Tuesday 04.25 2017

What is a smart thermostat and can it save me money?

Smart ThermostatDo you remember the movie franchise Back to the Future? Our good friend Marty McFly traveled to the future in a DeLorean. He went from the year 1985 to the year 2015—and boy did things change!

  • There were flying cars everywhere.
  • Kids were riding all over on real hover boards (not the ones that start on fire today, but actual floating boards).
  • Shoes were self-lacing.
  • It was a very futuristic world!

While the writers and producers did overshoot on a few things (we’re still stuck in traffic jams on the ground), they did get several things right:

  • Video conferencing is now common practice at businesses all over.
  • Televisions are now flat panels and have a lot more capabilities.
  • Drones are real (Amazon has even tested using them for delivery).

The houses in Back to the Future even had a lot of automated features to make life easier and more comfortable. Could you imagine being able to turn on the lights with your voice? Or how about being able to turn on the heat or air conditioning miles away—or even around the world for that matter?

Well, luckily for us these last few are predictions that did come true. Homes are now smart—sometimes even smarter than us!

What are smart thermostats?

Smart thermostats connect wirelessly to the Internet and allow you to control your home’s heating and cooling system remotely from a smart phone, tablet, or computer. Many also allow you to connect to a smart hub like Amazon’s Echo so that you can control systems with your voice.

What are the advantages of a smart thermostat?

Smart thermostats are more expensive than traditional or programmable thermostats. On average they cost from $200 – 400 for the unit itself. But they do come with a host of features that offer great convenience and cost savings:

Remote Access

The traditional programmable thermostat is nice. You can program specific temperatures at specific times—but it’s not 100% flexible. With a smart thermostat, you can change temperatures remotely. If you don’t know exactly when you’ll be home, you can set the heat low while gone and then use your phone to begin heating your house on the way home. Or in the summer you can turn on the A/C before you leave work and walk into a refreshingly cool home when you arrive.

Self-Learning

Probably one of the most amazing features of smart thermostats is that they are self-learning. They get to know your heating and cooling preferences and continually learn and adjust. As you manually adjust temperatures after first installing, it quickly learns what you like and automatically adjusts future temperatures.

Reduces Energy Waste

A standard programmable thermostat goes on and off based on the strict schedule you set. It doesn’t care if anyone is home or not, it turns on when the clock ticks. Smart thermostats however listen. With audio and movement sensors, it can tell when someone is home, or when the home is empty, and adjust energy consumption accordingly.

Saves Money

By learning your behavior, reducing energy waste, and adjusting remotely, smart thermostats can greatly reduce energy bills. Many smart thermostats even provide a detailed report on consumption that allows you to pinpoint waste and adjust your habits.

One of the first mainstream and popular smart thermostats, Nest, was found to save a considerable amount. Real Savings did a study and found average the Nest Thermostat saved 10-12% on heating and 15% on cooling. Based on typical energy costs, the study estimates as savings of $131 to $145 per year.

Ready to get smart? Call the smart HVAC specialists at TJs Plumbing and Heating!

The experts at TJs will provide more information on whether a smart thermostat is right for you. We can help you get connected and enjoy the convenience and cost savings right away. Contact us today to learn more.

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