How a Smart Thermostat Can Help You Pay Less for Utilities

December 07, 2020

Keeping your Huffman home comfy can eat up a big chunk of change. A typical household spends about $172 on monthly energy bills, according to ENERGY STAR®, or around $2,060 annually. At least half of that goes to heating and cooling.

Most residences rely on programmable thermostats, but most people don’t bother to use them properly. The process is bothersome, detailed and only provides you a few options for desired temperatures. When your home remains at an unchanging temperature throughout the day, it wastes utilities and adversely affects your monthly costs.

Smart thermostats learn from your routine and regulate the temp to accompany it. But can installing one really save you money on heating and cooling? Yes, and here’s why.

Studies Show Smart Thermostats Save on Utility Costs

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

These studies involved home utility costs in 41 states before and after putting in a Nest smart thermostat. Nest said the study showed its thermostats can save up to 12% on heating and 15% on cooling, producing an approximated savings of $131 to $145 yearly.

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

How Does a Smart Thermostat Work?

After your smart thermostat is installed, you’ll initially use it just like your previous thermostat. You’ll turn it up and down, so the thermostat can learn about your desired settings. Then, it will start making a program that helps you conserve more money, whether you’re at home or gone. Since it geofences with your smartphone, you won’t have to remember to adjust it when you exit or come home.

Pros and Cons of Having a Smart Thermostat

Pros

As we covered before, smart thermostats provide lots of pluses to your home and heating and cooling costs, like:

  • No need to program—Your smart thermostat will pick up on your routine, so you won’t need to spend time setting programs or remember to change.
  • Knows when you get home and go—Since lots of smart thermostats geofence with your phone, your home will go into an energy-efficient setting when you leave and be comfy when you return.
  • Remote temperature management—You’ll be able to see your home’s temperature from nearly anywhere, because of an app on your phone.
  • Watch heating and cooling use—Many smart thermostats provide detailed data through their app, including how long you needed heating and cooling on a specific day.
  • Reminders—Certain smart thermostats will remind you of essential maintenance tasks, like when you’re due to replace your air filter.
  • Extra savings—Many local energy companies have rebates for smart thermostats, so call with yours for more info.

Cons

However, there’s a few areas you should consider 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 unsure, it’s recommended to ask an HVAC professional like Air Houston Mechanical LLC. We also suggest having it professionally installed. This confirms that you have the right number of wires and that it’s connected properly. Some systems don’t come with a common wire, which causes compatibility issues with a smart thermostat. This wire powers your thermostat, so if your home doesn’t have a C-wire, we can put one in.
  • Housing situation—If you own your home and plan to be there for years, it’s a wise investment to get a smart thermostat. If you’re planning to move in the next year or rent, we advise delaying unless you want to take the thermostat with you. If you rent, you’ll usually need to get your landlord’s permission first ahead of adding a new thermostat.
  • Cost—Smart thermostats cost more than programmable thermostats, and we suggest having yours professionally installed. However, the energy savings over its lifetime can help pay for itself.
  • Lifestyle—Does a family member work from home, or is someone frequently at the house? If that’s your situation, you might not see as large of savings, but you’ll have the convenience of not needing to program or adjust a thermostat.

Depend on Air Houston Mechanical LLC for Your Smart Thermostat Needs

At Air Houston Mechanical LLC, our top purpose is to keep your home comfortable while helping you conserve more utility bills. If you’re thinking about installing a smart thermostat, our professionals can help, from choosing the right model to expert installation. Call us at 832-777-1521 today to learn more.