In the last few years, there has been a surge in the popularity of smart thermostats. With quick convenience, smart thermostats make it easy to customize the desired temperature of your home from your phone or smart device.
But are smart thermostats worth it, really? This guide will help you understand how smart thermostats offer both flexibility and money savings so you can decide what is right for you.
What are Smart Thermostats?
According to the U.S Department of Energy, heating and cooling are about half of your energy bill. Smart thermostats are energy management devices that leverage technology to monitor the temperature of your home and help save you money.
They are generally controlled through a mobile app, voice commands, or a virtual assistant, which gives you the ability to quickly change your home’s temperature from anywhere – lounging on the couch or while traveling. Smart thermostats are designed to optimize comfort while minimizing energy consumption and costs.
How Much Do Smart Thermostats Cost?
Not all smart thermostats are created equal. They can range in costs from entry-level to deluxe. All smart thermostats are designed to work with other smart devices and help monitor energy usage but some come loaded with extra features such as touch screens, remote room sensors, and voice control. The national average cost of a smart thermostat, according to the U.S. Department of Energy is about $420 but this amount can vary depending on the thermostat you chose and the price of installation.
How Much Do Smart Thermostats Cost to Install?
Installing a smart thermostat is not a DIY project. Expert installers understand your HVAC system and know how to set it up to run with a smart device like your phone, Google or Alexa. A professional installer will help configure your smart thermostat to work with furnaces, air conditioners, heat pumps, and your technology to maximize all the benefits.
A typical smart thermostat install can run between $450 and $1200 depending on the type of thermostat and whether or not other items are being installed such as a new HVAC system. For example, installation costs are higher for just a thermostat than if it is replaced with a new furnace. Cost can also depend on if a new thermostat wire needs to be run between the furnace and thermostat.
Options for Smart Thermostats
There are many different types of smart thermostats on the market but they all share a few common features:
- Connect to the internet via WI-Fi
- Manageable through a phone or other smart devices
- Programmable for your temperature preferences both home and away
- Adjusts thermostat settings when you are home, sleeping, or away
- Monitors your energy efficiency and gives you real-time data
Some smart thermostats can learn home occupant behavior, automatically changing temperatures when people leave or arrive or controlling zones in different rooms. Voice-controlled and geofencing options are also available making it easy to change temperatures and not waste energy.
Some of the best smart thermostats on the market include:
- Ecobee Smart Thermostat
- Honeywell WiFi Thermostats
- Hive Thermostat
- Emerson Sensi Thermostat
- Nest Thermostat
How Can a Smart Thermostat Save Money
Because smart thermostats allow you to cool and heat as much as you need, energy isn’t wasted, saving you money. On average the U.S Department of Energy estimates a smart thermostat can lower heating bills by 10 to 12 percent and cooling bills by about 15 percent annually.
This can translate into significant savings per year. Smart thermostats have a few ways they help automate savings.
Some smart thermostats provide heating and cooling reports on your energy patterns. This information can help you understand where expenses are and how to make energy saving changes.
Connecting to Smart Assistants
Alexa, Google Home, and Apple are all third-party virtual assistants that make it easy to control your smart thermostat with your voice or phone. With easy navigation and intuitive features, these assistants make it easy to tweak your heating and cooling needs on your smart thermostat.
Pairing with Fitness Trackers
Many fitness trackers also keep tabs on your sleeping patterns which helps smart thermostats know when to warm and cool the house for sleep and waking times.
Controlling Whole HVAC Systems
Some systems are built to control whole-home HVAC systems like dehumidifiers and air ventilation devices in addition to heating and air conditioning. Additionally, they can give you a warning when issues arise that need to be checked by a professional.
Some smart thermostats offer geofencing that senses your location through GPS. Geofencing is like an invisible fence around your home that triggers the thermostat to adjust your home temperature. For people who have varying schedules, geofencing can warm or cool your home after you leave or as you are on your way home.
Are Smart Thermostats Worth it?
The energy you save from a smart thermostat will vary depending on home size, outside temperatures, and who is coming and going in your home. But the usability of a smart thermostat is where it truly shines.
Adjustments are possible on a standard thermostat but it is a lot of work to find the optimal ways to save energy and money. Most of us let the heater or AC run just because we forget to adjust it when we are away.
With their ability to take data and build predictions about how you live, a smart thermostat can both customize your home comfort and reduce heating and cooling costs. Because smart thermostats provide a convenient way to cut energy costs while increasing comfort throughout your home, we think they are a worthwhile investment.
How Jacobs Can Help
Smart thermostats are a great long-term investment. Not only do they make heating and cooling your home much more convenient with pattern recognition and by enabling you to control them from anywhere, but they’ll also save you big time on annual heating and cooling costs.
When it comes to any part of your HVAC system, you want a company that has the experience and knowledge to help you make informed decisions. Jacobs Heating & Air Conditioning experts are here to guide you.
If you’re interested in installing a smart thermostat in your Portland, Oregon, or Vancouver, Washington home, contact Jacobs Heating and Air Conditioning to talk to a Smart Home Automation specialist about our smart thermostat options. No matter what you need we’re always just a phone call away. You are welcome to review our statement on COVID-19 and how we’re taking precautions to protect you, our team, and our communities.