You’ve probably been hearing about smart thermostats for a while now. And if you don’t already have one, you might be wondering—can they possibly live up to all the hype? At Bosque Heating, Cooling & Plumbing, we’ll personally attest to the fact that yes, they do! They are worth it in every way.
And if you’ve been thinking about one for a while, a smart thermostat makes the perfect Christmas present! But before we launch into what’s so great about these devices, we will start by explaining what they are and how they work.
But what are smart thermostats anyway?
You’re probably well familiar with the old school thermostats. These are the analog thermostats that simply turn up and down with a dial. The next iteration of thermostats that have been around for over 100 years are programmable thermostats. You’re probably familiar with these as well. Programmable thermostats are digital thermostats that allow a home or business owner to program a schedule, so the temperature adjusts automatically.
Throughout the years, these were believed to save energy and became a standard fixture in most homes and businesses. However, many studies showed that, primarily due to user error, programmable thermostats cost their users more money than analog thermostats.
And thus, the smart thermostat was born. The first smart thermostat was ecobee, created by Stuart Lombard in an effort to reduce his carbon footprint without sacrificing comfort. As ecobee took off, other manufacturers jumped into the market. The most popular of these are Nest and long-time thermostat manufacturer, Honeywell.
Smart thermostats connect to Wi-Fi and allow users to control their thermostats with their phone or even their voice. And while it all might sound a bit too “Jetsons” for some, nowadays, most smart thermostats are very user friendly, even for those who are reluctant to go all-in on current technology. Now you have a better idea of what a smart thermostat is, we’ve got to tell you all about why you’re going to love it when you get one in your home!
3 Reasons You’re Missing Out If You Don’t Have a Smart Thermostat
We could go on and on about how much we love smart thermostats, and in fact, we’ll just start with one of our owners, Carlos’ own love story with his smart thermostat.
“So [imagine] if you’re laying in bed and you’re thinking—it’s freezing! I’m the kind of person if I’m in a cold room in a warm bed—it is hard to get me out of that bed. But if I could grab my phone and kick the heat up and warm up the room, as soon as I feel the temperature rise in my room, I get up. And for me actually, for years—setting my heat to turn up at 4:30 AM— that was my alarm clock.”
If you’re like Carlos and have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning, this is just the start of what you can do with a smart thermostat.
Reason #1—They’re just so cool!
Reading Carlos’ story, you might be thinking you could already set your thermostat to come on with your programmable thermostat. That’s true. But, what if there is a morning you want to get up earlier than usual to work out before the day gets going? Or what if you’ve got a little one that’s up sick in the night and you’re up and down at unusual times?
Or perhaps you have a programmable thermostat and just never program it. You know that feeling of lying in bed and instantly getting so hot, realizing you never adjusted your thermostat before tucking yourself in? It’s the worst!
All of these inconveniences are instantly solved with a smart thermostat. A smart thermostat allows you to adjust and control your home’s temperature from an app on your phone. Some versions even allow for voice control, which we dive deeper into in another point.
Another one of their incredible capabilities is that many of them are smart in the sense that they learn your patterns. Remember when we mentioned how programmable thermostats were supposed to be more energy-efficient, but it turned out in many cases they weren’t?
With a smart thermostat learning your daily and weekly routines, it will adjust on its own based on where you are and what time of day it is. Some even have geofencing capabilities that know when you’re coming home and will get the thermostat to a comfortable temperature for you ahead of time.
Reason #2—You’ll save serious $$$ on energy costs.
The purpose of the first smart thermostat was to reduce energy bills and the energy needed to heat a home. And this has certainly held true for the decade+ that smart thermostats have been around. Ecobee even claims their users have saved enough in energy costs to take all homes in Las Vegas off the grid for a year!
We’d like to clear up one little misconception about saving money on heating and cooling costs. Some people try to save money by turning their heating and cooling way down or off when they aren’t home. But the fact of the matter is, it takes more energy to heat your home from 55 degrees than it does to keep the temperature within five degrees of your comfort zone. And a smart thermostat can certainly help you do that.
Another way smart thermostats help you save money on energy bills is by tracking your habits and making suggestions. Carlos explained,
“It’ll give you recommendations on how to improve by saying, ‘Hey, if you adjusted your thermostat two degrees higher in the summer and you’d still be comfortable, you’d actually save $200 over the next year.’ All those analytics are built into the thermostat.”
And when your energy bill goes down, not only are you reducing your own expense, which is a personal win, but you’re using less energy and taking up fewer resources, which is a win for the planet as well.
Reason #3—They connect with smart features you’re already using.
If you’re already using an Alexa Echo or a Google Nest (formerly Google Home), you’re one step closer to smart thermostat success. These features you might already have in your home allow you to turn up or down your smart thermostat with your voice.
Say you have a bunch of friends over for a dinner party, and it’s heating up quickly with all the food and fun. Changing the thermostat is as simple as saying, “Alexa, turn the AC down three degrees.”
Before you purchase a smart thermostat, it’s important to do a bit of research if you already have smart technology you want to pair with. For example, ecobee pairs with Alexa and already has Alexa built into it. Nest is a Google product, so it pairs naturally to Google Nest/Home but it can also pair with Alexa. Honeywell is the most straightforward smart thermostat and ideal for someone not looking for all the bells and whistles.
We’re happy to give your our insight about pairings and capabilities, but there are people out their much more tech-savvy than us if you want to get their opinion on which direction you should go. For example, check out this blog post from Tech Hive for a great comparison between Alexa/Ecobee and Google/Nest.
Now’s the time to treat yourself.
This Christmas, maybe it’s time to treat yourself or a loved one with that smart thermostat you’ve been wanting. Bosque Heating, Cooling and Plumbing installs ecobee, Nest, and Honeywell smart thermostats, starting at $200 plus install. Plus, we offer an excellent warranty with these brands, so you’re sure you’re satisfied with the product.
We think you’ll find within a few years, you’ll easily make back the initial expense in energy savings. And the convenience of turning that heat up or down from your bed might just be priceless! Please contact us today to get a quote for a smart thermostat install and let us set you up with comfort for the holidays.