Are Smart Thermostats Worth It?

Updated: Sep. 08, 2023

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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Remote Control from Your Phone

A smart thermostat comes with brand apps that you download onto your mobile devices. As a result, these apps allow you to check the thermostat anywhere you have a data or 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 Scheduling

In addition to long-distance control, smart thermostats also allow you to create heating/cooling schedules directly from the app. Not only is this easier than pushing buttons on a control panel, but it also allows for more in-depth temperature management from week to week. That’s why a smart thermostat makes for an extremely useful gift for new homeowners, too.

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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 more accurately zero in on 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 home thermostats have similar projections.

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Movement Sensors

Some smart thermostats come equipped with movement 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. Planning to buy a new one? Here are a few things you need to know before you upgrade your thermostat.

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Long-Term Learning

Thermostats like the Nest smart thermostat have built-in learning functions. 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.

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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.

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Better Temperature Visibility and Controls

Take a look at the design of smart thermostats and you’ll notice large, clearly stylized temperature indicators and simple interfaces that you can read at a glance. That means no more squinting at small numbers on poorly lit screens or puzzling over which buttons to press to access different menus.

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Compatibility with Other Smart Devices

Smart device platforms continue to grow in terms of compatibility. 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.

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Voice Commands

Thanks to compatibility with voice command technology like Amazon’s Alexa, a smart thermostat can also be controlled with your voice. Simple commands like, “Alexa, lower the temperature to 68 degrees” allow you to conveniently make changes on the spot.

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Energy Profiles

An energy profile is a profile of your house based on multiple factors including size, location, and methods of heating/cooling. A smart thermostat can be programmed with these details for energy efficiency and use that information to set up an automated process that makes HVAC management a little easier.

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Tracking the Weather

Seasonal changes aren’t the only time you have to adjust your thermostats. 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.