I bet you didn’t wake up this morning thinking you’d learn all about smart thermostats today. But by the end of this guide, you’ll be convinced that a smart thermostat is one of the best investments you can make for your home.
These clever devices make regulating your home’s temperature a total breeze while helping you save significantly on energy costs. I’ll walk you through the top 8 benefits so you can see exactly what makes smart thermostats so great.
I’ll also provide some specific smart thermostat models I recommend checking out. That way you’ll have a head start on picking the right one for your home needs and budget. Let’s dive in!
1. Precision Temperature Control for Consistent Comfort
Unlike old-fashioned thermostats with simple dials, smart thermostats allow you to customize precise target temperatures throughout your home. Rather than just basic hotter or cooler settings, you can set an exact desired temperature like 72°F and the thermostat will maintain that level consistently.
This precision helps ensure steady comfort and avoid temperature swings. Did you know temperature deviations of just a few degrees can disrupt sleep and affect productivity? Smart thermostats use advanced algorithms to precisely heat or cool your home to your custom temperature. No more shivering under blankets or waking up in a sweat—your home will stick to your desired temp so you stay cozy.
In a 2019 nationwide survey, 75% of smart thermostat owners said the devices improved their home‘s temperature consistency. And 60% reported getting a better night‘s sleep thanks to their thermostat‘s precision comfort control.
2. Check and Change Your Thermostat Remotely
Smart thermostats connect to the internet and allow you to access your home‘s temperature controls right from your smartphone, no matter where you are. Before leaving work, you can set your thermostat to a nice comfortable temperature so it’s ready when you arrive home.
If you’re out running errands on a hot day and want to get your home cooled down before you return, just take out your phone and set the temperature from afar. No more walking into a sweltering or frigid house when plans unexpectedly change. Remote access makes adjusting your thermostat quick and easy.
Many smart thermostats also let you control them using voice commands with virtual assistants. Imaging saying "Hey Google, set the thermostat to 68 degrees," and having your home‘s temperature automatically adjusted—no buttons or apps needed. That‘s the future.
3. Your Thermostat Knows When You Come and Go
Are you ready for some serious smart home magic? Get this: many smart thermostats use a technology called geofencing that detects when your smartphone enters or leaves your home. This allows the thermostat to automatically switch to energy-saving settings when you‘re away and revert to your comfort temperature when you return.
For example, when you leave for work in the morning it will enter Away mode. Then once your phone comes back within range of your home WiFi network, signaling you‘ve returned, it will resume the Program mode you use while home. Your thermostat basically reads your mind and programs itself around your schedule!
Some thermostats use built-in motion sensors instead of smartphone tracking to know when the home is occupied. Either way, these devices conserve energy and money when you‘re not around to enjoy the indoor weather. Pretty cool, right?
4. Creating Custom Schedules is Super Simple
Programming temperature schedules on old thermostats used to be a real pain—not with smart thermostats. Rather than confusing menus and buttons, smart thermostat apps feature visual scheduling calendars that let you easily customize daily and weekly schedules.
You can use your app‘s calendar to setup detailed schedules like:
Weekdays: 68°F at 6 AM, 63°F at 8 AM when you leave, 70°F at 6 PM for when you return, 66°F at 10 PM for overnight.
Saturday: 68°F at 8 AM, 70°F from 5 PM-9 PM during family time, 66°F at 10 PM.
Sunday: 68°F at 7 AM, 63°F 9 AM-5 PM while away, 70°F at 5 PM, 66°F 10 PM.
Some smart thermostats even have auto-scheduling that learns your routines and automatically optimizes heating/cooling times. Flexible scheduling is a game changer for maximizing comfort while saving energy.
5. Integrates with Other Smart Devices for Automated Control
Here’s something not many people know about smart thermostats—they can work together with all your other connected home devices like lights, locks, and appliances to create automated experiences.
Many smart thermostats integrate with platforms like Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Apple HomeKit, Samsung SmartThings and IFTTT. For example, you could create an automation that turns your thermostat to Away mode, turns off connected lights, and locks your August smart lock when you say "Alexa, I’m leaving.”
