Does Your Home Need a Smart Thermostat?
In 2014, the number of homes with smart thermostats in North America and Europe doubled. North American homes (Canada and The United States) now number around 2.5 million with smart thermostats. Within the next five years, North American homes should reach the 24.6 million mark with smart thermostats. With Canada and The United States accounting for an estimated 131 million households, the number of households with smart thermostats will rise from roughly 1.9% in 2014 to 18.8% by 2019.
The Obvious Trend
Smart thermostats are all the rage these days, but many homeowners are confused about what advantages these devices provide besides space-age looks. After all, programmable thermostats can already be set to adjust your home to certain temperatures at particular times of the day. What makes smart thermostats better, and is it worth it to call a Garrison & Garrison service technician to install one?
Smart Thermostats: Smart for Your Wallet and Home
The main difference between a traditional thermostat and a smart thermostat is that a smart thermostat learns your habits over time. Within a few days, it will be able to anticipate when you want your heater turned on and when you’d rather the house cool off. Eventually you’ll be able to count on your thermostat to warm up the house in time for your arrival, and it can shut things down as you’re preparing to leave so it can save energy.
The other principle difference between smart thermostats and simple programmable models is that you can typically control the smart ones with an iOS or Android app on your smart phone. For example, if you’re at work and determine that you’re going to be home later than usual, you can access your thermostat’s controls over a Wi-Fi or cellular connection and tell it not to cool off at 6 p.m., like it normally does.
These thermostats do tend to be more expensive. The most popular smart thermostats installed, will set you back between $300-500, while a more conventional programmable thermostat installed runs between $75-200 depending on how advanced it is. If you’re in the market for a new thermostat and aren’t sure what type is best for you, give Garrison & Garrison a call today and we can provide more details on each.
Will a Smart Thermostat Really Save You Money?
Think about your own usage patterns. The EPA’s Energy Star program concluded that homes with programmable or smart thermostats can save up to $180 per year on heating and cooling, which is a sizable chunk of change. Still, those same savings can be achieved with a more affordable programmable thermostat. If you already have one, a smart thermostat won’t save you a lot more money, aside from showing you what you can optimize to save a few bucks here or there. Similarly, if you’re the type who religiously turns the thermostat off when you leave the house, and then turn it back when you come home, you may be able to get away with a more affordable programmable thermostat instead. You’ll get all the energy savings, without the hassle of adjusting it yourself every day.
However, if you don’t have a programmable model, or if you’re the forgetful type who’ll leave the AC or heater running all day even if you’re not at home, a smart thermostat can really save you money. The self-learning models can take all of the hassle out of managing your home’s temperature, so you can go about your daily business and let the climate in your house take care of itself.
Also, if you’re the type who loves data and loves tweaking systems to improve them, a smart thermostat will definitely save you money on your energy bill. You can check your thermostat’s mobile app to see how much money you’re saving or energy you’re actively using, and use the web apps to plot out how much more you can save if you adjust the temperature by a few degrees here or there.
Comfort + Energy Efficiency = Smart Thermostats
Ultimately, smart thermostats take the hassle out of adjusting the temperature and climate in your home in a way that walks the line between comfort and energy efficiency. It stops cooling or heating an empty home so you don’t have to remember to, and it makes sure you’re comfortable when you are home. Remember, they don’t save you money on their own—they just automate what you could do on your own if you remember to do it 365 days per year.
On the other hand, if the thought of manually adjusting the thermostat every time you leave, every time you get home, and thinking about whether you should change it for the amount of time you’ll be gone running errands makes you roll your eyes, they may be worth the money you’ll spend to get the savings back in the long run.
Installing a smart thermostat is purely a matter of choice for each individual home owner. If trends are any indication of whether or not you should invest in one then the writing is on the wall. Close to 20% of all homes will have a smart thermostat in their home within the next five years. But again, it is a matter of choice for each homeowner. Feel free to give Garrison & Garrison a call at 256-895-8500. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have as well as discuss pricing and energy savings you might expect when installing a smart thermostat.
Garrison & Garrison Heating and Air
Garrison and Garrison Heating and Air is a fully licensed HVAC company, serving the Huntsville, AL area for more than 45 years. We have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. You can schedule an assessment of your HVAC system by calling us at 256-895-8500 or emailing us at [email protected].