8 Reasons Why You Should Consider a Smart Thermostat
Though the groundhog saw his shadow and it means 6 more weeks of winter, that doesn’t mean you can’t plan for summer. Warmer days will be here before we know it and when they arrive, you want to be ready.
One thing you might not have considered is your thermostat. Keeping your home comfortable without racking up the expensive energy costs that can come with running your AC all day is the goal.
What is a smart thermostat?
Enter a smart thermostat (also known as a Wi-Fi thermostat). A smart thermostat is a Wi-Fi enabled thermostat that allows you to control your home’s heating and cooling temperature settings from your “smart” devices (phone, tablet, or computer). With this technology, comfort is in the palm of your hand, literally. You can adjust the temperature inside your home via your device of choice.
If you have a manual or programmable thermostat and are considering an upgrade, there are plenty of reasons you should choose a smart thermostat for your home.
Here are eight reasons to invest in this technology before the dog days of summer:
1. Curb energy costs
The average American household spends more than $900 each year on heating and cooling costs. Controlling your temperature settings with a smart thermostat will help you save money while staying comfortable in your home, year-round.
How? A smart thermostat device allows you to easily schedule your HVAC to run less when you’re not home. The result is that you’ll use less energy by cooling your home only when it makes sense. You can program your digital thermostat to start cooling just before you or your family members are scheduled to start coming home. Hello, comfort!
How much savings are we talking about? Different manufacturers promise different levels of savings. For instance, the Nest smart thermostat claims you’ll save 15 percent on cooling costs and 10 to 12 percent on heating costs. Ecobee smart thermostat claims 23 percent on combined heating and cooling costs.
2. Track your energy usage
As the saying goes, you can’t manage what you can’t measure, and it’s a good thing that most digital thermostats allow users to track their energy usage. A home energy profile can allow you to observe how your energy usage has changed over time. In turn, that data can help you plan how that’s likely to affect your energy costs in the future and how you can adjust your behavior to decrease energy costs even more.
3. Control your thermostat remotely
Another reason to adopt a Wi-Fi thermostat is that it allows you to keep tabs on your home’s temperature remotely. If your schedule changes and you decide to come home early, you can still come home to a cool house. Simply log into your thermostat app and modify the default. Another perk: If you’re going on vacation, you can change your cooling schedule so you’re not wasting energy when you’re away.
4. Streamline scheduling HVAC usage
Some might be leery to install a digital thermostat because they worry it’s difficult to program, or that it might be hard to adjust for seasonal changes. The reality is that scheduling your heating and cooling usage is seamless with a smart thermostat.
The reason? Most smart thermostats can detect when members of the household are home and active. Following a period of use, they can determine from your family’s movement patterns when to raise or lower the temperature and even consider seasonal changes. The technology is also sophisticated enough to know to cool your home more when a heatwave is coming or kick on the heat when the mercury begins to dip.
5. They’re easy to use and install
Even if you’re not the most tech-savvy homeowner, a smart thermostat is fairly easy to use once installed, you can easily program the thermostat using the simple touchscreen or by installing an app on your phone. Both options are intuitive and don’t require a steep learning curve.
Installing a smart thermostat is easy if you have the proper hardware. Remove your current thermostat cover and examine the wiring. You need a thermostat C wire. If you see a wire marked with a C or with the word common, and other wires marked with R, W, Rc, or Rh, installation should be easy.
From, here cut the power to your thermostat, remove the old thermostat, connect the wires to your new thermostat, install the new thermostat faceplate, restore power, and follow programming instructions as prompted and as described.
This summer, you can stay comfortable and cool without spending a ton on cooling costs. Install a smart thermostat and achieve an unprecedented level of control over your home’s temperature.
6. They can communicate with other devices
The beauty of smart device platforms is that they continue to grow in terms of compatibility. That means your smart thermostat can connect and exchange information with a growing number of other home devices. Smart humidifiers and air purifiers, for example, can be controlled with the thermostat in some cases.
On the note of automation, a smart thermostat can also be controlled with your voice via Amazon’s Alexa. Simple commands like, “Alexa, lower the temperature to 68 degrees” make it easy to stay comfortable.
7. They’re relatively affordable
When compared to a high-end TV or another gadget, purchasing a learning thermostat won’t break the bank. In fact, you might pay less than $200 for such a convenience. And the eventual cost savings can help justify the expense.
8. Improve air quality
While a smart thermostat doesn’t directly improve air quality, it can be a factor. That’s because it can let you know that your filter needs to be changed or that you need to schedule maintenance. Some thermostats also include a humidity sensor. You’ll benefit even more when the thermostat is synced to a whole-home humidifier.
In short, smart thermostats are a great long-term investment for any homeowner. Not only do they make heating and cooling your home much more convenient, they’ll help you keep heating and cooling bills more manageable.