Emergency service needed? We're ready to help! Request Service


What You Should Know Before Buying a Smart Thermostat

Smart Thermostats

If you’re looking for a simple and effective way to bring your home into the 21st century, look no further than smart thermostats. These Wi-Fi-enabled devices offer greater energy savings than traditional non-programmable thermostats. That’s because they’re able to automatically sense when you’ve left the room for the day and know when to set back the temperature, thereby conserving energy and saving you money on your utility bills in the long run.

In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about smart thermostats, including the benefits, costs, and energy-efficient savings, as well as how you can incorporate them into other smart-home features.

What is a Smart Thermostat?

Smart thermostats provide a more technologically advanced and convenient way to monitor and control your home’s heating and cooling systems. They use advanced AI to learn your schedule and preferences over time, such as what time you typically wake up and when you’re out of the house, allowing it to conserve energy and significantly lower your utility bill.

Smart thermostats are also directly connected to your home’s Wi-Fi. This lets you control your heating and cooling through an app with a simple tap on your phone and gives you control over your system no matter where you are.

What’s the difference between a smart thermostat and a traditional thermostat?

Most standard thermostats only operate manually, meaning that you have to physically walk over to your device and adjust the temperature if you feel overheated or chilly. This means that you have to often have to wait several minutes before your house adjusts to your preferred temperature.

Manual thermostats can also lead to notable energy waste and higher utility bills each month since you have far less control over when and how your home is cooled or heated.

Over the last several decades, many people have turned to programmable thermostats, which allow you to preprogram when you want your system to heat or cool your living space.

However, these programmable thermostats often result in overconsumption of energy and do not allow for immediate customization depending on your schedule and preferences.

Ecobee Smart Thermostat

ecobee smart thermostat

Smart thermostats such as the Ecobee have corrected this problem. Instead of manually programmed timers, smart thermostats learn your schedule and preferences over time and adjust your home’s temperature to your specific needs and preferences.

Unlike a programmable thermostat, a smart thermostat can be adjusted remotely, meaning that you don’t have to be committed to one preprogrammed schedule and can change the temperature even when you aren’t home.

Benefits of Smart Thermostats

1. Pattern Recognition for Optimizing Temperatures

Over time, a smart thermostat can learn your temperature preferences throughout the day, recognizing the times of day you need extra cooling or heating, and times when you’re comfortable or out of the house.

For example, these Wi-Fi-enabled devices are able to learn when you typically wake up in the morning and begin to heat your home so you wake up to a cozy room.

2. Wifi-Enabled Remote Control Capabilities.

One of the major advantages of smart thermostats is the remote control feature. Smart thermostats allow you to easily control your thermostat and adjust temperature settings from an app on your phone.

Let’s say you’re coming home from vacation early and you want your home to be at a comfortable temperature when you arrive. All you have to do is open the app on your mobile device and tell your thermostat when you’ll be home. Then you’ll arrive at a comfortable temperature.

Whether you’re coming home from a week-long ski trip and want to walk into a home that’s toasty and warm, or you just spent a week at a sunny beach house and are in desperate need of some AC, your smart thermostat’s remote control capabilities ensure you can come home to the perfect temperature.

3. Connectivity With Other Smart-Home Devices

Smart thermostats are also able to connect to other smart devices in your home, such as Amazon Alexa or Google Home, making it that much easier to control your home’s HVAC system. For example, the Ecobee thermostat comes with Alexa Built-in for added control.

4. Energy Savings

Because smart thermostats learn your preferences and lifestyle over time by pattern recognition, they strategically cool or heat your home to your perfect temperatures when you need it.

Some smart thermostats, like Ecobee, also include smart sensors that you can place in your most important rooms (a baby’s nursery or a home office, for example) to extend comfort where it’s needed the most. These features, along with the ability to adjust your thermostat from anywhere, via your smartphone, offer tremendous control over energy usage and energy consumption.

Replacing your old thermostat with a smart thermostat can result in lower energy costs than a conventional thermostat.

Additional reading: Why Your Old Thermostat is Probably Ready to Be Replaced

Costs and Savings of Smart Thermostats

The average cost of installing a smart thermostat in your home is somewhere between $400 and $1,200, depending on the brand you choose.

Ecobee, Google Nest, and Honeywell tend to be the most popular smart thermostats on the market. Ecobee consistently tops the “best smart thermostats” lists because of the extensive range of features it offers.

It has integrated technology to connect to other smart-home devices, is ENERGY STAR certified, and is proven to save up to 23% annually on your heating and cooling costs. 

If you plan to stay in your home for more than a year, the initial cost of buying the smart thermostat will be well worth it due to the annual savings you’ll enjoy each year.

Additional reading: Are Smart Thermostats Worth It? (2022 Cost Breakdown)

Are you considering upgrading to a smart thermostat?

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.

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 Home Automation specialist about our smart thermostat options.

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.