A smart thermostat is a device that uses technology and sensors to control the heating and cooling of a home. Unlike traditional thermostats, you can use your smartphone or tablet to control a smart thermostat in addition to the device itself. But you can also program it and use the integrated sensors and schedules to optimize when and how it heats and cools your home or office. Making incremental adjustments and improving efficiency over time saves energy and money. However, are smart thermostats worth the money? Well, it depends on how you use them and what your goals are. Hope we can help you decide.
Table of contents
- How Smart Thermostats Work
- 1. Do you need a smart thermostat or a programmable thermostat?
- 2. How much should you spend on a smart thermostat?
- 3. Will a smart thermostat save money?
- 4. Do you need to remotely control the temperature at home?
- 5. Do you like cutting-edge technology?
- final thoughts
How Smart Thermostats Work
Before we answer the questions you need to ask, let's quickly discuss how a smart thermostat works. Smart thermostats like the Nest thermostat learn your heating and cooling preferences over time. They can automatically adjust the temperature according to your preference. Of course, like a programmable thermostat, you can also simply set a schedule for them.
While most thermostats are usually installed by professionals, a growing number come with everything a homeowner needs to get up and running. During installation, the thermostat connects to your home's Wi-Fi network, and you can adjust settings using a smartphone app. Many smart thermostats also support Amazon Alexa, Apple's Home app, and/or Google Home. This also enables voice control.
Generally speaking, smart thermostats work by sensing the temperature in your home and comparing it to the temperature you set. If the temperature in your home is higher or lower than the set temperature, the thermostat will turn on your heating or cooling system to adjust the temperature accordingly. Some smart thermostats include built-in sensors or geofencing. These can detect when you leave the house and automatically adjust the temperature to further save you money.
1. Do you need a smart thermostat or a programmable thermostat?
Programmable thermostats allow you to set specific temperature schedules for different times of day. Some systems allow for a full 7 day/24 hour schedule to customize temperatures throughout the week. This is great for pre-determining when you'll sleep or be away from home. A good schedule certainly saves energy and money.
A smart thermostat, on the other hand, is different in that it automatically adjusts the temperature in your home based on your routine and preferences. Some systems can actually "learn" your habits. The devices also use advanced algorithms and sensors and can be controlled and monitored using a smartphone app.
While a programmable thermostat offers convenience, it just lacks the sophistication and sensors of a smart thermostat. Geolocation, area sensors, learning capabilities…programmable thermostats lack these features.
2. How much should you spend on a smart thermostat?
As with most questions of this type, the answer depends on what you wish to achieve. The cost of a smart thermostat can vary depending on the features and brand you choose. In general, you can expect to spend $100 to $300 for a good smart thermostat. It's important to shop around and compare prices to find the best option for your budget and needs.
Keep in mind that the initial cost of a thermostat may be offset by the energy bills you save by using it to heat and cool your home more efficiently. finally. Savings on heating and cooling bills takes time—often years.
While some cities offer rebates for smart thermostats, many don't. If you just want to "set it and forget it" with your thermostat, then you might just want to buy one of the less expensive programmable models.
3. Will a smart thermostat save money?
One of the main benefits (and claims) of smart thermostats is that they can save you money on energy bills. Because they learn your heating and cooling preferences, smart thermostats can automatically adjust the temperature to reduce energy consumption when you're away from home or sleeping. This helps reduce your energy costs.
The savings are even greater if you own a large home, or if you travel a lot for vacation or business. We actually wrote an entire article on 5 ways a thermostat can save you money.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average American spends more than $2,250 a year on natural gas and electricity for household use. Over $1,300 of that came from heating and cooling. If you save just 10 percent of that amount with a smart thermostat, you'll have $260 after two years. You can buy most smart thermostats for less than half the price. That means saving 10% in one year or 5% in 2 years to pay for equipment. After that, you start depositing real money.
4. Do you need to remotely control the temperature at home?
One benefit of a smart thermostat is that you can control it remotely using your smartphone. This means you can adjust the temperature while you're away from home. This is especially useful if your schedule changes and you want to heat or cool your home through the app.
Remotely controlling your air conditioner or heating system isn't a big deal for most people…until you get used to it. I can't tell you how many times I log into my smart thermostat to adjust the temperature before heading to the office because I know it's Saturday and the default temperature is much higher or lower than I'd like.
Another time this feature comes in handy has to do with forgetting that one day we have company coming over. I wasn't home but logged in a few hours before dinner and lowered the temperature in time to cool down the house in time for dinner with a room full of friends who were 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit.
5. Do you like cutting-edge technology?
A smart thermostat can integrate with other smart home devices in a few different ways. For example, many smart thermostats can be controlled and monitored using a companion app on a smartphone or other device. This allows you to adjust the temperature almost anywhere. This app can also often connect with other smart home devices, such as smart lights, security cameras, and smart locks. Now you can control all your devices from one app.
Additionally, many smart thermostats are compatible with voice assistants like Amazon Alexa, Siri (Apple Home) or Google Assistant, allowing you to control the thermostat using voice commands. Some smart thermostats can also integrate with other home automation systems, such as smart home hubs. These can further expand the capabilities and functionality of the thermostat.
Overall, smart thermostats can offer many benefits. From energy savings to the ability to control the temperature in your home from anywhere, you have options. If you want to save on energy bills and gain more control over the heating and cooling in your home, a smart thermostat might be an easy choice.