According to the US department of energy, the single largest source of energy usage in a home is heating and cooling, which amounts to an average of 48% of home energy usage.
This is a huge portion of your home’s electric bill, which means… it’s the first place you should look into for savings.
How do Smart Thermostats Save Energy?
In general, the best way of cutting your thermostat’s energy consumption costs is to turn it off when you don’t need it, like when you are asleep or away from home.
The issue is that most people are don’t find practical to adjust their thermostats several times a day.
That’s where a smart thermostat comes in: it learns your preferred temperature patterns and will program the thermostat to optimize for maximum comfort and maximum efficiency.
How does this work?
With a regular thermostat you can only set the temperature manually to go up or down.
With a smart thermostat, first you set the temperature manually and after a few months of use it starts learning your patterns, what temperature you like at which hour of the day, when you are usually out and when you usually arrive home.
By using a technique called “Geofencing”, which creates a virtual “fence” around your house and detects when your smartphone crosses it, the smart thermostat knows that it must turn off the heating or cooling when you head out to bring down your energy usage.
But the interesting part is that if the smart thermostat already learned when you usually arrive home, it can turn on the heating or cooling so that when you arrive your home will have your preferred temperature.
This is what I mean by optimizing for maximum efficiency as well as maximum comfort: no need to adjust the temperature several times a day manually.
How much can you save with a smart thermostat?
From out list of best smart thermostats for your home:
The Nest Learning Thermostat claims to save an average of 10-12% on heating costs and 15% on cooling costs.
If the average US electric bill is about $122 USD per month ($1,464 per year), with the Nest Learning Thermostat it would come down to $1,244-$1,317, meaning savings of $147 – $220 per year.
The Ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium claims to save an average of 23% of your annual energy expenditure.
This would bring down the average US electric bill from $1,464 to $1,171, or $293 in savings every year.
Taking these numbers into account, smart thermostats pay themselves over the course of the first year and you’ll have these savings every year afterwards. Plus the maximum comfort of course.
Aside from learning your patterns and preferences, smart thermostats provide a lot of detail about how much energy you are using and how, which can provide the insight necessary to change your habits to reduce energy consumption even more.