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How a New Smart Thermostat Can Save You Money This Winter

Love warm, cozy winters – but dread the heating bills? Enter smart thermostats! 

This winter, a smart thermostat could be your secret weapon for savings. 

These intelligent gadgets are all about giving you control and efficiency. They learn your schedule, adjust temperatures automatically, and even let you tweak settings from your smartphone. 

The result? You stay toasty without wasting energy.  Let’s dive into the details and see how a new smart thermostat can save you money this winter.

Enhancing Home Comfort While Saving Money

Smart thermostats do more than just save energy—they’re game-changers for home comfort. 

By learning your daily habits, these clever devices can create the perfect environment tailored to your lifestyle while working with other home automation

Coming home to a warm house after a chilly day out, or waking up to a perfectly cooled bedroom? That’s the magic of smart thermostats. 

Plus, with remote control via your smartphone, you’ve got comfort at your fingertips, anytime, anywhere.

Customizable Settings

Smart thermostats are all about personalization. 

Personalized settings on a smart thermostat allow users to input their preferences for specific temperatures at various times of the day. For example, you can program the device to lower the heat automatically during work hours and increase it just before you return, ensuring comfort while improving energy bills. 

These settings can be adjusted at any time for unforeseen changes in routine, making your home’s climate responsive to your life.

Remote Access and Control

Ever left home and realized you forgot to adjust the thermostat? No worries. With smart thermostats, you can control your home’s climate from anywhere. 

These savvy gadgets connect to your smartphone, allowing you to tweak temperature settings while you’re out and about. Adjusting your home comfort and energy use is quick and easy with a remote thermostat on your phone.

Schedules and Geolocation Services

By creating schedules that align with your daily routines, smart thermostats ensure you’re not wasting energy or money when you’re out. 

Plus, with geolocation features, they can detect when you’re away from home or coming back, and adjust the temperature accordingly. For instance, if you’re heading home from work, your thermostat can start warming up your house to the ideal temperature before you arrive.

Smart Thermostats Learning Algorithms

Machine learning constantly analyzes data from various sources, helping optimize your home energy consumption. 

Cutting-edge algorithms can monitor and control systems in real time, assessing and predicting factors that influence energy use in your home. That data offers real insights and customized recommendations for your home. 

Plus, smart thermostats are great for the environment too — optimized energy usage means lower carbon emissions.

Access to Real-Time Weather Information

Smart thermostats with real-time weather information can automatically adjust your home’s temperature based on the weather outside. 

Summer heatwave? Your thermostat will bump up the AC. 

Snowstorm coming? Your thermostat will keep your home cozy. 

You get a perfectly comfortable home and save energy and money by not overusing your heating or cooling systems.

Targeted Heating with Temperature Zoning

When paired with a zoned HVAC system, smart thermostats enable targeted heating through a process known as temperature zoning

By dividing a home into multiple zones and installing individual thermostats for each, they provide personalized temperature control. These thermostats can regulate cooling and heating independently in a zoned system to adjust different areas of the house. 

Plus, smart thermostats can stack zone control with a customized heating and cooling schedule that aligns with your routine. 

The best part about zoned temperature is that it can help play a role in calming thermostat wars over the ideal indoor temperature in your home – allowing all family members to be comfortable.

Freezing Pipes Defense with Smart Thermostats Compatible Sensors

Some smart thermostats can detect extreme temperatures and alert you to turn the system back on before pipes freeze. 

This creates a “freeze defense” by actively monitoring and controlling the temperature to prevent pipes from freezing. Some models are designed to keep the temperature no lower than 55°F (13°C) even when you’re away, ensuring a smooth functioning system.

Additionally, wireless temperature sensors can be added to basements or crawlspaces for extra protection. 

Advanced smart thermostat models integrate with other smart home devices like flood sensors, smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, air pollutant monitoring, and auto-shutoff valves to prevent water damage.

Rebates and Incentives for Smart Thermostats

There are several rebates and incentives available to Oregon homeowners who want to upgrade to a smart thermostat. Energy Trust collaborates with retailers to offer discounts on smart thermostats, while PGE’s Smart Thermostat program offers rebates and enrollment bonuses for Portland homeowners wanting to upgrade.

