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One of the main selling points of a smart thermostat is its ability to automatically adjust the heating and cooling of your home, which can save you money on your electricity bills. However, exactly how much you save is up for debate. Let’s look at the various factors that contribute to how much energy and money you can save by using a smart thermostat.
Do intelligent thermostats save energy?
Yes, intelligent thermostats save energy. Presence detection enables intelligent thermostats to automatically schedule air conditioning based on when people are at home. This feature often uses a smartphone app to determine your proximity to your home and make estimates of when you are likely to return or leave. By reducing the heating and cooling capacity in the house when nobody is around, you can save energy and money on your heating bills.
How much energy can a smart thermostat save?
Energy savings estimates vary, but 10% is a safe starting point. In the end, you need to test your smart thermostat to see exactly how well it works for you.
How much energy you save with an intelligent thermostat depends heavily on the local climate, the size of the apartment and the occupancy. Energy Star says their certified smart thermostats save an average of 8% on heating or cooling, or $ 50 a year on your bill. According to Nest, you can save 10 to 12% on heating and 15% on cooling with a smart thermostat. They say this can translate into average savings of between $ 131 and $ 145 per year on your utility bills. Ecobee estimates that savings can be as high as 26%. Tado estimates that he makes up to 31% in savings.
However, these companies have a keen interest in impressive data results. The US Department of Energy estimates that you can save 10% on heating and cooling by simply lowering the demands of your thermostat eight hours a day from its typical setting of 7 degrees Fahrenheit to 10 degrees Fahrenheit. This is possible without an intelligent thermostat, but it definitely makes the switch easier.
How does a smart thermostat save electricity?
Above all, intelligent thermostats save electricity by automatically reducing your heating and cooling output when it is not needed. The device determines the need by predicting when people are at home and when they are on the move. Software algorithms can use the raw data of your comings and goings to make predictions over time so that air conditioning can intervene before you are expected to arrive or leave.
Smart thermostats are able to take local weather into account to optimize heating schedules. According to data from Ecobee, these weather algorithms can reduce energy consumption by 20%.
It’s worth noting that as long as a thermostat is programmable, you can likely get results similar to a real “smart” thermostat. However, smart thermostats shine because of their ease of use. If a thermostat is programmable but has a terrible interface, you will be less likely to use it and save energy. Conversely, you are more likely to use a well-designed smart thermostat that does a lot of work for you in order to generate savings – although technically it is just as powerful as a programmable thermostat in the lower price range.
What is the energy saving mode on a thermostat?
Intelligent thermostats have an energy-saving mode that puts electrical use above convenience. This leads to more aggressive savings on your bill in the end. The nuances of these power saving modes vary by brand, but this mode may override previous schedules unless otherwise noted. Usually there are still minimum and maximum safety temperatures that will activate the thermostat even in energy saving mode.
If available, intelligent thermostats take into account the usage time tariffs of your provider, so that he can benefit from lower electricity tariffs in times of lower occupancy. In addition to energy-saving mode, intelligent thermostats have many other settings that can be tweaked for an optimal experience.
Hopefully this article will give a clearer picture of how much you can save with a smart thermostat. It can be difficult to come up with specific numbers with such a wide range of sample data, but after a few months of installing your own, the implications should be clear.