Will a Smart Thermostat Save Me Money on Energy Bills?

December 07, 2020

Keeping your Greater Richmond home comfy can consume a big chunk of change. A typical homeowner spends about $172 on monthly heating and cooling costs, according to ENERGY STAR®, or around $2,060 yearly. At least half of that is consumed by heating and cooling.

Most residences rely on programmable thermostats, but the majority of people don’t take the time to use them properly. The process is time-consuming, involved and only offers you a couple of options for temperature settings. When your house is kept at an identical temperature throughout the day, it requires gas and electricity and negatively affects your monthly expenses.

Smart thermostats learn from your day-to-day activities and modify the temperatures to accompany it. But can using one really conserve money on heating and cooling? Yes, and here’s why.

Studies Show Smart Thermostats Reduce on Heating and Cooling Bills

Independent studies have determined these devices can produce major savings.

These studies used home heating and cooling expenses in 41 states before and after adding a Nest smart thermostat. Nest said the study found its thermostats can save up to 12% on heating and 15% on cooling, generating an average savings of $131 to $145 annually.

With the typical smart thermostat costing between $100–$250, those savings can help it pay for itself. And many local energy companies provide rebates for smart thermostats because they’re ENERGY STAR® certified.

How Does a Smart Thermostat Work?

After your smart thermostat is installed, you’ll at first use it just like your previous thermostat. You’ll turn it up and down, so the thermostat can figure out your wants. Then, it will get to work creating a program that helps you save money, whether you’re at your house or gone. Since it geofences with your smartphone, you won’t have to put it on your list to adjust it when you exit or come home.

Some smart home customers buy into one particular system. If you’ve already tried out the Nest Hello doorbell and you were happy with it, you might then decide to install a Nest thermostat. But many others are mixing and matching their smart home technology. If this is you, you might consider working with a company that integrates everything for you. In the Richmond metro area, companies like Livewire can make a customized solution for any electronic or subsystem in the home, including your smart thermostat.


Pros and Cons of Having a Smart Thermostat


As we talked about previously, smart thermostats offer many pluses to your house and energy expenses, like:

  • No need to program—Your smart thermostat will pick up on your routine, so you won’t need to use up time setting programs or remember to turn it up or down.
  • Knows when you arrive and leave—As lots of smart thermostats geofence with your phone, your house will be put into an energy-efficient setting when you leave and be comfortable when you arrive.
  • Remote temperature control—You’ll be able to keep an eye on your residence’s settings from virtually anywhere, on account of an app on your phone.
  • Supervise heating and cooling use—Most smart thermostats provide great data through their app, including how long you used heating and cooling on a specific day.
  • Reminders—Certain smart thermostats will remind you of important maintenance tasks, such as when you need to get a new air filter.
  • Added savings—The majority of local energy companies have rebates for smart thermostats, so check with yours for more information.


Having said that, there’s a few things you should take into account when considering installing a smart thermostat in your residence:

  • Compatibility—Subject to the type and age of your heating and cooling system, a smart thermostat might not work. If you’re unsure, it’s best to check with an HVAC specialist like Herman Allen Plumbing, Heating & Cooling. We also recommend having it professionally installed. This confirms that you have the right number of wires and that it’s hooked up accurately. Some systems don’t have a common wire, which creates compatibility troubles with a smart thermostat. This wire runs your thermostat, so if your residence doesn’t have a C-wire, we can put one in.
  • Housing situation—If you own your home and plan to be there for a long time, it’s a wise investment to have a smart thermostat. If you’re planning to move soon or rent, we suggest holding back unless you want to take the thermostat with you. If you rent, you’ll often need to have your landlord’s permission first before putting in a new thermostat.
  • Cost—Smart thermostats are pricier than programmable thermostats, and we advise having yours professionally installed. However, the energy savings over the years can help pay for itself.
  • Lifestyle—Does a family member work from home, or is someone regularly at the house? If that’s the case, you might not see as large of savings, but you’ll get the benefits of not needing to program or adjust a thermostat.

Rely on Herman Allen Plumbing, Heating & Cooling for Your Smart Thermostat Needs

At Herman Allen Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, our main goal is to keep your house comfy while helping you conserve more heating and cooling expenses. If you’re considering installing a smart thermostat, our pros can help, from picking the ideal model to expert installation. Call us at 804-302-6657 today to learn more.