SMART thermostats have been widely available for more than a decade now.  Yes, SMART thermostats can be a worthwhile upgrade for forced air heating and central cooling systems. Spring weather fluctuates, having a SMART thermostat will trim your utility bills while keeping your home comfortable.


Spring into a SMART Thermostat

There is good evidence that smart thermostats can help most users save money. According to real-world data gathered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), smart thermostats that meet Energy Star criteria save users an average of 8 percent on their utility bills.  Another Study, in which smart thermostats were installed in low-income, multifamily housing, found a similar savings rate.  That’s about $50 per year, though the savings might be greater in places with frigid winters, brutal summers, or high energy prices.  On the flip side, you might save less if you live in a temperate climate, or if your energy bill is already low.

The secret to the energy savings is pretty simple: Smart thermostats turn off the heat and AC more often than regular thermostats, without sacrificing comfort.  One way that smart thermostats can do this is by figuring out when nobody is home, most commonly with motion sensors, or by checking the location of your phone, geo-fencing.  When the thermostat senses that your house is empty, it’ll switch to an energy-saving mode that adjusts the temperature like up in the summer, down in the winter.  It’s the same effect as changing your thermostat by hand when you leave the house, but these smart thermostats do it automatically, so you don’t have to remember to adjust it yourself.

Smart thermostats range from basic models that simply let you adjust the temperature from an app through high-end models.  SMART thermostats are not all the same and one size does not fit all.  Consumer Reports tested 50 models of SMART thermostats for 2023, the top two thermostats recommended are the Ecobee SMART Thermostat Premium and the Google Nest Learning Thermostat.  The popular Google Nest and Ecobee lines that try to learn your habits and routines to save you money on energy while keeping your home at a desirable temperature.


Ecobee SMART Thermostat Premium

This thermostat has a wide array of settings to refine climate controls for the home.  With a built in Alexa speaker, other devices are not needed. In Consumer Reports testing, the Ecobee SMART thermostat kept the whole house consistently comfortable due to the savvy remote sensors and automatic adjustments to humidity levels.


Google Nest Learning Thermostat

This thermostat is less complicated since built in artificial intelligence (AI) does most of the work.  Manipulating menus and settings are done by the AI.  At the high end of the category, so-called “learning” thermostats try to automatically set a heating and cooling schedule based on when you tend to be home, and how you’ve used the thermostat over time. This feature is also heavily weighted in our product ratings, according to CR’s.  Smart thermostats often integrate a few other strategies and features, including reports on how often your system runs, or some nudgy messages about saving energy by choosing milder temperatures. This models also reminds you to replace your HVAC filter.



Spring into a SMART Thermostat


The other major energy-saving technique is that smart thermostats make it easy to set up a sensible heating and cooling schedule.  This often means programming the thermostat to turn back the system when you’re asleep, or when the house tends to be empty during the day, like during school and work hours. This overlaps with what motion sensors and geo-fencing can do, but not all smart thermostats have those features, and not every user wants them.  Ultimately, if you can bear to set your thermostat back 7° to 10° F for 8 hours a day, the Department of Energy estimates that you can save as much as about 10 percent on your heating and cooling bills with most types of heating and cooling systems.


Contact us

If you have an upcoming heating project, join hands with a licensed and insured contractor at East Coast Mechanical.   Email: ecmcecmc@aol.com  Address: 5133 W Hurley Pond Rd Suite A, Wall Township, NJ 07727 Hours: Monday to Friday 8 AM to 5 PM and Closed Saturday and Sunday.

Phone:  800-300-ECMC or 732-751-8877