Investing in learning thermostats is not just great for your wallet in terms of efficiency in power savings. But, it also helps homeowners wanting to make an effort toward a cleaner, greener planet. If you’re committed to lowering emissions from burning fossil fuels to heat your home, getting learning thermostats is the perfect solution. Smart thermostats and learning thermostats integrate advanced technology that takes managing your HVAC systems to the next level. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and intuitive features eliminate the need for manual configurations or monitoring settings constantly. Read ahead for detailed information about how these thermostats work. And how you can use them to save on your energy bills.

Understanding Learning Thermostats

Learning thermostats are smart thermostats but are more innovative with an additional feature. These devices can “learn” your preferences and daily schedules over a couple of weeks or so. Next, the thermostat automatically adapts your HVAC settings to follow these schedules. Third-generation Nest smart learning thermostats are a Google innovation with a trendy metal ring and high-resolution display. Not only do they function well, but the devices can get you significant energy savings.

The Nest smart learning thermostat is the first thermostat to earn the ENERGY STAR certification. You can expect impressive savings on your bills, with an average of 10% to 12% on heating. As for the cooling, the average stands at an incredible 15%. Depending on your usage, these figures translate into an added $131 and $145 in your wallet per year. Google estimates that the device should pay for itself in around two years. 

How Learning Thermostats Work

New-age thermostats integrate advanced software algorithms that record the timings when you arrive and leave home. Over time, they can use this raw data to anticipate your heating and cooling needs per your schedule. Accordingly, the thermostat starts up the climate control, so the ambient temperatures are just right for your return. For instance, the thermostat may lower the home’s settings by around 7 degrees Fahrenheit and set it to 10 degrees Fahrenheit. These adjustments for eight hours a day can result in up to 10% in heating and cooling bills. Simply because your home need not be as warm when you’re away.

And, that’s not all. These devices can automatically source updates from local weather stations to configure the proper settings. Of course, you also have the option to put the thermostat in standby mode. That is, if you would prefer to change the temperature manually.

Learning Thermostats Come With an Energy-Saving Mode

You can rely on advanced learning thermostats to be aggressive with their power savings capabilities, thanks to several features. Although the actual saving modes can vary between brands, they come with similar functions to give you complete control of the thermostats. Here’s how these devices ensure power savings.

Overriding Existing Settings 

The device overrides existing settings and automatically adjusts as your schedules change. Though, you do have the option to cancel this function. It also has pre-configured maximum and minimum safety temperatures that are a priority over energy saving. 

Renew Feature 

The thermostat detects peak usage hours in your home and offsets the cost with low usage settings. You can take advantage of the lower power rates for usage during off-peak hours. The Nest smart learning thermostat includes the Renew feature that may start warming your home earlier than the peak hours. And, that’s just one example of how the thermostat works behind the scenes to help you save. 

Geo-Location and Geo-Fencing

Thanks to the geo-location and geo-fencing function, the device can detect when you’re at work, and the house is empty. As you enter a particular radius around your home, the learning thermostat gets alerts from your phone. It initiates cooling or heating accordingly. The radius detection function is also helpful when you only step outside to take out the trash. Or, when getting something from the car or chatting up a neighbor. 

Sensors to Detect Human Presence

Smart thermostats come with sensors that identify human presence and kick off the HVAC systems accordingly. This feature is particularly helpful in turning down the heating and cooling in rooms that are not currently occupied. For instance, when you’re sleeping, the living room and kitchen need not be as cool or warm as the bedroom. Then again, when you’re snuggled in bed, the room need not be as warm. Your learning thermostat understands these factors and makes tweaks as needed. 


Your Nest smart learning thermostat comes with the Airwave™ technology that enables power saving of around 30% on air conditioning. This feature turns off the cooling a few minutes earlier than your departure. But, it keeps the fan running, so the house remains cool. 

Monitoring Energy Usage

The best way to save money on your energy bills is to stay on top of the usage and budget it carefully. The Nest thermostat provides daily updated reports of your energy use that you can find by checking “Energy History.” At the end of the month, you’ll get a Home Report that gives you information about your usage. If you need tips on curbing use, you can rely on the report for answers. 

Humidity Detection

Few homeowners know that higher humidity levels in the house can cause your air conditioning to work harder. The system must remove not just heat but also excessive moisture to make the interiors comfortable. Maintaining low humidity in the house at a maximum of 60% could help you save on air conditioning costs. You’ll install dehumidifiers and connect them to the thermostat to have the device detect moisture and start them up. 

Integrated Safety Features

Your learning thermostat has several features to enhance your home’s security. For instance, it will alert you in case exceptionally cold weather has resulted in the furnace malfunctioning. Or if the pipes have frozen and are affecting the HVAC’s functioning. Then again, the smart thermostat can not just detect smoke and send you an alert. But, it will also turn off the fans to prevent it from spreading. Further, if the CO2 detectors sound the alarm, the thermostat automatically shuts down the heating systems.

Learning Thermostats Play Well with Voice Control Hubs

You can get the Nest smart learning thermostat or any other brand–it works well with your smart home automation hub. You can integrate with your thermostat whether you have Google Assistant, Samsung SmartThingsApple HomeKit, or Amazon Alexa. Using your smartphone, you can configure settings using voice commands. Changing settings using the compatible application, regardless of your location anywhere on the planet, is also quickly done. The app interface makes it happen. 

Since your devices also integrate If-This-Then-That or IFTTT technology, it allows you more extensive control of your smart home. You can set the away mode when you’re on vacation. Or, simply switch on and off the HVAC remotely in case of a change in plans. Installing thermostats to manage your HVAC systems can be a huge advantage if you own multiple properties.


Investing in a Nest smart learning thermostat for your home can be one of the best decisions you’ll make. Do remember that the data we have presented is based on estimations. The actual savings on your energy bills will depend on individual usage patterns and your family’s needs. However, taking advantage of technological advancements to lower your utility costs is always a smart move. Get a  learning thermostat, and you will be impressed by its convenience and the automated comfort levels in your home. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a learning thermostat the same as a smart thermostat?

Learning thermostats are advanced versions of smart thermostats with software algorithms that can learn your usage patterns over time. They collect and use the raw data to adjust the home’s heating and cooling to maintain ideal temperatures for your return. Learning thermostats also integrate several other features for not just power savings, but also home security and complete comfort.

Your thermostat comes with software algorithms that record your settings over a time period. And, maintain them until you readjust the settings. They’ll also coordinate with weather information to adjust the ambient temperature of your home. 

You can choose from four basic thermostats, namely–programmable, non-programmable, Wi-Fi, and smart. Learning thermostats are the latest versions with AI and advanced abilities to give you control over how your smart home functions.

Several factors can influence your choice of the best thermostat for your needs. While price points are a leading criterion, you’d want to pick the device compatible with your HVAC systems. You’ll also factor in the features you absolutely need and your home’s wiring systems. For instance, most modern thermostats need a C wire or power source to function. 

Adrian Dance

You might call me a techie or a technology enthusiast. I’m one of those people whose largely self-taught in the worlds of computing, technology and engineering. I have a DIY approach to the use of smart home automation and think that with the right advice, anyone can improve their lives through greater use of technology.