SMART THERMOSTATS 101: Save on Your Energy Bill By Upgrading Your Thermostat
Smart Thermostats have become a common way to easily manage and regulate the temperature and energy usage in your home or business. Their sleek, modern designs only accentuate the fact that the technology is a 21st century way to efficiently and comfortably heat and cool your space, which could save energy and money on your next utility bill.
It all sounds great, but what does it actually look like to shop for and use a smart thermostat? Are they out of your price range? Will they really make a difference? Are there rebates? Here’s what you need to know to get started.
What does a smart thermostat do?
Smart thermostats are digital thermostats that can be controlled by other smart devices like your phone, tablet, speaker or other gadgets that connect to the internet. They can be set on schedules so that the temperature in the space changes depending on the time of day, or they can be incorporated into your home or business’s automation system where they will detect when they need to adjust the temperature according to the current environment.
Some also have the ability to learn and adjust as they get to know their surroundings so they use energy more efficiently, and many can also detect diagnostic issues like whether there is an issue with your HVAC. Additionally, smart thermostats can record data that tells you more about how you’re using energy so you can make better decisions about managing your home or business’s consumption.
Do I really need a smart thermostat?
Using a smart thermostat isn’t an absolute necessity, but the benefits can prove extremely useful. They can save you money in the long run because they are heating and cooling your space only as much as needed, and by monitoring the entire system and keeping you on top of reminders, your HVAC system should stay well taken care of and run more efficiently.
At a basic level, it also saves you time and a space on your to-do list if you don’t have to manually remember to change the settings yourself, either daily as the sun rises and sets, or by making adjustments to your schedule as the seasons change.
Just a small change makes a big difference, too. When you set your temperature 7 to 10 degrees back from its normal setting for 8 hours a day, you can save as much as 10% a year on heating and cooling costs.
How do I choose a smart thermostat?
Most thermostats - even basic manual and programmable models - are dependably accurate when it comes to reading and maintaining temperature. So, when you’re looking for a smart thermostat, ease of use should be a top consideration.
Consumer Reports tests products based on four use categories: setup, ease of reading the display, programming, and manual operation. Making sure you understand and can operate the technology is important, because if you don’t know how to best operate it, you’re less likely to use it in a way it can help you most.
Secondly, you’ll want to make sure it includes all the features you’re looking for to help you manage your home and business space. Considering alert functions, app controls, integration with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant or Apple’s Siri, data analytics capabilities, and other actions will help you to understand whether it will provide the information and support you need.
Choosing to use a smart thermostat at home or at work could make a compelling difference in the energy savings in your space. We call them smart for a reason - they’re here to help you manage your system in the most efficient way and ultimately save you money on your bill. Not to mention, you can save even more when you install a prequalified thermostat in your home or at your business with available Santee Cooper rebates.