Smart thermostats are quickly becoming a proven way to save money on your heating bill. Today, most smart thermostats are Energy Star-certified. That means they’re proven to save more energy than other thermostats.
When it comes to your heating bill, less energy means you save money. While older, programmable thermostats are actually losing Energy Star credentials, smart thermostats are getting better and better. Depending on the study, and how they’re used, smart thermostats can save up to 12 percent on your heating bill.
Smart thermostats start off working like any other thermostat in cold weather. They gauge the temperature in your home, and when the temperature drops below the point you set it for, it kicks on your heater.
But, that's where the similarities end. For starters, a smart thermostat hooks up to your smartphone, tablet or computer. From there, you can adjust the settings remotely and track your energy usage.
And, it doesn't stop there. A smart thermostat actually learns to program itself to suit your needs. You don’t have to manually program it to change temperatures at different times.
Here’s how smart thermostats work to save you money on your heating bill:
A smart thermostat helps you save money on your heating bill by always using as little energy as possible — and making sure it’s got the best information to do so.
When it comes to accuracy, smart thermostats are a long way from old, manual thermostats. Those used mercury in small glass vials inside the unit to measure the temperature. Later, digital thermostats began using electronic sensors.
Today’s smart thermostats take that idea even further. They use more sensitive and accurate electronics. Some even have sensors in various areas of the house, rather than just in one spot like older models.
Along with getting better readings, they gather more information. Smart thermostats measure the temperature both inside and outside the house. They also factor in humidity.
But what really sets the smart thermostats apart is that they program themselves to work best. Along with adjusting automatically, they also track when you’re home and when you’re not. Over time, it learns your patterns, even if it’s not a regular nine-to-five schedule.
Most smart thermostats use motion sensors to figure out when you’re there. If you don’t make any movement within 150 feet of it for a while, it starts to lower the temperature. It can also go into a low-power standby mode to save energy.
Many models also use your smart phone’s geofencing to tell where you are. The smart thermostat considers you out of the house when your smart phone is out the range you set. That can be anywhere from 500 feet to seven miles.
The more it tracks, the more the smart thermostat can anticipate your needs. By adjusting accordingly, it uses less energy to heat your home. And, that means a lower heating bill.
Programmable thermostats were supposed to be a great way to help you lower your heating bill. But, they didn’t quite work out the way they should have. Smart thermostats, however, are much better at saving you money on those cold, Rochester nights.
With those older programmable models, you guess about when to raise or lower the temperature. Then you program the thermostat manually — if you can figure out how.
But, not every day is the same. Maybe you leave earlier on Mondays or come home later on Wednesdays. Weekends are probably a different story completely. And, of course, the temperature changes outside day-to-day.
The truth is, most people with programmable thermostats don’t actually program them. They either don’t know exactly how to do it, or have the time to really plan it out. And, many people would just plain forget to program them.
A smart thermometer takes care of all that on its own! You literally just start using it and it tracks all that information by itself. They turn off on their own when people aren’t home, and even learn to target only rooms that are occupied.
All those careful adjustments add up to less energy use. It’s almost like having someone in your house whose job it is just to find the exact right thermostat settings all the time that will keep you comfortable, and save you money on your heating bill.
By hooking up with your electronic devices, you can use a smart thermostat easily and from almost anywhere. That access goes a long way in saving money on your heating bill.
Already, your smart thermostat is doing a better job of managing the heat in your home than an old programmable model. It knows when you’re expected to leave the house and come back. Now, by using your smartphone or tablet, you can even account for changes in your schedule.
If you’re going to be home later than usual, you can use an app on your phone to adjust the thermostat remotely. That way it’s not raising the temperature too early.
You also don’t need to worry if you forget to turn down the heat when you’re going on a trip. With a smart thermostat, you can adjust it from your phone or tablet as soon as you remember.
Smart thermostats also compile reports about your energy usage. This way, you can see when you’re using the most energy and how much it’s costing. From there, you can track changes and see if you can make any improvements.
Maybe you’re using more energy this year than last year even though the weather is about the same. Perhaps it’s time to get your heater serviced to ensure it’s running efficiently. Or, you can try out some simple DIY projects to conserve energy and track how effective they are.
Sure, it can take a lot of work to save money on your heating bill. But, a smart thermostat can do most of the work for you.