Will a Smart Thermostat Save Me Money on Energy Costs?

December 07, 2020

Keeping your Ellsworth residence comfortable can consume a good amount of money. A typical family spends about $172 on monthly utility costs, according to ENERGY STAR®, or approximately $2,060 yearly. At least half of that goes to heating and cooling.

The majority of homes have programmable thermostats, but many people don’t bother to set them. The process is annoying, involved and only gives you a few options for temperature settings. When your house remains at the same temp throughout the day, it requires utilities and negatively influences your monthly expenses.

Smart thermostats pick up on your day-to-day activities and adjust the temperatures to match it. But can installing one really help you spend less money on heating and cooling? Yes, and here’s why.

Studies Show Smart Thermostats Reduce on Heating and Cooling Expenses

Independent studies have determined these devices can lead to major savings.

These studies included home heating and cooling costs in 41 states before and after adding a Nest smart thermostat. Nest said the study determined its thermostats can save up to 12% on heating and 15% on cooling, resulting in an approximated savings of $131 to $145 each year.

With the average smart thermostat priced between $100–$250, those savings can help it pay for itself. And many local energy companies provide rebates for smart thermostats as they’re ENERGY STAR® certified.

How Does a Smart Thermostat Work?

After your smart thermostat is ready to go, you’ll initially use it just like your old thermostat. You’ll switch it up and down, so the thermostat can learn about your desired settings. Then, it will begin creating a program that helps you conserve more money, whether you’re at your house or away. Because it geofences with your smartphone, you won’t have to remember to adjust it when you go or get back.

Pros and Cons of Using a Smart Thermostat

Pros

As we talked about previously, smart thermostats offer many advantages to your home and utility expenses, such as:

  • No need to set—Your smart thermostat will adjust to your schedule, so you won’t be required to spend time using programs or remember to turn it up or down.
  • Knows when you get home and go—Since lots of smart thermostats geofence with your phone, your home will move into an energy-efficient setting when you take off and be comfy when you get back.
  • Remote temperature management—You’ll be able to see your home’s settings from just about anywhere, because of an app on your phone.
  • Supervise heating and cooling use—Many smart thermostats offer valuable data through their app, including how long you required heating and cooling on a certain day.
  • Reminders—Select smart thermostats will let you know about crucial maintenance tasks, such as when you need to change your air filter.
  • Added savings—Most local energy companies offer rebates for smart thermostats, so call with yours for more information.

Cons

However, there’s several points you should take into account regarding installing a smart thermostat in your house:

  • Compatibility—Based on the type and age of your heating and cooling system, a smart thermostat might not be compatible. If you’re not sure, it’s recommended to check with an HVAC professional like Walter's-Eaton's Electric, Plumbing, Heating & AC. We also suggest having it professionally installed. This ensures that you have the proper number of wires and that it’s linked properly. Some systems don’t include a common wire, which leads to compatibility issues with a smart thermostat. This wire powers your thermostat, so if your residence doesn’t have a C-wire, we can install one.
  • Housing situation—If you own your house and are planning to live there for years, it’s a smart investment to get a smart thermostat. If you plan to move shortly or rent, we suggest waiting unless you want to take the thermostat with you. If you rent, you’ll often need to secure your landlord’s permission first prior to installing a new thermostat.
  • Cost—Smart thermostats are more expensive than programmable thermostats, and we advise having yours professionally installed. However, the energy savings over the years can help pay for itself.
  • Lifestyle—Does a family member work from home, or is someone frequently at the house? If so, you might not see as big of savings, but you’ll get the convenience of not being required to program or adjust a thermostat.

Depend on Walter's-Eaton's Electric, Plumbing, Heating & AC for Your Smart Thermostat Needs

At Walter's-Eaton's Electric, Plumbing, Heating & AC, our main purpose is to keep your house comfortable while helping you conserve more heating and cooling expenses. If you’re thinking about installing a smart thermostat, our pros can help, from picking the best model to expert installation. Give us a call at 715-318-6728 today to learn more.