Larry Cook Heating & Cooling

Is Winter a Good Time to Install a Smart Thermostat?

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Approximately ¾ of buyers within the United States have purchased and use smart gadgets at home. Most of these buyers plan to purchase additional smart devices in the future. These facts aren’t surprising as electronics are very popular and becoming more and more common as technology advances. The most commonly found smart home devices used in homes throughout the United States are smart speakers, thermostats, and lighting. 

Smart thermostats are popular for many reasons, such as, money savings on utility bills, increased energy efficiency, more accurate heating and cooling, convenience, and more. You may be wondering, what is a smart thermostat? A smart thermostat is a thermostat that can be managed remotely with items such as a phone, iPad, smart speaker, or computer. There are a variety of different types of thermostats, which you can learn more about here

One of the great features that many smart thermostats have is the ability to automatically adjust the temperature to your living habits, such as when you leave and come home from work the temperature in your home can be adjusted accordingly. Smart thermostats also generally allow you to schedule your own temperature settings and incorporate these temperature settings into a home automation system. Many popular smart thermostats have diagnostic capabilities that notify you when HVAC maintenance is needed or if there may be a problem with your HVAC system. 

Smart thermostats are a great investment for tech-savvy homeowners. If you’re interested in increased energy savings, a smart thermostat is a wonderful place to start. 

How Much Can a Smart Thermostat Save?

According to Energy Star, the average savings with smart thermostats is 8%. “Savings may be greater depending on climate, personal comfort preferences, occupancy, and/or heating/cooling (HVAC) equipment.” 

In 2015, Nest looked at studies of their smart thermostat energy savings performance and found that energy savings while heating a home were between 10% to 12%, and the savings when cooling a home were approximately 15%. Nest noted that savings will vary significantly from home to home, as people have different temperature preferences, occupancy patterns, house characteristics, and climates. 

The data is clear that automatic and/or programmable smart thermostats do provide energy savings and help homeowners stay comfortable. So, the next step is considering which thermostat to purchase for optimal performance based on your lifestyle. 

Comparing Smart Thermostats

There are plenty of smart thermostats on the market to select from. Before buying a smart thermostat, consider the following items: 

  • What features do you want in your smart thermostat? How much control do you want your smart thermostat to have?  Not all smart thermostats have the same features. 
  • How much does the smart thermostat cost? Smart thermostat prices vary! 
  • Look at reviews to see what other people are saying about any thermostat that you may be interested in. 

Smart Thermostat Features

Geofencing or Home Away Function

Geofencing is a popular feature on many smart thermostats. The geofencing feature allows homeowners to create a “fence” around their home so that the thermostat can detect when you leave home or come home to adjust the temperature. This is a wonderful way to not waste a lot of money heating or cooling your home when no-one is home. 

Mobile Alerts

Most smart thermostats can be set up to alert you when something is wrong with your heating and cooling system. For example, if you are away on vacation or at work and the temperature inside your home decreases significantly, your smart thermostat can send an alert to your cell phone notifying you of the issue. These mobile alerts allow homeowners to catch HVAC problems as soon as they arise. 

Smart thermostat information

Touch Screen

Many homeowners enjoy the convenience of being able to program their thermostat from the thermostat itself. If easy programming from the thermostat is important to you, be sure to select a smart thermostat with a large full color touchscreen. 

Proximity Sensor

If a touchscreen smart thermostat is important to you, consider whether you’d like your smart thermostat to have a proximity sensor. A proximity sensor will dim the screen on the thermostat when there is no movement, and when there is movement the screen will brighten. 

Room Sensors

An important thermostat feature is the ability to sense the temperature of the air that is immediately surrounding the thermostat. Keep in mind that the thermostat is not taking account of the temperature anywhere else in a home. It only senses the temperature that is immediately next to the thermostat itself. It is possible to install additional sensors throughout a home, but you’ll need to make sure that the sensors are compatible with the particular smart thermostat you are interested in purchasing. 

Energy Reports

Most people who are investing in a smart thermostat are doing so to help with their energy consumption. Some smart thermostats will provide homeowners with energy tracking reports so that you can better understand how you are using energy, and ways that you can decrease your energy usage. These energy reports can be incredibly valuable. 

Compatible With HVAC Accessories

Consider investing in a smart thermostat that is compatible with other equipment in your home. For example, some thermostats allow you to remotely control your humidifier, air cleaner, and HVAC system! 

Smart Thermostat Prices?

How much does a smart thermostat cost? It depends. Smart thermostats can vary between $150 to $1,000.00, depending on which thermostat you purchase. The good news is that there are many options to choose from so it won’t be difficult to find a great option that fits both your budget and needs. 

Smart Thermostat Reviews

Take the time to find out what others are saying about the best smart thermostats to buy. It’s also a great idea to get in touch with an HVAC professional to find out what their experience is with various smart thermostats. HVAC professionals will be able to tell you their experience with smart thermostats having technical difficulties, ease of use, compatibility, and more. 

Smart Thermostat Installation

Lastly, don’t forget to consider the cost of installing a new smart thermostat. The cost of installation can vary greatly depending on the type of smart thermostat you are installing, and your current thermostat set up. We offer free no-obligation estimates, and would be happy to discuss with you smart thermostat options and installation costs. Contact Larry Cook Heating and Cooling today at (316) 322-5668 to schedule your free estimate! 


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