Home energy bills can drain a budget faster and more significantly than someone wishes. No one wants to pay more for energy costs, but anyone relying on a furnace in a cold-weather area realizes the winter months can bring higher bills. The summertime also presents rising costs because scorching summers can require running air conditioners all day and into the night.
Thankfully, the smart thermostat has arrived to help homeowners save some money by getting more control over how a house is heated or cooled. Smart thermostats allow for flexibility with making adjustments at specified times, which is an improvement over the traditional programmable thermostat.
What Is a Smart Thermostat?
Smart thermostats reflect innovations found in home automation and the ever-growing Internet of Things (IoT) concept. Basically, a smart thermostat affords users the ability to pre-program temperature settings and make real-time changes at preferred intervals through smartphone applications. Overall, these systems provide a means of maximizing control over the heating and cooling system’s temperature.
Saving Money: New vs. Old Thermostats
A smart thermostat delivers a significant improvement over a traditional one. Older thermostats require you to set them at a specific temperature — any changes require performing a manual action at home. So, if you set the temperature at 74 degrees, that is where the number will stay until someone turns the dial or presses buttons to change it. While this process is okay, it’s far from perfect. Technology-driven improvements were long overdue.
There can be problems when you lack control over your thermostat settings. Being away from the manual thermostat means you can’t access it to make any changes. So, to keep from coming home to a frigid interior, you can set your thermostat to 70 degrees before heading home from work. This way, the house will be warm when you return. The money-wasting issue here is the thermostat will heat the house while it’s unoccupied. To bring the interior temperature up from 60 degrees to 70 degrees may only take 90 minutes. So, why not program the thermostat to increase to 70 degrees an hour and a half before you come home? Without a smart thermostat, you won’t be able to exercise such an option.
An Unexpected Situation
A smart thermostat also comes in handy when the temperature changes at unexpected times. Maybe you need to raise or lower the temperature without delay. Imagine if you’re away from home for a few days and learn the temperature will drop unexpectedly. The drop intends to go below freezing levels. Did you already set the temperature at a reasonable 60 degrees before you left? The temperature should be enough to keep pipes from freezing, but concerns may linger in your mind. Maybe you want to be extra sure nothing goes wrong, so you remotely raise the temperature, via the smartphone app, to 70 degrees. Once the cold spell passes, you can lower it to a reasonable temperature level again.
Since you’re strategically raising and lowering the temperature, you maintain some control over the energy bills. If you had to ask someone to go over to your house to change the temperature, then it might remain ultra-high longer than necessary. Plus, now you have an unnecessarily high heating bill. Again, more control means a better ability to maintain desired temperature levels.
Running a heating and cooling system too high all the time could wear it down. Further use may create excess wear and tear. Find out the condition of your unit by calling Christian Brothers and asking us to perform an inspection. Based out of Glendale, Christian Brothers serves many cities in Arizona and handles repairs, installations, tune-ups, and more.
What the Government Says
The government likes to perform studies, and those studies might deliver some appreciated information. With so much concern over energy efficiency, it’s no surprise that the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program, per the website Lifehacker, revealed that houses using smart thermostats could save about $180 per year on their energy bills.
The $180 represents an average savings of 10% to 15% per year, which does add up over time. So, don’t dismiss any amount of money saved as insignificant. There’s nothing insignificant about cutting expenditures in the home or keeping energy from being wasted.
Buy the Best Smart Thermostat
As is the case with any product, not every smart thermostat is the same. Quality may vary from company to company. A homeowner’s specific requirements factor into the value a smart thermostat delivers. Choosing the right one for your Glendale, AZ, residence increases the potential that it can do its job and save you money.
Performing consumer research before buying a particular smart thermostat might be wise. Read reviews and consumer commentary. This way, you can narrow down your choices to the best ones before making any selections. And, be sure to do your part once you buy the smart thermostat.
Put the Smart Thermostat to Use
Purchasing a smart thermostat is the first step in taking control of energy expenditures. Installing a smart thermostat on the wall and downloading the necessary smartphone app all move you in the right direction toward getting costs under control. Of course, you have to put the thermostat to use to maximize its benefits, or, for that matter, get any benefits at all.
As the saying goes, people are creatures of habit. They get used to doing things a certain way, and then they stay on the same course they’re familiar with. Lots of people buy tech gadgets and never use them. If you’ve been starting your car’s engine up by turning the key in the ignition for 40 years, switching over to a remote starter might be a little confusing. The same is true with using a smart thermostat.
Interestingly, some thermostats come with motion detectors that work with programmable commands to raise or lower temperature when they detect someone in the house. Maybe such systems could help the absent-minded homeowner.
Get a jump on using the smart thermostat. Make the necessary changes right away. Learn how to use the thermostat and the app as quickly as possible. Otherwise, you may never get into the habit of how to get the best use out of it.
Addressing Home Energy Inefficiency
A smart thermostat can do a lot of good for a homeowner interested in cutting costs. However, a smart thermostat can’t overcome deficiencies with home energy efficiency. That is, a house with poor insulation always comes with the potential of wasting money. The furnace will consistently work harder to overcompensate for the weak insulation. A smart thermostat can help the situation, but underlying issues will continue to contribute to waste. Addressing those problems must become a priority to maximize cost savings. Perhaps the time is long overdue for a home energy audit.
Do you want a smart thermostat installed, or do you need other heating or air conditioning work performed? Since 1976, Christian Brothers has assisted customers with all kinds of different requests. Call our Glendale office today to discuss your home’s specific needs. Ask us about our heating, cooling, electrical, and plumbing work.