Summer is the time of year when it helps to control your HVAC system. Installing a smart thermostat can help you stay cool, without the expensive utility bill.
When the summer heat sets in, you want to be able to control your thermostat. Cooling your home at the right time, so that it’s comfortable when you and your family are at home, without racking up the expensive energy costs that can come with running your AC all day, while everyone is at work and school.
But installing a smart thermostat (also known as a WiFi thermostat) can help. You’ll be able to adjust the temperature inside your home from your smart phone. Here are five reasons to make the switch to a digital thermostat now, if you haven’t already.
Perhaps the biggest reason to upgrade to a WiFi thermostat is for the energy cost savings. With a smart thermostat, it’s easy to schedule your HVAC to run less while you’re out for the day, so you’ll use less energy by cooling your home only while you’re in it. You can program your digital thermostat to kick in right before family members are scheduled to start coming home, so that your home is cooled to a perfect 72 degrees from the moment you walk in the door.
How much can you expect to save? Different manufacturers tout different levels of savings, but the Nest smart thermostat claims you’ll save 15 percent on cooling costs and 10 to 12 percent on heating costs. The manufacturers of Ecobee smart thermostats claim customers save 23 percent on combined heating and cooling costs.
Most digital thermostats allow users to track their energy usage. You can build a home energy profile that tells you how your energy usage has changed over time, how that’s likely to affect your energy costs in the future, and how you can adjust your heating and cooling preferences to decrease energy costs even more.
Another popular benefit of installing a WiFi thermostat is that it allows you to control the temperature in your home remotely. If you’re coming home early and want your home cooled before you arrive, you can simply log into your thermostat app and adjust your cooling schedule for the day. If you’re going on vacation, you can change your cooling schedule to keep the house warmer while you’re gone.
Got a vacation house to maintain? Your thermostat will send alerts to let you know if the interior temperature in your home has fallen below, or risen above your set limits, so you can monitor whether or not your HVAC is working properly from afar.
Many homeowners resist installing a digital thermostat because they worry that it’d be hard to program, or that it would be too hard to adjust the heating and cooling schedule to account for seasonal changes in home use. But in fact, scheduling your heating and cooling usage is easier with a smart thermostat, and not just because you don’t have to stay on top of adjusting the day-to-day temperature yourself.
Most smart thermostats have movement detectors, so they can tell when members of the household are home and active. Over time, they can learn from your family’s movement patterns when the house needs to be cooled or heated, and they can even use this data to adjust a heating and cooling schedule to account for seasonal changes in how you use your home. That makes it much easier to schedule your heating and cooling needs. They can even monitor the weather, to cool your home more when a heat wave is coming, or heat it more when a cold snap is setting in.
Installing a smart thermostat is easy, as long as you have the right thermostat wiring. Remove your current thermostat cover and take a look at the wiring. You need a thermostat C wire. If you see a wire marked with a C or with the word common, and other wires marked with R, W, Rc, or Rh, you should be able to install a smart thermostat according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Generally, all you will need to do is cut the power to your thermostat, remove the old thermostat, connect the wires to your new thermostat, install the new thermostat faceplate, restore power, and follow programming instructions as prompted and as described in your manufacturer’s instructions.
This summer, you can stay comfortable and cool without spending a ton on cooling costs. Install a smart thermostat, and achieve an unprecedented level of control over your home’s temperature.