Category Archives: Energy Saving Tips

Smart Thermostats: Are They Worth It?

Smart Thermostats: Are They Worth It?

We are in a technologically advanced world filled with apps, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth capable devices such as smartphones, iPads, and watches that know what type of music we like, what items we purchase, and even what our heart rate is during our 5 mile run. It would be foolish to think that these types of devices wouldn’t pop up to control our homes in some aspect. In 2011, former Apple engineers Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers introduced smart thermostats to the market with their Nest product. Since the inception of the Nest, many other companies have taken a shot at producing smart thermostats as well like Honeywell and Ecobee. You may be asking yourself: What is a smart thermostat? You may be asking yourself: What can a smart thermostat do that mine can’t? You may also be asking yourself: Should I buy a smart thermostat? Let’s explore the inner workings of these temperature-controlling devices so you can make a better decision for your home.

smart thermostats
Nest Smart Thermostat Installation

What is a Smart Thermostat?

Smart thermostats control a home’s heating and cooling units based on human behavior, and provide useful data for energy saving opportunities. These types of devices are “learning” devices that pick up on your behaviors through motion/occupancy sensors, and humidity sensors. They will learn when you get home and when you leave, and can even pick up on the amount of humidity in the air, and adjusts the temperature accordingly so you don’t have to do any programming. If you wanted to do some programming, smart thermostats can also let you program the temperature from your smartphone via Internet connection through Wi-Fi. At the office and want to start the heat 15 minutes before you get home? An app on your phone can turn on your heating system with a smart thermostat.

What can a smart thermostat do that mine can’t?

As mentioned before, smart thermostats are learning devices. Depending on the brand and model, smart thermostats can sense human activity and adjust the temperature when you are inside and outside of your house using sensors. Also, smart thermostats can be programed through Internet-connecting devices. No programmable or regular thermostat will be able to give you data and statistics of your energy usage. This can be a great option if you really want to see how efficiently you can heat and cool your home for potential money savings.

 

Should I buy a smart thermostat for my home?

Smart thermostats aren’t for everyone, especially because of their initial price compared to a regular programmable thermostat. Smart thermostats can range anywhere from $120-$250. If you are someone with a set work schedule who shuts off the thermostat religiously when you leave, and turns it back on when you get home, you are probably good with a less expensive, regular programmable thermostat. On the other hand, if you are someone who forgets to adjust your thermostat when you aren’t home, or someone who doesn’t use the programmable features on your programmable thermostat, a smart thermostat may save you a good amount of money on your heating and cooling bill, especially the type with built-in motion sensors that learns your living behavior. If you are also the type that likes to track data and usage to improve your energy consumption, a smart thermostat is right up your alley. The apps and tools will show your usage, and give you adjustment tips for better efficiency.

 

It all comes down to preference, affordability, and living behaviors that will determine if a smart thermostat is right for you. If a smart thermostat isn’t the best option for you, one of our licensed electricians at KB Electric LLC can install any type of thermostat that best fits your needs and budget.