Whether you’re sweating through the dog days of summer or trying to stay warm and cozy in the winter, you probably don’t give your thermostat a great deal thought.
When your home gets too warm in the summer, you walk to the thermostat to turn down the set temperature.
When things get chilly in the winter, you walk to the thermostat to turn up the heat.
For the most part, it’s an acceptable system, but you may find yourself wishing that you had more options. As an example, it would be nice if your thermostat could keep things cooler during the day when it’s winter and everyone is gone, and then automatically heat things up a few degrees when it’s time for the family to come home.
That is exactly the kind of versatility and automation you get when you upgrade to a smart thermostat. People who make the switch frequently end up saving a great deal of money on their energy bills because they are so much more in control of their home’s heating and cooling options.
Smart thermostats have the ability to be programmed, and some models even have the capacity to learn your family’s schedule and adjust the temperature accordingly. Best of all, you can make changes to a smart thermostat using a smart phone or other portable device, making it possible to program alterations from anywhere in the world.
Is a smart thermostat worth it? Experts and many consumers say that it’s definitely worth it. Read on to learn more about why.
Defining the Traditional Thermostats
Homes have a small box on the wall that is effectively a control panel for heating and cooling. Occasionally, you’ll have to press buttons or turn a dial to adjust the temperature in the home.
Many of these regular thermostats don’t have much ability to be programmed. This means that if you want to allow the temperature to drop in your home when it’s unoccupied on winter days and then warm up when the family returns, you’ll have to remember to turn down the thermostat before you leave and then turn it up again when you return.
The trouble is that most people forget to do this, which means that they leave the house fully heated all day. This makes things more comfortable when they return home in the evening, but it doesn’t give them the savings on their energy bill that they were hoping for.
According to the Energy Star Program, approximately 42 percent of energy bills go toward the cost of heating and cooling. This means that switching to a smart thermostat could help you save considerable money.
Defining Smart Thermostats
Smart thermostats have the advantage of giving you more control over your home’s heating and cooling options. Here’s a look at some of the benefits of having a smart thermostat:
- You can control it remotely from anywhere in the world
- Turn on the AC or the heat shortly before you arrive home
- Program a schedule that tells the smart thermostat when to turn on and off
- The thermostat keeps track of the rooms that are occupied and the temperature that you prefer
In fact, smart thermostats are capable of keeping track of a great deal of data that not only keeps your home more comfortable but also makes your energy usage more efficient and affordable.
Smart thermostats also may provide you with information regarding your family’s patterns of energy usage. Some units may compare your heating and cooling usage to other average households, letting you know how much you are saving or providing guidance for how you can conserve more energy and save even more money.
Don’t feel intimidated about having to do a lot of custom programming on a smart thermostat. It is possible that you won’t have to do any programming at all, especially if you purchase a Wi-Fi-enabled smart thermostat.
These devices can actually learn the household’s preferences and habits over the course of time. In a period of about two weeks, it will develop a heating and cooling schedule. If you’re not satisfied with this schedule, you can always use the app to make changes.
Is It Hard to Use a Smart Thermostat?
Perhaps you’re feeling a bit technology averse or don’t want to be bothered with yet another app. The good news is that you can work with a smart thermostat on the wall just like you would with a traditional thermostat.
Push a few buttons, and you’ll be able to adjust temperature and scheduling as you prefer.
Chances are good that if you make an effort to use the app, you’ll become much more comfortable with it. Many of these have user-friendly interfaces that are designed to make creating schedules and making adjustments a snap.
Will a Smart Thermostat Save You Money?
Chances are good that it will, even if you never get around to programming a schedule. Of course, the more dedicated you are about programming a precise schedule and changing it every two or three months as the seasons and weather change, the more money you are likely to save.
Most consumers are able to save enough on their energy bills to recoup the cost of the smart thermostat in less than one year. If you’re not as dedicated to setting an energy-saving schedule, then you may recoup the expense within one or two years.
How Much Do Smart Thermostats Cost?
Prices vary widely, with the brand and model of the smart thermostat accounting for much of this variation. You may be able to get a basic model for approximately $100, but it is possible to find units with all the bells and whistles costing $500 or more.
Keep in mind that you also may have to pay for installation and materials, which may run anywhere from about $100 to $250.
Savings May Be Available
If you want to get a more sophisticated smart thermostat but are put off by the price, check with city, county and state governments for the availability of rebates. These or other perks may help defray the cost. Similarly, your utility company may offer some kind of rebate or other incentive.
Should You Spring for a Smart Thermostat?
Like other technological devices, smart thermostats seem to become more affordable and accessible with each passing year. These upgraded thermostats were introduced several years ago now, making today’s models much easier to use, more sophisticated and more affordable than ever before.
Take a look at some of the benefits you receive for the cost of a smart thermostat:
- The ability to adjust your home’s temperature using your smart phone or tablet
- No more having to get up and walk over to the thermostat to make adjustments
- If you want your home’s temperature to automatically adjust when it’s unoccupied, you can program your smart thermostat to do that
- A smart thermostat may be able to learn your family’s habits and preferences
- You could save hundreds of dollars on your energy bill every year
- When you arrive home at the end of a long day, your home will be as warm or as cool as you prefer
Most people who decide to have a smart thermostat installed are very happy with the results. They recoup the cost of the unit and installation within about a year, and they enjoy a more comfortable home.
Let Delaware Heating and Cooling Help You Decide
Still on the fence about whether or not to upgrade to a smart thermostat? Give Delaware Heating and Cooling a call. Our expert technicians can recommend different brands and models and go over their capabilities with you.
With a friendly, no-pressure approach and an emphasis on getting to know the customer’s needs, we are prepared to help your home become more comfortable and energy efficient than ever before.