Compatibility and Installation

Smart thermostats are designed to be compatible with a variety of heating systems, including gas, oil, heat pump, radiant, and electrical systems. However, compatibility can vary based on the specific model of the thermostat and your heating system and other smart devices. It’s crucial to check the specifications before purchasing.

Home Automation Pairing

Beyond basic heating and cooling functions, smart thermostats often pair seamlessly with various smart devices to enhance overall home automation

Voice assistants like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit allow users to adjust settings hands-free, while compatibility with smart lighting systems can maximize energy efficiency based on occupancy. 

Some models connect with smart locks to adjust temperatures when people enter or leave, and with smart cameras for added security, ensuring that the home’s environment is always optimized for comfort and safety.

Smart Thermostat DIY Installation

Many smart thermostats are designed for easy self-installation. They come with detailed instructions and all the necessary hardware. You’ll need some basic knowledge of your home’s wiring and the ability to follow technical instructions. DIY installation can save you money on installation costs.

Smart Thermostat Professional Installation

If you’re not comfortable working with electrical wiring or if your system is complex (like a multi-zone system), it might be best to hire a professional. Not to mention that a professional installation usually includes a warranty that lasts longer and includes greater coverage.

Jacobs technicians have the expertise to ensure a secure fit and correct wiring, and they can also provide a demonstration of how to use your new thermostat.

Addressing Common Concerns and Misconceptions

While smart thermostats offer convenience and energy efficiency, they can also raise concerns about privacy and security. Here are some common misconceptions and the reality:

  1. Data Privacy: Some users worry that their data—like when they’re home or away—could be used for nefarious purposes. Reputable smart thermostat manufacturers take data privacy seriously, using encryption to protect your information.
  2. Hacking: There’s a misconception that smart thermostats are easy targets for hackers. While no device connected to the Internet is completely immune, smart thermostat makers typically have robust security measures in place. Regularly updating your device’s software can also help keep it secure.
  3. Complexity: Some people believe smart thermostats are too complex to use. In reality, these devices are designed to be user-friendly, with intuitive interfaces and clear instructions. Many also offer customer support for troubleshooting.

Remember, while these devices come with low risks, understanding and managing those risks can help you enjoy the benefits of a smart thermostat without undue concern.

Future-Proofing Your Heating System

Investing in a smart thermostat is a forward-thinking step toward optimizing the efficiency of your heating system. These devices are designed to intelligently manage your home’s temperature, reducing energy waste and ultimately saving you money.

  1. Learning Capabilities: Many smart thermostats learn from your habits over time. They’ll adjust the temperature based on when you’re typically at home or away, ensuring optimal comfort while minimizing energy use.
  2. Remote Control: With a smart thermostat, you can control your home’s temperature from anywhere using a smartphone app. This means you can adjust the heat while you’re out, preventing energy waste.
  3. Energy Reports: Some smart thermostats provide detailed energy reports, giving you insight into your energy usage patterns and offering suggestions for further savings.
  4. Zoned Heating: If your home has a zoned heating system, a smart thermostat can control different zones independently, providing heat where it’s needed and conserving it where it’s not.

While the initial cost of a smart thermostat can be higher than a non-programmable one, the potential long-term savings on your energy bills can make it a worthwhile investment. Plus, you’ll be contributing to a more sustainable future by reducing your energy consumption.

Smart Thermostat Experts

Investing in smart home heating automation comes with a lot of benefits. 

It elevates your comfort and convenience and boosts energy efficiency and safety – offering peace of mind and saving you money. The easy-to-operate smart thermostats, sensors, mobile applications, and zoning options ensure each room in your home receives customized comfort.

Smart thermostat systems are simple to use and a savvy long-term investment. For any questions or to begin your journey to a warm, hassle-free winter, contact Jacobs Heating & Air Conditioning. Your comfort is our top concern!

About the Author

Amanda Jacobs portrait

Amanda Jacobs, Internal Project Manager

Amanda Jacobs is an Internal Projects Manager and 3rd generation member of Jacobs Heating & Air Conditioning. She received her MBA from Seattle University and has worked for a leading HVAC training and consulting firm. When not talking HVAC on the Jacobs Blog, you can find her on the golf course or whipping up her famous vegan chili.