Are smart thermostats worth it? There are plenty of different unique features that come with smart thermostats that make them worth buying and using. These features include remote control capabilities, built-in automatic control, and more. While what you have installed and what you are using right now is certainly getting the job done, there is a lot that a smart thermostat can add that you might not be considering. For one, with a smart thermostat, you can save a bundle on your heating and cooling costs on an annual basis while keeping you as comfortable as possible.
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The fact is smart technology is the future. You will find a lot of homeowners transitioning their homes into smart homes and a smart thermostat is one of the best ways to smarten it up. While the technology has been widely available for nearly a decade, many homeowners have yet to leap.
Check out Best Smart Thermostats in 2021.
How Exactly Does It Work?
A smart thermostat is something that can be easily integrated into a smart home family. Smart technology is generally connected wirelessly through your Wi-Fi. Having a smart home with a smart hub can make it much easier for you to gain easier access to various home functions and your utilities like your heating and cooling.
A smart thermostat helps you adjust the temperature of your home’s HVAC system wirelessly from any compatible device. If you have an Internet connection, you will have the ability to control your HVAC system. Generally, these devices will come with a dedicated app that will enable you to adjust your AC and heating systems without having to manually press any buttons.
However, you gain much more than ease-of-use and accessibility benefits. When it is professionally installed, you can get a wide range of features with your HVAC system that can help save you money and enhance comfort within your home.
The more frequently you find yourself using your smart thermostat, the more it can learn and adapt to your schedule and behaviors. If you have a home where everyone is at work throughout the day, your thermostat will effectively reduce the energy usage of your HVAC systems which can save you money throughout the day.
For instance, let us say you are living in the cold climate of Calgary. Getting a smart thermostat will be advantageous because it will know the exact temperature and humidity of your location at any given time. Having this information, your smart thermostat will effectively adjust to these levels to keep your home at a certain specified temperature. This can keep you more comfortable in your home and it can end up saving you a lot of money throughout the year.
Smart Thermostats vs Programmable
A programmable thermostat is what a lot of homeowners have. While it is certainly a good option over non-programmable alternatives, it is not going to offer the same benefits as a smart thermostat. A programmable thermostat when programmed by a professional will save you money. However, it requires precise control and programming. With a smart thermostat, you get to set and adjust the temperature in your home without the hassle of programming anything. Also, because the thermostat is fully controllable through a mobile application, you will be able to conveniently tweak the settings wherever you are located. Meaning, if you forget to turn your AC off while on vacation, you can do it while laying on the beach.
Smart thermostats are so intelligent that they can learn your patterns and schedule. This can be advantageous because whenever you leave for work, your system can shut off to save you money. Likewise, it will learn when you go to sleep to prep your home for comfortable nighttime temperatures.
A smart thermostat can be one of the best ways to ensure that you have your heating turned on when it needs to be. Best of all, it can shut it off when you do not need it. That way, you do not end up with an outrageous heating bill when it could have been easily avoided. Along with this, it can help you track all your HVAC costs. This helps you effectively adjust your energy usage and allows you to start saving money right away.
Learning Features of Smart Thermostats
Your smart thermostat can do much more than setting schedules. As mentioned previously, they can learn and adjust to your schedules. They will learn your behaviors and allow you to adjust your schedule to ensure you experience maximum comfort or savings. A lot of smart thermostats in the marketplace have sensors that you attach which allow them to know if you are home or away. Along with this, they learn about all your preferences if you continue using the device which helps you get more value out of it. For instance, Nest Smart Thermostat logs the frequency and nature of all your interactions with the device to learn what settings you prefer. Throughout the lifetime of using the device, it gets a much better idea of when you need certain settings which will help you get even more out of it.
Your thermostat will even learn how long it takes to heat specific rooms in your home based on the historical data it gets from your home and the ambient temperature outside. That way, your home can turn on or shut off heating and cooling based on what the temperature is outside and not just what the temperature is on the inside. This further enhances the energy savings you can experience while sleeping when your body drops a couple of degrees in temperature anyways.
If you currently own and use a mini split, it is highly likely due to its efficiency. After all, they can be a good tool to help you save. However, much like other systems, controlling them with a smart-compatible mini-split thermostat can help you ramp up the efficiency and savings. Getting a smart AC controller will enable you to have complete control over your mini split with a lot of the must-have smart features that you want.
How Much Can Smart Thermostats Save You?
This can be a difficult question to answer because it can depend on numerous factors. Not only must you factor in your current heating or cooling system, but you need to look at your location, the size of your home, and more. For one, heating typically accounts for as much as 63% of your net energy bill. Google’s Nest is one of the top options on the market and they have indicated that installing a smart thermostat can lower a homeowner’s heating bill by an average of 12%. Whereas one of Nest’s biggest competitors, Ecobee has that estimate at 23%.
One of the things that you should realize when it comes to deciding whether to install a smart thermostat is that it will only save you money within your respective boundaries. However, when used properly, it can add up to a large amount at the end of the year. By compounding the savings, you will notice a big reduction in your heating bills. For every single degree you lower your temp for 8 hours, you can knock off 2% off your total bill. While it does not seem like much by itself, those savings can be compounded.
Assuming you leave your home for nearly 9 hours every day and you sleep for 7 hours per day, you will be able to knock off a lot of your heating bill by minimizing excess heating throughout those periods. While heating a room does take some time, if you were to lower the temperature by 8 degrees Celsius throughout the day and at least by 4 degrees while sleeping at night, you can reduce your total heating bill by a whopping 18%.
Not Every Homeowner Is Equal
The total amount you save will depend on your situation. Because of this, it can be difficult to estimate it accurately for every homeowner. Below you will find some of the scenarios where installing a smart thermostat could be extremely helpful.
For any home that has separate thermostats that control different heating zones. This would be a good situation to install a smart thermostat because it will deliver you a lot more granular control over the heating throughout your home. For instance, you will be able to reduce heating in certain rooms that do not require it. For example, if you have a guest room, it does not need to get the same heating as your primary bedroom.
The higher the costs you pay for your energy, the more you can save by using one. Another good instance to use one would be at a vacation home. After all, you can keep an eye on your heating and cooling to ensure it is not on while you are away. Likewise, you can turn on your heating or cooling before your arrival to enhance your comfort.
While you can get a lot of these benefits by using a programmable thermostat, it is not as easy. Unless you are incredibly consistent with turning things on and off, you will not experience the same kind of savings that you will with smart thermostats.