Do Smart Thermostats Save Money?
We live in an age of smart things. Starting will mobile phones, then came watches, and now even something as simple as a traditional thermostat has transformed into a common piece of technology found in households across the world.
The shift to digital thermostats oftentimes comes with a larger price tag, leaving many asking the question “do smart thermostats really save money?” There are many things you must consider when asking this question.
In this post, we’ll explain the costs of a smart thermostat, how they can save money, and ultimately, whether they are worth your money.
Brands of Smart Thermostats
Some of the most common smart thermostats brands are:
You can find many different options outside of these common brands however. A quick Amazon search can help you find thousands of others. Each brand offers a unique experience and capabilities so it’s important to understand your priorities before deciding which to purchase.
In recent months, some brands like Nest and Ecobee have released a “lite” version of their products at a cheaper price point in order to gain market share. These products typically offer slightly less functionality with a discounted price.
Smart Thermostat Costs
There is a wide range of smart thermostats available ranging in price based on their capabilities. You can expect to pay anywhere from $100 to $250 for your smart thermostat with $250 being the average.
- The 3rd Generation Google Nest Thermostat currently costs $249.
- The Ecobee Smart Thermostat currently costs $249.
- The Honeywell Smart Color Thermostat currently costs $159.
If you are not capable of installing and programming the thermostat yourself, you’ll need to hire an HVAC tech to complete this for you. Pricing varies, but you can plan to spend anywhere from $50 to $100 for their services. You should consider this cost when determining if a smart thermostat will save you money.
Do Smart Thermostats Save Money?
Smart thermostats claim to save you money on your electric bill each month, but do they really? We’ll explore if they do and how much of a savings you can look for by using a smart thermostat.
How Smart Thermostats Work to Save Money
The key feature of a smart thermostat is the ability to program your home to heat and cool during select times of day.
For example, you might want to turn on the air conditioning whenever you get home after work in the afternoon. Without a smart thermostat, you have two options. Set the temperature of your home to be cooled all day long, wasting electricity while you are not home. Or, you could chose to leave your home at a warmer temperature, saving money, but becoming less comfortable.
A smart thermostat will allow you to cool or heat your home exactly when you want to and at what levels you choose. Some of the most common programs are:
- Rising the temperature of your home during the summer while you are away, and programming it to lower there temperature 30 minutes before your planned arrival, giving the air conditioning time to return to a normal temperature.
- Lowering the temperature of your home a few degrees during the evening, helping you to sleep better.
- Programming your thermostat with Time of Day electric usage, limiting your use during costly time periods throughout the day.
- Lowering the temperature of your home during the winter, limiting the use of costing auxiliary heat.
How Much Can I Expect to Save?
Your savings with a smart thermostat are dependent on your current electric usage, how you use your thermostat, and the cost of electricity in your region. You can maximize your savings by programming your thermostat appropriately to use less electricity throughout the day.
In reality, you can expect to save a few dollars each month, amounting to around $50 per year. With the cost of your device ranging from $100 to $300, it could take anywhere from 2 to 6 years to recoup your initial investment. Nest claims to save around 10-15% of electric costs.
It’s also worth noting that these savings might come with the cost of decreased comfort at certain times. If this is not a bother to you, than a smart thermostat is most likely worth your investment.
Smart Thermostats Are Convenient
Saving money is great, but one of the other major selling points of smart thermostats is the convenience they provide. Being able to adjust the temperature of your home while laying in bed or watching television attracts many to opt for this digital solution.
Some devices like the 3rd Generation Nest Learning Thermostat are capable of analyzing your behavioral patterns and can adjust your homes temperature based on what it thinks you want.
Smart Thermostat Reviews
The 3rd Gen Google Nest Thermostat is a great device for those looking for a clean interface and design while also offering more advanced functionality. The price has come down in recent times amounting to $249 at your local hardware store or through various other vendors. The Nest Smart Thermostat is ENERGY STAR certified and claims to save anywhere from 10-15% on your HVAC electric costs.
What We Like:
The design of the Nest thermostat is it’s main draw. The UI is clean and extremely user-friendly. It is simple to setup once installed and is very easy to manage. The learning capabilities make it easy to save money by letting machine learning compute the most efficient way to heat and cool your home.
What We Don’t Like:
Google’s Nest suite of products offer a great design and with that comes a larger price tag. While the price of the Nest Thermostat remains similar to other advanced smart thermostats, it doesn’t offer as much compatibility or accessibility when compared to its competitors.
Overall Rating: 8.7/10
The Ecobee Smart Thermostat prides itself on compatibility and functionality while it’s design and UI not quite as clean as the Nest. Also ENERGY STAR certified, the Ecobee Smart thermostat offers similar energy savings compared to other programmable thermostats with the availability to use their automatic learning technology known as eco+.
What We Like:
The Ecobee’s main draw is compatibility and accessibility. With the ability to control your device from many other smart devices, it makes managing your homes temperature a breeze.
What We Don’t Like:
The main drawback of the Ecobee thermostat is it’s design and UI. While this is somewhat subjective, we think most people would agree that the sleek design of the Nest is certainly a deciding factor.
Overall Rating: 8.1/10
Honeywell offers a variety of smart thermostats, all of which do not exceed the price-tag of the Nest or Ecobee thermostats. They range from less than $100 to the similar $250 that others retail for but do not offer some of the more advanced features or UI components.
What We Like:
It’s all about the price when it comes to Honeywell thermostats. You can typically find an option that costs less than the Nest or Ecobee making it a better overall investment for your money.
What We Didn’t Like:
The design and UI of Honeywell products are significantly behind the Nest and Ecobee devices. If this is not a priority for you, a Honeywell thermostat might be a good option, otherwise, stay clear of these products.
Overall Rating: 6.3/10
When determining if a smart thermostat will save you money, you should consider all of the costs involved and how you currently use your thermostat. If you plan on installing the device yourself and minimizing your HVAC usage, a smart thermostat could be a wise investment to save you money. Some people might even chose to purchase the device because of the sleek design and selling point for their home.
Outside of the potential electric savings, the main reason people chose to purchase a smart thermostat is for its convenience. If you already have other devices capable of working with a smart thermostat, it might be worth picking one up for the convenience factor alone.
Do you have a smart thermostat? Comment which one and your thoughts below!