From thermostats to kitchen appliances, home systems are getting smarter. But how do you know which smart products are actually worth it and which are just a fancy upgrade?
Most of us don't think too much about the thermostat fixed to our wall. After all, it’s been there forever and there really haven't been a whole lot of alternative options. Until now.
Let’s discover why many homeowners are making the switch to smart thermostats and just what's to gain in doing so.
How Does a Smart Thermostat Differ From My Basic Thermostat?
Old school thermostats in your home are likely a basic dial or touch screen. These have the basic functionality of manually raising or lowering the temperature, but not much else. If you live in a newer home, your thermostat may let you set a temperature threshold and a schedule. But, it probably doesn't offer many other value-added features beyond that.
Smart thermostats have a ton of innovative features, including:
- Remote Temperature Control
- Temperature Scheduling
- Vacation Mode
- and Energy Charting
Control Your Thermostat From Anywhere with Remote Temperature Control
Smart thermostats make it possible to remotely adjust your thermostat from anywhere with an internet connection. Whether you arrive at work and realize you forgot to turn down the heat, are out shopping and heard about a big storm, or are feeling cold in the middle of the night and don't want to get out of bed, this is no problem with a smart thermostat. Even if you’re on vacation, you can put your mind at ease by checking your home's heating remotely. Then, quickly get back to relaxing. This ability to remotely control temperature is especially valuable to owners of rental units and second homes.
Whether you work a typical 9-5, night shifts, or a uniquely flexible schedule, you can take advantage of Temperature Scheduling. Smart thermostats make it possible to schedule and automate your indoor temperature to always be exactly right. After installing your smart thermostat, use the app to create your own personalized temperature schedule (in a few quick taps).
For example, you may schedule your thermostat to be a toasty 24°C (75°F) just before your alarm goes off every morning, to turn off completely when you leave for work, heat to 20°C (71°F) before you arrive back home, and cool off to a comfortable sleeping temperature of 15°C (60°F) at bedtime. Temperature for each day (and hour) can be set independently, automating those settings to perfectly fit your lifestyle. You also, of course, can make adjustments on the fly when your schedule changes, and on particularly cold days.
Whether you’re going on a planned vacation or an impromptu day trip, smart thermostats make it easy to turn off all your home heating with one tap. Simply access your thermostat from your smartphone app or computer and activate Vacation Mode. For most smart thermostats, this will instantly turn off your heat and override any schedule you may have set. This helps you can maximize savings while you’re away. When you’re back home, simply turn off Vacation Mode to return to your previous schedule!
Customizable Temperature Zoning
Basic thermostats can adjust the temperature. But when they do, they adjust it for the whole house or in some cases, just one room. Smart thermostats make it possible to group rooms together into zones. This allows you to adjust the temperature in multiple rooms at once.
For example, you might keep your bedroom and family room warmer, the baby's room a few degrees cooler, and your home gym much cooler. Temperature Zoning can be scheduled for your family's unique preferences. Or it can be manually adjusted when you decide to throw a party and need certain rooms heated to a comfortable entertaining level.
A smart thermostat will give you the ability to know exactly how much energy you're using to heat your home daily, weekly, monthly, and annually. Using these easy to read charts, you can identify which rooms are consuming the most heating energy and what times of day you heat the most. With this information, you can confidently make adjustments to reduce energy consumption, lower your electricity bill, and track your progress.
Pro tip: You can use Energy Charting to identify rooms that need insulation upgrades by comparing their energy consumption to other rooms in your home.
The Benefits of Owning a Smart Thermostat
If you're thinking about making just one upgrade to your home, make it a smart thermostat. The power of scheduling, remote temperature control, and zoning will save you time, money, and keep your home at the perfect temperature, no matter what the weather is doing outside.
Smart thermostat owners rave about the luxury of temperature automation, allowing them to set it once and forget about it. You'll never again have to get up to turn the heat on when you're cold or participate in an endless battle with family members over the “perfect” temperature. And your rooms will never be too hot, too cold, or stuffy. If you deviate from your regular schedule to meet friends or rush out for an emergency, you can always make quick temperature adjustments from anywhere.
Save Money on Your Energy Bill
Monitoring your energy usage through an Energy Charting feature makes it possible to identify where you can reduce energy consumption. Then you can make the adjustment, and instantly track the impact. In fact, homeowners that switch to a smart thermostat quickly notice that they can reduce heating costs by as much as 10% by simply reducing their home's temperature by 7-10 °F during a typical 8-hour workday.
The average household dedicates about 60% of its total electricity bill to heating the home. Just by switching out a basic thermostat for a smart thermostat, homeowners will see an average of 10-15% savings on heating costs, which amounts to roughly $130/year, depending on local electricity rates.
Given that we all have unique heating preferences, some homeowners may see much larger energy savings. You can calculate your projected savings from switching to a smart thermostat using Mysa’s energy savings calculator.
Thermostat Rebates are Available!
Because smart thermostats have such a great impact on energy savings, there are tons of utility rebates available. Rebates enable you to get new smart thermostats at a subsidized cost.
To learn more about rebates available in your area, contact your energy provider, your local municipality, and state government. To start your smart thermostat rebate search, check out Mysa eligible rebates or Energy Star's website.
How to Choose Your Smart Thermostat
Before you rush to buy a smart thermostat, take the time to find the right one for your heating system. Most smart thermostats will only work with one type of heating system.
First, determine the type of heating system in your home; is it high or low voltage? If you have low voltage heating, Nest or Ecobee are great options. However, if you have high voltage electric in-floor or baseboard heating, Mysa can help you save. Also, pay attention to the power rating of your heating system to make sure that you’re compatible.
Keep in mind that different smart thermostats come with different features and savings options too. Mysa’s Smart Thermostat can save you up to 26% on your electricity bill. And don’t forget about our Energy Savings Guarantee.
A Smart Thermostat Is Worth It
Switching out your basic thermostat for a smart thermostat is an easy decision. You'll save money and live more comfortably from day one. Furthermore, with utility companies offering rebates and incentives, the decision to own a smart thermostat is becoming a no brainer!
If you're considering just one home upgrade this season, make it a smart thermostat!