Spend a Little – Save a Lot
The concept behind all programmable and smart thermostats is that there are days and partial days when your home does not need to be heated or cooled to the level that you feel is most comfortable. Any properly sized, properly installed, and well-maintained heating and cooling system can keep your home at the preferred temperature all day and all night, at a cost. The cost is higher utility bills.
Does the temperature need to stay the same overnight? Many people turn the heat down overnight. What about when your home is empty when you are away at work or on vacation? Are you heating and cooling more than necessary just so your home will be at your preferred temperature when you return? Do you manually adjust your thermostat multiple times every day? Do you ever forget to make some of your daily adjustments? A programmed thermostat does not forget.
The savings you can expect from a programmable or smart thermostat will vary greatly depending on what you program into the thermostat. In any case, you should expect the cost of the new thermostat to be recovered somewhere between 6 and 24 months. After that, the savings goes on for years.
You can also add to your utility cost savings by setting it for higher and lower temperatures in the summer and winter. ENERGY STAR estimates that for every 1 degree of thermostat change, your energy cost will decrease by 1%.
Programmable & Reliable
Typically, a programmable thermostat can be set to adjust the temperature at different levels for weekly intervals. You might program it for a daily schedule something like this:
- 6:15 AM, 15 minutes before your normal wake-up time. Raise the temperature to 70 degrees.
- 8:15 AM, last family member leaves for work or school. Lower temperature to 62 degrees.
- 4:00 PM, 15 minutes before first family member returns from work or school. Increase temperature to 70 degrees.
- 10:30 PM, bedtime. Lower temperature to 66 degrees.
For weekend days, you would program in a different schedule. You could achieve the same energy reduction if you manually adjusted the temperature four times every day. For most families, a programmable thermostat is more reliable than counting on someone to adjust the thermostat four times every day.
Smart & Smarter
Smart can do everything that a programmable thermostat can do, and a whole lot more. A Wi-Fi-enabled smart thermostat can be reset or adjusted from anywhere using a mobile device or computer. If you are working late, just tell the app on your phone to warm up the house later. If your smart device is linked to Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant or another smart home service, you can just ask for a little more heat or cooling when you feel it is needed.
A smart thermostat equipped with geofencing can learn to adjust the temperature when a connected smart phone leaves the house or moves from room to room within the house. A smart thermostat that utilizes machine learning can observe your comings and goings over time and create a heating and cooling schedule that reflects your personal lifestyle.
All HVAC systems eventually need to be replaced. Your central heating and cooling system may last for 10 years, 20 years, or more. A well maintained system will have a longer lifespan. Among the most important reasons to install a smart thermostat with learning is that your system can alert you when maintenance or safety repairs are needed. A smart thermostat saves you money every day it operates. It saves you even more when your system continues to operate efficiently for years before needing to be replaced.