They’re called “smart” thermostats, but a better name might actually be “common sense” thermostats. Or maybe “dollars and cents” thermostats. No matter what you might think of calling them, today’s new thermostats can save you a significant amount of money.
Some are more sophisticated than others. They use what’s known as adaptive technology, meaning that they keep track of your family’s activity and then make adjustments to your heating and cooling system automatically. This is really smart because otherwise, we might take some less-than-smart approaches to indoor comfort. Here are just a few of the things we do that our smart thermostat can do better.
Do you leave your thermostat at the same temperature?
It seems like this makes sense. Pick a comfortable temperature during the summer months and just let the air conditioning hold it there. According to studies by the Energy Star organization, setting your thermostat at a specific temperature and never touching it can cost you hundreds of dollars in wasted energy billing.
The average Florida family has an empty home on weekdays during office and school hours. Not right now of course, due to the COVID-19 virus, but normally. (If you’re working from home, now would be a great time to install a smart thermostat so you can start saving once you do go back to the office and the kids go back to school). The U.S. Department of Energy has done studies showing that you can save up to 10 percent on annual energy costs by setting your thermostat 5–8 degrees higher in the summer when no one’s home. You could set a reminder to do this manually. And it’s likely that you could at least program it if you have a digital thermostat. But you could also install a smart thermostat and let it happen automatically.
Another reason to trust this to a smart thermostat is that the device will also make sure the temperature is to your liking when you return home. It can calculate how much time it’ll take to lower the temperature and make the necessary adjustments.
Otherwise, you might be tempted to crank that temperature way down to get comfortable as fast as possible, and that’ll eat up some of the savings you gained.
The ability to learn from your activities and then maintain a comfortable interior temperature makes smart thermostats an extremely wise investment – especially because the savings in energy costs probably will pay for a smart thermostat in only about a year. But even a smart thermostat might have problems if it’s not installed correctly, or if it’s not a good match for your home’s HVAC system.
Any type of thermostat will run your air conditioning system more effectively when it’s located on an interior wall away from direct sunlight. Proximity to drafts and doorways can impact operations, too. Even furniture can cause problems by blocking natural air movement. Your thermostat needs to be able to sense natural room air currents (warm air rising and cool air sinking).
Smart thermostats are pretty smart right out of the box, but they can be made to work even harder and more efficiently for you when you have it installed and optimized by professionals. We can advise you on which model or brand will work best with your HVAC system. Best of all, we can get it done the same day you schedule service.