Did you know that your HVAC system (the system that heats and cools your home) accounts for up to 70% of your home’s energy use? That’s why your energy bills spike during the winter – the colder it is outside, the more heat you need to use to feel cozy inside.
With the rising cost of living putting pressure on the budgets of North Americans, now is a good time to consider easy, cost-effective, and innovative ways to consume less.
While energy efficient home upgrades like new windows and heat pumps can make a huge difference, they’re an equally huge investment. Smart thermostats, on the other hand, are a relatively low-cost way to see real savings on your winter electricity bills - up to 26% (and sometimes even more) if you use them wisely.
Read on to see how smart thermostats can help you reduce home energy use and save money by giving you more precise control over when, where, and how much you heat your home.
Customize your heating schedule
Many homeowners “set and forget” their thermostats and never (or rarely) update their settings. This happens for a few of reasons:
Only about 30% of American homes have thermostats that can be programmed. (According to the UC Davis Energy and Efficiency Institute)
Setting a schedule on a programmable thermostats can be complicated.
Manually adjusting several dial thermostats throughout the home is time consuming.
Life happens, and it’s easy to forget to adjust the temperature throughout the day.
This “set and forget” approach isn’t ideal – heating rooms that no one is using is a common contributor to excess home energy consumption. But the alternative can be time-consuming, complicated, and inconvenient. Who wants to get out of their warm bed or turn the car around during their morning commute when they realize they’ve forgotten to turn down the thermostat?
Smart thermostats like Mysa make creating custom heating schedules much easier. From the app, you can schedule temperature set point changes throughout the day, and easily apply a schedule to multiple days or thermostats throughout your home.
Beyond the convenience, precise app scheduling makes creating an ultra-personalized, comfy home environment accessible. Like a cooler room to sleep in but dread leaving the warmth of bed each morning? Easily schedule your heating to come on 30 minutes before you wake up so your room is at an ideal temperature when it’s time to get moving. Mysa app features like Early On also ensure that by the time you want your room to have reached a certain temperature, it’s there.
Set minimum and maximum temperatures
Teenagers are notorious for cranking up the heat in their room, only to leave an hour later. The result? An ultra-cozy (re: sweltering) room being enjoyed by nobody, and an energy bill that leaves you sweating.
By locking in minimum and maximum temperature set points on each smart thermostat throughout your home, you can say goodbye to “surprise saunas” and ensure that your home’s heating stays within your comfort zone. The best part is that it gives your family, or whoever is sharing your home, a bit of temperature wiggle room without risking unreasonable highs or lows.
Try a lower temperature
The average interior temperature of a home in North America falls between 16 - 21°C (61 - 70°F), the highest of which is ideal for lounging, and the lowest being ideal for sleeping or when nobody is home. To bring down your electricity bill, you could try bringing your thermostat setpoint a bit lower than usual and snuggling up with a cozy blanket and a warm drink instead.
However, while lowering your home’s temperature by several degrees is the most direct way to save money on electricity, it’s not necessarily the most comfortable.
In Eco Mode, Mysa will maintain a room’s set temperature for two hours. Then, Mysa decreases the room temperature by 0.5°C or 1°F. This change is virtually undetectable to those in the room, but over time can make a noticeable difference on your savings.
Keep an eye on energy usage
It’s a well-known concept that “what you pay attention to, grows.” While monitoring your home’s energy use isn’t everyone’s top priority, it is a good way to identify opportunities to save money.
Dial thermostats are not the most accurate way to control your home’s temperature. While your thermostat may be set to 21°C (70°F) there’s no way to know if that’s the actual temperature in your home, unless you purchase a separate thermometer. This kind of inaccuracy can lead to more energy being used than necessary, and subtly increase your electricity bill without you realizing what’s happening.
Many utility providers offer dashboards or reports that track electricity usage over time. However, they can often lack some important details, and in many cases you have to wait until you receive your monthly (or quarterly) bill to view the data. They also don’t give you a breakdown on how you’re using energy – what devices are using the most or what rooms may need some efficiency upgrades.
In-app energy charting is a convenient way to keep an eye on your home’s energy usage over time. You can check it on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis and make real-time adjustments to your home’s energy use accordingly, all within the same app – making smarter energy management decisions easy.