adjust 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 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 many people, the answer is yes. If you do a lot of travel or are out for many 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 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 adjust the temperature setting before you went out. It doesn't require a lot of 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 correctly. This means you could be missing chances to save on heating and cooling costs.
Smart thermostats are convenient because they learn your schedule and automate heating and cooling that corresponds. You can set a comparable schedule on a programmable thermostat. But it's more effort to program your thermostat manually.
A smart thermostat automatically 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, because your smart thermostat will learn from 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 acquire the same energy savings with a programmable thermostat, but it's going to require 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.
Recommended Temperature Settings for Your Heating System
- Wake: Under 70 degrees.
- Day: Set back at least 8 degrees, if no one is home.
- Evening: Higher than 70 degrees.
- Sleep: Set back 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 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 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, 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 annually
Your smart thermostat will give you a monthly heating and cooling report, which usually compares you to other residences in your community.
Your potential savings vary based on your house, 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 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
Most utility companies offer rebates to homeowners who purchase energy-saving, ENERGY STAR-certified equipment such as 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.
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 end. If you’ve been considering getting one and want to know if they run as promised, we offer free home comfort assessments. Call our Experts at 605-223-0307 to schedule yours today!