Cost-Cutting Energy Technology: Smart Thermostats

by energyproviderstexascomenergyn in Uncategorized

The term “smart” thermostat refers to a programmable thermostat that allows the homeowner to perform the programming with a smart phone, tablet or computer. Programmable thermostats are widely hailed as energy-saving devices. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, lowering winter thermostat settings for at least eight hours each day – while sleeping or during long periods away from home – can reduce monthly heating bills by as much as 1% for each degree lowered. It’s estimated that proper use of a programmable thermostat can save the average homeowner roughly $180 per year.

One argument against lowering the thermostat at night or before heading out the door is that the temperature when waking or returning home isn’t always comfortable. Smart thermostats eliminate that annoyance by allowing homeowners to adjust the temperature automatically according to the time of day. You can use a smart thermostat warm up your space 30 minutes before crawling out of the covers or arriving home for the evening.

Remote thermostats also eliminate the need for complicated programming steps formerly associated with programmable models. Because the thermostat is accessed wirelessly, users can simply adjust the temperature from a smartphone while on the way home. There’s no need to carefully plan things out or consider a schedule. When the homeowner leaves, the furnace can be turned off. When the homeowner plans to return, a simple smartphone app allows the heat to be turned back on. When something unexpected delays arrival, the change is easy to accommodate.

Of course, programming is still necessary to make the heat kick on before the homeowner wakes, but the newest models of smart thermostats can do that automatically. Often referred to as learning thermostats, the newest devices use remote sensors to learn the household’s schedule and respond by adjusting the temperature. Over time, it learns to predict a household’s sleep and attendance patterns from collected data and adapts its programming to accommodate the occupants.

Smart thermostats can also help homeowners track utility savings by displaying real-time energy consumption. Many of them can even use weather and humidity conditions to fine-tune temperature settings.