08:09 AM

Smart Advice on Buying a Smart Thermostat

Heating and cooling costs account for around half of your energy bill, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. To reduce your energy use, and in turn, save money, consider making the switch to a programmable thermostat. With the right thermostat – and settings – you could save energy while staying comfortable in your home.

Smart thermostats are Wi-Fi enabled and may be controlled remotely through a tablet, smartphone or voice control. Some models use multiple sensors to monitor temperatures in various parts of the home. By doing so, a smart thermostat can help balance heating or cooling in your home. It can also track your temperature preferences to optimize a heating and cooling schedule.

Each smart thermostat has its own features to help you save energy, which may include:

  • Controlling your thermostat from anywhere. Using a smartphone, you can control the temperature of your home while on the go.
  • Geofencing. This feature allows your smart thermostat to detect when you’ve left your house to set your HVAC system on a setting that will save energy, according to ENERGY STAR®. When you’re on the way home, the thermostat uses your phone’s GPS to adjust the temperature again to ensure you arrive to a comfortable home.
  • Reports. Most smart thermostats offer an option to view reports about how often you use your HVAC system. The reports may be available on an app provided by the smart thermostat, such as Nest or ecobee, or may be emailed to you. The reports allow you to see how much energy you use to heat and cool your home and/or how often your HVAC system is operating.
  • Learning temperature preferences. As you adjust the temperature up or down, the smart thermostat records it and learns how to schedule temperature settings based on your preferences.

If you’re interested in buying a smart thermostat, be sure it’s compatible with your heating and cooling system, and is ENERGY STAR® certified, which can help you save more energy.

Jackson EMC residential members can shop the Jackson EMC Marketplace for smart thermostats, including those with rebates.