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10 Reasons to Install a Smart Thermostat

Today's smart thermostats aren't just control panels for your heating and air conditioning. These thermostats are equipped with Wi-Fi, sensors, advanced algorithms and much more. Here's how those new features benefit you as a homeowner, and why you should consider upgrading to a smart thermostat of your own.

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Saving Money on Energy BillsREDPIXEL.PL/Shutterstock

Saving Money on Energy Bills

A smart thermostat is accurate and informative. Using the manual and the energy saving tips that smart thermostats provide, you can create a schedule with the correct temperature zones to save you money on energy bills. The Nest Thermostat predicts you will save 10-12% on heating costs and 15% on cooling costs. Ecobee says you'll save around 23% on both heating and cooling. Other smart thermostats have similar projections. Plus: Install a Programmable Thermostat for Energy Savings

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Movement SensorsOlivier Le Moal/Shutterstock

Movement Sensors

A smart thermostat is equipped with sensors that detect when people are up and active in the house. This allows them to note the times when you and your family are in the house (mornings, evenings, etc.) and when you are gone, which helps with scheduling. Plus: How to Install a Programmable Thermostat

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Long-Term LearningFamily Handyman

Long-Term Learning

Thermostats like the Nest smart thermostat have learning functions built in. In combination with their sensors, they can "learn" when people are active and when heating/cooling needs to be on, then change their own schedules accordingly. This helps save time when first programming, and when shifting schedules as the seasons change. This is just one of the benefits of nest thermostats. Click the link above to learn more. Plus: Thermostat Not Working?

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Remote Control from Your PhoneFamily Handyman

Remote Control from Your Phone

In addition, a smart thermostat comes with brand apps that you download on mobile devices. As a result, these apps allow you to check the thermostat anywhere you have a data/Wi-Fi connection, and change the temperature if necessary. A wi-fi thermostat is very useful if you need to make changes while at work or on vacation.

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Smart Thermostat App-Based SchedulingSyda Productions/Shutterstock

Smart Thermostat App-Based Scheduling

In addition to long-distance control, smart thermostats also allow you create heating/cooling schedules directly from the app. As a result, not only is this easier than pushing buttons on a control, but it also allows for more in-depth temperature management from week to week. Plus: Do It Your Furnace Maintenance

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Tracking Energy UseAndrey_Popov/Shutterstock

Tracking Energy Use

A smart thermostat also provides energy reports about how much power you are using. Also, they show how your energy use has changed over time, and how much this is likely to cost you. As a result, these reports are typically bundled with tips on how to adjust temperatures to save money as well. Plus: DIY Air Conditioner Repair

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Better Temperature Visibility and ControlsFamily Handyman

Better Temperature Visibility and Controls

Take a look at the design of smart thermostats, and you'll notice large, clearly stylized temperatures. And simple interfaces that you can read at a glance. There's no more squinting at small numbers on poorly lit screens or puzzling over which buttons to press. Plus: Learn how to install electric wire when upgrading your thermostat

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Compatibility with Other Smart DevicesAlexander Kirch/Shutterstock

Compatibility with Other Smart Devices

Smart device platforms continue to grow in compatibility. And that means your smart thermostat can link up and exchange information with a growing number of other home devices. Smart humidifiers and air purifiers, for example, can be controlled with the thermostat if they are on compatible platforms. Plus: All about furnace repair

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Voice Commandsarsten Neglia/Shutterstock

Voice Commands

Thanks to compatibility with voice command technology, like Amazon's Alexa, a smart thermostat can also be controlled with your voice. And commands like, "Alexa, lower the temperature to 68 degrees" allow you to make changes on the spot. Plus: Do I Need a New Furnace?

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Energy Profilespandpstock001/Shutterstock

Energy Profiles

An energy profile is a profile of your house. And It's size, location, methods of heating/cooling and so on contribute to its energy profile scores. So a smart thermostat can be programmed with these details for energy efficiency. And this an automated process that makes HVAC management a little easier. Plus: How to Heat a Garage

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Tracking the Weather

Tracking the Weather

Thermostats like the latest from Ecobee can track the latest local weather reports and make suitable changes in the temperature if the heat is picking up or a cold front is coming in. And that's just some of the smart functions of this thermostat. Plus: Fall Furnace Maintenance Guide Photo: Ecobee