Yes, a smart thermostat will definitely save you money! A conservative estimate is that any household can lower its annual heating and cooling bill by at least 8% by upgrading from a manual thermostat to a smart thermostat. Total savings do vary from home to home because it depends on factors like heating and cooling equipment age, natural and mechanical ventilation, insulation, and the various resources that the smart thermostat has available to it. A smart thermostat will be able to save you more, for instance, if your home HVAC system is zoned. With that in mind, let us consider the major smart thermostat features that are available and how they can help you save money.
The ability to learn is one of the defining characteristics that distinguish smart thermostats from programmable thermostats. The most advanced thermostats on the market are able to collect data about your household, analyze it, and automatically adjust their programming based on that analysis. Not only does this help you save money, but it makes the device more user-friendly. With a programable thermostat, it is easy to be inaccurate, make a mistake, or forget, but a thermostat that is able to learn is constantly adjusting its programming organically based on your tendencies.
Most smart thermostats are Wi-Fi capable so that they can communicate with other smart devices. But it also allows them to connect to the internet through your home network, and that provides a number of advantages, including the ability to access real-time data. The best energy-saving thermostats on the market are able to poll real-time weather information. If a cold front is on its way, for instance, the thermostat can adjust itself proactively in order to minimize energy consumption.
Mobile Notifications and Control
Another advantage of being online is the capability to communicate with you. Most smart thermostats now have smartphone apps that let you control them. These devices are also able to send alerts and notifications. If your home is equipped with a water leak detector, for instance, your smart thermostat can alert if it senses water.
The ability of a thermostat to learn is a powerful tool that will save you money over the long term. But many modern smart thermostats are able to react to save you money in the short term as well. A prominent example of this is geofencing. Through the use of smartphone apps, a smart thermostat is able to know if the members of your household are at home or not. Your thermostat may have learned that you are out of the house by 8:00 a.m., but if it detects that you left today at 7:00 a.m., it can go ahead and adjust the cooling or air conditioning in order to reduce your costs.
Zoned HVAC provides you with much greater control over the heating, air conditioning, and ventilation in your home, and it also provides your smart thermostat with much greater control as well. These systems work by having dampers in the ductwork that can open and close to allow air through our not, and this usually requires a variable-speed air handler that is able to adjust to the pressure differences. Having your smart thermostat control your zoned HVAC can lower energy usage considerably because, for example, the system can maintain a comfortable bedroom temperature without wasting energy heating or cooling the entire home.
Smart thermostats that support room sensors are able to react to your household beyond geofencing, and there are many types of sensors available, including the aforementioned water leak sensor. There are also motion sensors, which can be particularly useful for basements, garages, and areas of the home that are seldom used. Temperature and humidity sensors allow for more granular control without the need for many thermostats, and it also gives you more freedom for thermostat placement because the device has much more information available to it.
A smart home requires that its devices be able to communicate with each other. Most smart devices, therefore, are Wi-Fi capable, able to send and receive data, and, if applicable, react to the data they receive. A smart thermostat is an excellent example of this, and there is a wide range of smart devices that are designed to work with your smart thermostat. Smart shades, for instance, can provide your thermostat information about sunlight, and your thermostat can tell the shades to open in order to provide natural heat and lower your heating costs.
Many smart thermostats now have an energy-savings mode. One reason that this mode is useful is that it lets you shape temperature control based on energy usage as opposed to comfort. Some models are even able to track your local energy rates and make adjustments based on that data. An energy-saving mode is also very useful when you go on vacation or travel on business. The thermostat has safe thresholds that it will maintain but will otherwise seek to use as little electricity or fuel as it can.
Automatic Humidity Control
It is becoming increasingly common to install whole-home humidification and dehumidification systems. These systems tend to pay for themselves over time because they save wear and tear on your air conditioner or heat pump and allow for a higher comfortable temperature in summer and a lower comfortable temperature in winter. Provided a relative humidity range, a smart thermostat can adjust to outdoor humidity conditions in order to keep you comfortable and save you money.
Another powerful tool that many smart thermostats offer is energy reports. Typically, accessing this feature is as simple as logging in to your smart thermostat via a web browser. This feature also automatically tracks your usage over the years and can even identify when an energy spike may be due to an equipment problem.
Air Quality Monitoring
Many smart thermostats can even track the number of particulates in the air in addition to various contaminants. This is important because indoor pollution is typically more concentrated than outdoor pollution, and on the money-saving front, it is a useful way to monitor your ventilation and identify when to have your ducts cleaned.
Automatic Software Updates
Smart thermostats are essentially small computers with their own operating system and apps. Some manufacturers even let you choose which apps your device will run, and the OS and apps receive updates over time. These updates can make a significant difference when it comes to energy savings, and automatic updates are a useful feature that keeps your device updated without you having to check for them.
Your Thermostat Experts in Southern California
Landry is a company with more than 80 years of experience. We offer a full range of heating and cooling installation, maintenance, and repair services, and we are happy to assist customers with choosing, installing, programming, and calibrating their smart thermostats. Call Landry today or contact us online to learn more about the services we offer and to schedule an appointment!