As with doorbell cameras and other types of smart-home technology, smart thermostats are growing increasingly popular for the added convenience they provide. While there is no doubt that having a smart thermostat in your home is extremely convenient, you may be wondering whether it can actually save you money as so many people claim. The answer is a resounding “Yes!” Smart thermostats can make a huge difference in helping you to reduce your annual cooling and heating costs. We’ll show you the reasons why this is the case and also discuss some of the other benefits that a smart thermostat can provide.
Programmable vs. Smart Thermostats
Any type of programmable thermostat can help save you money by reducing how much energy your heating and air conditioning systems use. A smart thermostat is essentially a more advanced version of a standard programmable unit. Programmable thermostats help save money because they allow you to program different temperatures for different times of the day, such as turning the heat or AC down while you’re at work or when you’re asleep.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, turning your thermostat up or down by 7 to 10 degrees for eight hours a day can lower your yearly energy bills by around 10%. If you were to adjust the temperature both for the eight hours you’re at work and the eight hours you’re asleep, you could cut your energy usage by 20% and potentially save hundreds of dollars a year on your heating and cooling costs.
Both programmable and smart thermostats make it easy to program your HVAC system so that the temperature automatically turns up or down at certain times. The difference is that smart thermostats can learn about your behavior and program themselves automatically based on your normal daily routine.
Many of these units rely on other smart-home devices like motion sensors and doorbell cameras to learn when you normally go to bed, get up, go to work, and return home. This also allows the thermostat to know when no one is home so that it can automatically adjust the temperature as soon as the last person leaves.
Some smart thermostats can also use geofencing technology and the GPS on your smartphone to automatically turn the temperature up or down once you’re a certain distance away from your home or when you’re at a particular place. For instance, the thermostat may not adjust the temperature when you’re just running to the store but will change the temperature settings when you get to work. The thermostat can then adjust to the normal settings as you leave work so that your HVAC system can start warming or cooling your home before you get back from work.
Smart thermostats can also monitor the current weather and forecasts, then adjust their programming based on these factors to reduce energy usage and/or improve your comfort. For instance, the thermostat may turn the temperature up a few degrees on milder summer days so that your AC doesn’t run as much and uses less energy. The same can also happen on warmer winter days when you won’t need your furnace to produce as much heat.
Energy Usage Monitoring
Most smart thermostats also have a feature that enables them to monitor the energy usage of your heating and cooling system, which can also be extremely useful in helping you save even more money. One reason is that it allows you to make slight adjustments to your thermostat settings and then quickly see exactly how much less energy your HVAC system then uses.
This energy-usage monitoring feature also allows you to determine when you need essential HVAC repairs or HVAC maintenance more easily. A sudden spike in energy usage is an obvious sign that your HVAC system isn’t working as effectively or efficiently as it should. However, even gradual increases over a period of a few months can also indicate that the performance of the system is beginning to suffer for some reason.
Being able to monitor energy usage isn’t just important for keeping your energy costs in check, but it can also help protect the lifespan of your furnace or air conditioner. The reason is that an HVAC system that isn’t functioning effectively will put more strain and increase the wear and tear on the furnace or air conditioner as well as the blower. If the system isn’t functioning effectively, your equipment is more likely to break down and possibly need costly repairs and also have a much shorter lifespan.
Improved Convenience and Comfort
One of the great things about smart thermostats is that they are extremely convenient since they allow you to control your heating and air conditioning remotely from your phone or other connected devices. Smart thermostats are typically connected to your home’s Wi-Fi network, but they can also be connected using other wireless protocols like Bluetooth, Thread, or Zigbee.
Once the thermostat is connected, you can adjust the programming, turn the temperature up or down, and turn the system on and off directly from your phone even when you’re not at home. This can be extremely convenient and help keep you more comfortable. Should you suddenly start feeling too warm or cold, you can quickly adjust the temperature from the app on your phone without needing to get up.
Most smart thermostats are also compatible with home assistant devices like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant. This means that you don’t even need to use your phone to adjust the temperature, as you can also control everything using just your voice.
Another reason that smart thermostats are so convenient is that they can remind you or send you notifications when your HVAC system needs to be serviced or maintained. You can set alerts so that the thermostat reminds you to schedule your yearly heating or AC tune-up, and the thermostat can also notify you when the air filter needs to be changed.
Smart thermostats can also alert you when your HVAC system has major issues. For instance, if your heating system shuts down because the furnace or blower overheated and triggered the high-temperature limit switch, the thermostat will instantly send an alert to your phone so that you can schedule an inspection. The same will also happen if your AC system shuts down because the drain pan is full of water and triggers the shut-off switch or if the AC compressor unit outside overheats.
Ronkonkoma’s HVAC Experts
If you’re looking to save money by upgrading your home with a smart thermostat, our team at Cool Power LLC in Ronkonkoma, NY, is ready to help. We carry a wide selection of smart thermostats, and our technicians will ensure your new unit is installed properly and also help show you how to get the most out of it. Our certified technicians are also here to help if you need any heating or air conditioning repairs, maintenance, or installation services. For more information on the benefits of smart thermostats or to schedule an appointment to have one installed, contact us today.