Have you been thinking about getting a smart thermostat? But not sure if you should make the switch. Not only does smart tech bring cool features to your home, it can help you save energy and money. The EPA reports that you could save roughly $180 a year by using a programmable thermostat. And it’s even easier with a smart thermostat that does all the thinking for you.
Here’s how the savings adds up. If you set your thermostat 1 or 2 degrees higher or lower than your usual number, you’ll see a 1 to 3 percent savings in your energy bill. Take it to the next level by setting it back 10 to 15 degrees for the 8 hours you’re at work and your savings jumps to nearly 10 percent.
Of course, you can adjust your settings manually with a traditional programmable thermostat. The problem is most people forget to actually do it. One study discovered that nearly 50% of households with programmable thermostats don’t set them up. Enter the smart thermostat. It never forgets, learns your habits and actually cares about saving you money.
3 Ways Smart Thermostats Help You Save Money
- They Learn Your Behaviors
This is what makes smart thermostats so smart. You initially program your ideal temperatures and settings. Then over time, your thermostat will observe your behavior and learn when you come and go, as well as what temperatures you prefer at certain times of the day. Your system can automatically adjust your settings to make sure your home is the perfect temp when you get home. Some thermostats even make adjustments based on humidity levels.
- They Monitor Your Usage
Two-way communicating smart thermostats are always monitoring your usage, collecting data and sharing it with you 24/7. Their remote interfaces show how much energy you’re using and can even estimate your costs. From there you can make manual adjustments to your program or let your thermostat handle it. The magic lies in the data. The more you know, the easier it is to tweak your temps and see how it affects your energy bill. Smart thermostats give you the information you need to make smart decisions to improve your energy-efficiency and savings.
- They Work Hard While You’re Away
Most systems will switch to an eco setting when you’re not at home, so you’ll automatically be saving energy. The thermostat does this with sensors that know when someone is at home or when everyone has left and there’s no movement in the house. They may also use geo-tracking to know when your phone is out of range of your home, signaling your system that it’s okay to go into eco mode. When you’re away longer, like for vacation, you can turn your system off and your smart tech will only turn it on if temperatures get dangerously high or low, preventing emergencies like frozen water pipes.
How Can You Save Even More?
Savings is different for each smart thermostat user. Factors like climate and your energy rates impact how much you save. Check out a few scenarios where you’re most likely to save the most.
- Homes with zoned HVAC systems have more control over the temperature in different rooms and where they’re spending their energy dollars.
- Regions with higher energy rates or extremely hot or cold weather will see a larger percentage of savings with a smart thermostat.
- Vacation homes can save more with a smart thermostat, because you can turn your HVAC system to a more efficient setting when no one is staying there.
You can certainly save money on energy costs with a traditional programmable thermostat, but using a smart thermostat takes a lot less effort. You’ll quit wasting money heating or cooling an empty home and it’ll be easier for you track your energy efficiency and savings — right from your smartphone.