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Are Smart Thermostats Worth the Investment?
Posted on Wednesday, June 26, 2024
Are Smart Thermostats Worth the Investment?

June 26, 2024 - Smart thermostats get a lot of hype for their AI learning capabilities, ease of use, and built-in energy savings. But is it really worth spending the money to replace your existing thermostat?

Keep reading to learn more about these handy devices, their benefits, and whether an upgrade is worth the cost.

What Are Smart Thermostats?

Smart thermostats are wifi-enabled devices that connect to your phone. While you can remotely control the temperature and settings from an app, your smart thermostat can also adjust itself based on your routine and the weather forecast to save energy automatically.

The Benefits of Smart Thermostats

Smart thermostats have mighty capabilities that programmable thermostats lack. Here are some of the biggest benefits of going smart:

Cost Savings

According to ENERGY STAR, simply replacing your existing thermostat with a smart thermostat can save you 8% on heating and cooling costs. You may save even more, depending on where you live and your preferred temperature at home.

While your thermostat’s automations will find ways for you to save money, you can also set schedules to turn your thermostat up or down when you’re away. A change of 7–10 degrees from your home’s normal temperature for eight hours a day can help you save 10% on heating and cooling costs each year.

If you’re still looking for ways to save, take advantage of your smart thermostat’s analytics. The Alexa Energy Dashboard, for example, provides graphs of heating and cooling trends, insights about when you used the most energy, and recommendations for the most efficient times to use your system.

Remote Control

  • If you forget to adjust a traditional thermostat before you leave the house, you’re out of luck until you return. But with a smart thermostat, you can tweak your settings from anywhere in the world.
  • Here are a few different ways you can use your smart thermostat’s remote control feature to make your life easier:
  • Before you head home from work on a cold day, raise your thermostat a few degrees to get the furnace going while you drive.
  • Change the temperature from the airport before you leave for vacation, so you’re not heating or cooling an empty house. When your housesitter texts that they’re heading over, adjust it so they’re comfortable.
  • Turn the A/C down from bed if it’s a little too muggy to fall asleep.
  • If you’re stuck on a work call or holding a sleeping baby, use your phone to find the optimal temperature without getting up.

For times when your phone is just out of reach, you can integrate your smart thermostat with a voice assistant. If it gets too hot in the kitchen while you’re whipping up a meal, for example, you can ask Alexa to turn down the temperature.

Scheduling and Automation

While the ability to control your thermostat from anywhere can come in handy, you probably don’t want to tinker with your thermostat all day long. That’s where schedules come into play.

You can set heating and cooling schedules for your thermostat to follow all season long, so you only have to make adjustments if there’s a change in your routine. During the winter, for example, you could set a schedule for the temperature to drop several degrees at your typical bedtime and start rising half an hour before your alarm.

After you’ve had your smart thermostat for several months, it can change automatically based on your typical routine. Some models also use geofencing to detect when you’re home or away and make energy-saving adjustments. If you don’t have a consistent schedule, geofencing can help eliminate the need to make manual changes throughout the day.

How Much Do Smart Thermostats Cost?

Smart thermostats come in a large price range depending on their features. Some simple smart thermostats are under $100, while more advanced models can cost several hundred. The installation method you choose will also impact your upfront costs. While many smart thermostats are DIY-friendly, you may prefer to spend a little extra for professional installation.

It’s important to note that many utility companies will offset the cost of your smart thermostat. Check with your local provider to see if they offer incentives or rebates for switching.

Are They Worth the Price?

In most cases, smart thermostats are worth the price. Your thermostat can pay for itself in a few years by automatically reducing your energy bills, and you’ll benefit from additional control and insight. However, a smart thermostat will take longer to pay for itself in areas with a mild climate and low heating and cooling needs.

When considering costs, you should also factor in the benefits of smart technology. Even if your yearly cost savings are low, being able to change your home’s temperature from anywhere may make a smart thermostat worth it to you.

Start Saving With a Ring-Compatible Smart Thermostat

Switching to a smart thermostat is one of the easiest ways to start saving at home. And with a device that works with Ring, controlling your new thermostat is just as easy. When you connect your smart thermostat to your Ring App, you’ll be able to adjust the temperature, set schedules, and control all your other smart home devices from one easy-to-use location.

Explore all Ring-compatible thermostats, including the accolade-earning Amazon Smart Thermostat, to see how you can save more energy at home.