You can also have your thermostat automatically adjust temperature based on triggers from other devices—like your smart garage door opening signaling you‘ve arrived home from work. The integration possibilities are awesome!
6. You’ll Get Detailed Reports on Your Energy Use
Unlike the limited feedback of older thermostats, smart thermostats provide detailed reports on your heating and cooling usage. You can view graphs and trends of your HVAC runtimes, temperature settings, and associated energy costs over days, weeks, or months.
These usage reports allow you to analyze your energy use patterns and spot times where you can dial the temperature up or down a bit for savings. You can also pinpoint inconsistencies or abnormal usage that may indicate an HVAC issue needing attention. Knowledge is power when it comes to optimizing your settings and savings.
7. Smart Thermostats Help You Save Big on Energy Costs
At the end of the day, smart thermostats are designed to help you maximize energy efficiency and reduce the costs of heating and cooling your home. According to a recent study by USGBC, properly installed smart thermostats can cut HVAC energy use by 10-30%.
The U.S. Department of Energy found that households with programmed smart thermostats saved an average of $131 annually on energy bills compared to those with basic programmable thermostats. Over 10 years, that adds up to over $1,300 in savings.
The energy and cost savings vary based on climate, home size, your HVAC system and usage patterns. But smart thermostats have proven effective across the board for boosting efficiency. Those savings definitely add up, especially when energy costs are high.
8. Hassle-Free Installation for DIYers
If the idea of installing a thermostat yourself makes you nervous, fear not! Smart thermostats are designed for easy DIY installation. Top brands like Nest, Ecobee, and Emerson include step-by-step instructions, wiring diagrams, and videos that walk you through the process.
Many smart thermostats don’t even require special C-wires, which simplifies installation. Once the thermostat hardware is mounted, you just connect to your home WiFi and the app guides you through setup—it’s pretty painless for most homeowners. If needed, you can also access support from the manufacturer by phone, chat, email or forums.
So don’t let installation intimidate you. Smart thermostats make the process smooth and straightforward even for first-timers. You’ll be dialing in your perfect home temps in no time!
Now that you know the key reasons to go smart with your thermostat, here are my top recommendations in different price ranges:
Ecobee SmartThermostat – Best Overall Smart Thermostat
I think Ecobee provides the most well-rounded smart thermostat option on the market. Highlights include:
- Built-in Amazon Alexa allows voice control of your thermostat and Alexa-compatible smart devices
- Comes with a room sensor to detect temperatures in different areas of your home
- Uses occupancy detection to know when you‘re home and conserve energy when away
- Easy scheduling through the app and built-in energy-saving modes
- Compatible with most HVAC systems and Works with Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, Alexa, SmartThings, etc.
Google Nest Learning Thermostat – Pioneer of Learning Thermostats
The Nest thermostat started the smart thermostat revolution and their latest model offers:
- Auto-Schedule that learns your routine and programs itself
- Detects when you leave home and enters Eco mode automatically
- Energy History shows your usage patterns to optimize efficiency
- Farsight senses when you enter a room to display temperature
- Works with 95% of low-voltage heating and cooling systems
Amazon Smart Thermostat – Budget Friendly Smart Thermostat
Amazon‘s affordable smart thermostat includes:
- Alexa integration allows voice control through Echo devices
- Guided installation using the Amazon Alexa mobile app
- Daily temperature reports provide HVAC usage insights
- Remote access to your thermostat from anywhere
- Lower cost with solid functionality
- Compatible with most C-wire equipped forced air systems
Honeywell RTH9585WF Smart Thermostat
Honeywell‘s thermostats provide offerings like:
- Geofencing senses when you approach or leave your home
- 7-day flexible scheduling and presets like Sleep mode
- Alerts you if extreme indoor temperatures are detected
- Control through the Honeywell Home app from anywhere
- Easy customization through the touchscreen interface
- Works with the majority of HVAC systems
Hopefully this guide provided a helpful overview of smart thermostats and gave you some great options to consider. The technology is really amazing when it comes to maximizing both comfort and efficiency. Let me know if you have any other questions! I‘m happy to chat more about finding the perfect smart thermostat for your home needs and budget.