My expert advice on smart home thermostats and whether they are worth it.
Table of Contents
Let’s get an overview of Smart Home Thermostats so you can decide whether a Smart Thermostat will fit your home and the thermostat’s requirements.
Most Smart Home devices are designed for convenience and to make busy lives easier. Smart Thermostats are no different, and the fact that they, too, are smart means that they can help control our household environment so that it is more comfortable and healthy.
However, for a Smart Thermostat to be really smart, it needs to learn our daily routines, including when we are home and when we are not. Most Smart Thermostats will need a house to be empty of people for at least a portion of the day so the thermostat can adjust to a less energy-consuming state; over time, the thermostat learns to function at the best efficiency levels for your home. To do this, Smart Thermostats have sensors that detect whether people are present.
In addition, some power companies will run promotions offering free smart thermostats, including installation, if they can adjust your temperature by, say, one degree at times of high demand.
Smart Thermostats Are Easy To Use
Nearly all Smart Thermostats use a touch screen and a user interface that is quite easy to navigate. Consumers can also make temperature changes using smartphones from another room or town. In addition, most smart thermostats can be controlled using a virtual assistant like Amazon Alexa, Apple HomePod, or Google Home.
Can Smart Thermostats Save You Money?
Yes, the amount of savings may vary depending on several factors; but they do it by saving you money through the efficient use of electricity. Smart thermostats learn your household’s habits; they can sense when people are home or away and adjust the temperature accordingly. Many smart thermostats have modes you can set that prioritize saving on electricity use.
Smart Thermostats continually gather the information that helps smart thermostats be smart and know when to turn to heat and cooling on or off, so your HVAC (Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system only runs when needed.
On average, consumers with a smart thermostat installed in their homes save 10% on their electricity bills.
What Smart Thermostat should you purchase?
The one that’s the best for the job! Before looking at features or pricing, check your HVAC system to see which thermostats will be compatible. Most modern systems are compatible with all smart thermostats, though certain systems may require an adapter. In addition, more complex procedures may need a professional to install them to ensure everything works as it’s supposed to, which adds to the overall cost.
Smart Thermostat FAQs
Individuals who move home a lot and those who rent are not likely to benefit from installing smart thermostats; you’re unlikely to take your smart thermostats with you each time you move home.
You can expect to pay up to 10x as much as you would for a traditional thermostat.
If you are uncomfortable with wiring, installing a Smart Thermostat may not be something you should take on; unfortunately, professional installation can be costly. (But it is safe)
Existing heating and cooling systems could encounter compatibility issues.
Yes, if the device to which the thermostat is connected is compatible with a smart thermostat. For the most part, Smart Thermostats will be compatible with any HVAC system. The next question will highlight a couple of other smart thermostat facts.
To be truly Smart, a Smart Thermostat needs to monitor the temperature continuously, so they need a constant power supply, to achieve this, you need a common (C) wire. A few Smart Thermostats can be powered by battery; however, there is a cost to replacing these on a fairly regular basis.
Mains-powered Smart Thermostats also have a battery for backup in case the power goes out, so you don’t lose all the smartness the thermostat has gained over a prolonged period.
Where you locate, the Smart Thermostat is essential in ensuring it will provide the best performance. Firstly Smart Thermostats must be located within range of your Wi-Fi network and have a strong and reliable connection.
Ideally, the thermostat will be located on an internal wall and away from anything that might obstruct the sensors, such as behind a door or cabinet. Locations that will make the thermostat perform poorly include hallways, near any heat source, including direct sun, and close to doors, particularly ones that go directly outdoors. The ideal height for placement is 5 feet.
In the USA, technically not – In many other parts of the world, definitely so.
If you’re not the slightest bit technically minded, you may find smart thermostat instillation and setup complex to understand and prefer an electrician to do the work; on the other hand, if you like DIY projects and are happy to give things a go, why not. No matter what, always keep to the relevant electrical codes and be very careful!
Read my personal instructions on using the Nest thermostat without Wifi. I’ve also written a smart home user guide for the Nest thermostat without Wifi.
Read my personal DIY guide on installing your Wyze smart thermostat before you buy. I’ve also written a user guide for the Wyze thermostat installation.
When you invest in learning thermostats, you’re doing more than just saving money on your power bill. You’re also helping out the environment by using less energy from fossil fuels. If you’re interested in reducing emissions and doing your part to make the planet a little bit greener. Smart thermostats use cutting-edge technology to give you more control over your heating and cooling systems.