Smart thermostats are a type of thermostat that uses advanced technology to help regulate the temperature in your home (or business), making it more energy efficient. We’ve outlined our top five ways smart thermostats can save you money below. Hopefully, this helps as you consider whether or not one of these devices makes sense for you.
5 Specific Ways Smart Thermostats Save You Money
1. Setting Custom Temperature Schedules
Smart thermostats can help you save money on your energy bills by letting you set custom temperature schedules. These automatically adjust the temperature in your home based on your preferences and routines. This means you can set the thermostat to lower the temperature when you’re away or sleeping. This can reduce your energy consumption and save you money.
In Florida, we find this especially helpful. For example, you can set a somewhat higher temperature during the day—when the contrast to the outside heat is greatest. At night we tend to let the temperature drop a bit while we sleep. This lets you have a bit more comfort when using covers and blankets that would otherwise feel too warm.
2. Adjusting Temperature Based on Whether You’re Home
No one likes to waste energy. One of the main ways you waste energy in a home occurs when you heat or cool it to the maximum while it’s unoccupied.
Many smart thermostats include features like geofencing. This uses the location of your smartphone to automatically adjust the temperature in your home based on whether you’re home or away. This can help prevent you from wasting energy by heating or cooling an empty house. Some systems do this better than others. Some systems, in particular, struggle when you have different schedules and need to track more than one person’s location.
Other systems, like the Google Nest thermostats, include occupancy sensors. These can shift between temperature ranges based on whether the device senses if you’re in the home or away. We use this in the Pro Tool Reviews office and it keeps us from running the AC or heat after hours or on the weekend when no one is working.
3. Smart Thermostats Save Money by Learning Your Preferences
Some smart thermostats can also learn your preferences over time and automatically adjust the temperature in your home to optimize your comfort and energy efficiency. For example, if you tend to keep the thermostat at a certain temperature during the day, the thermostat can automatically adjust to that temperature when it senses that you’re home.
4. Smart Thermostats Are Kind of Smart…
Smart thermostats can also help you save money by giving you alerts. They can inform you of any maintenance issues or potential problems with your heating and cooling system. For example, if the thermostat detects that your system is running inefficiently or not at its optimal performance, it can send an alert to schedule a service call or make any necessary repairs.
5. Energy-Saving Tips and Suggestions
Many smart thermostats also offer energy-saving tips and advice, which can help you identify ways to reduce your energy consumption and save money. On top of that, they have the digital features to make those suggestions a practical reality.
For example, the thermostat might suggest that you set the temperature a few degrees lower during the winter or a few degrees higher during the summer to save energy. Minor adjustments like this can translate into real money saved at the end of the heating or cooling season.
Convenience and Control
In addition to saving energy and money, smart thermostats can also provide added convenience and control. With a smart thermostat, you can control the temperature in your home from anywhere using your smartphone or other connected devices. This means you can adjust the temperature while you’re on the go, without having to be physically present in your home.
How Much Do Smart Thermostats Cost?
The cost of a smart thermostat can vary depending on the specific model and features you choose. In general, though, you can expect to pay anywhere from $100 to $300 for a good-quality smart thermostat. Some high-end models may cost more, while you can find basic models for less. We recommend comparing prices and features to find the right smart thermostat for your needs and budget.
In some cases, you may be able to save money by purchasing a smart thermostat through your energy company or utility provider. Many offer discounts or rebates for using energy-efficient products. One particularly good time of year to look for these occurs around the time many Black Friday deals begin appearing.
Depending on what you actually end up paying for a smart thermostat, the energy savings could recoup your initial costs in less than three years.
Final Thoughts on How Smart Thermostats Save You Money
Even if you do nothing else, most smart thermostats can show your energy usage over time. These devices let you track your energy usage, either by displaying it on the thermostat itself or by providing access to a companion app on your smartphone or other device.
Like a budget, knowing what you spend often spurs changes in behavior. When you actually see how much energy your heating and cooling system is using, you may respond more favorably to the various ways it helps identify areas you can reduce your energy consumption. In the end, that can help you save real money on your energy bills.