Smart phone technology seemed hard to believe at first. Checking email from your phone? Ordering stuff from Amazon no matter where you are? Posting pictures on Facebook from your favorite park? Pretty amazing stuff.
Now, smart technology has advanced into the HVAC industry, allowing homeowners to change their thermostat from their phone when they’re not even home, along with other energy saving features. It’s a pretty cool invention, but how many of us in Northern Virginia should be using that technology, and what are the benefits of using it?
How does a smart thermostat work?
Smart thermostats save you money by keeping your home’s temperature where it needs to be.
- You can control a smart thermostat from your phone to adjust the temperature in your home. Going to be staying late at work? This is the advantage of a smart thermostat over a programmable one. Press a few buttons on your phone to keep the furnace from turning on at its regular time. You’ll save money on heating bills just by doing this several times per month.
- A smart thermostat learns learns your habits. When you make manual adjustments to it such as turning it down at night or when you leave for work, it will remember and replicates your changes by itself.
- A smart thermostat can tell when the house is empty, so it turns down the temperature so you’re not wasting energy when no one is there.
- It monitors weather reports and adjusts the temperature accordingly.
How much do smart thermostats cost, and are they worth the price?
There are a few brands that make smart thermostats, including Nest, Ecobee and Honeywell. The standard Nest model is $249 which is more than standard manual thermostats and even most programmable ones, but the energy costs you can save makes up for that price within a year or two.
Do you need a smart thermostat? Well that depends on your living habits. If you’re someone who forgets to turn the temperature up and down when you go to bed and leave the house, then you’re probably wracking up high energy bills from heating the house when you don’t need to. Also, if you have a sporadic schedule in which the kids are home after school some days and not other days, you could benefit from being able to adjust the temperature from your phone on those days.
Programmable thermostats are still a great, more affordable option if you remember to set the programs and follow the schedule accordingly. As long as you’re not running your furnace often when you’re not home, you can save plenty of money on energy bills with a programmable thermostat.
Still have questions?
Our HVAC technicians at Snell Heating and Air Conditioning in Sterling would be happy to talk with you about the differences between smart and programmable thermostats, and install the one that’s right for your home. Just give us a call.