How Much Will a Smart Thermostat Really Save on Energy Costs?

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No one enjoys shelling out money for heating bills in the winter or air conditioning in the summer. That’s why smart thermostats, which claim to keep those energy bills down, continue to be one of the hottest household items around. According to a recent Coldwell Banker survey, 77% of home buyers crave one of these smart devices, even more than they covet smart locks or smart security cameras.

Buzz factor aside – a smart thermostat can cost upward of $300, including installation. So are they worth it?

How smart thermostats work

Smart thermostats enable homeowners to adjust the temperature in their house in a variety of ways. For one, you can adjust the temperature remotely with a smartphone app or other device. Some also include smart tracking, detecting if people are in the house or learning your habits.

Plus, a smart home thermometer is good for the environment. If everyone in the U.S. switched to an Energy Star–certified smart thermostat, 13 billion pounds of annual greenhouse gas emissions would be offset.

How much smart thermostats save in energy costs

There’s no hard and fast answer to this question. One report found an average cost savings of $100 to $150 per homeowner each year. Manufacturers often advertise savings of 15% to 25% on your bills.

The amount you’ll save will also depend on the following:

  • Where you live: You’ll have greater savings in extreme climates.
  • How you heat your home: If you use electric baseboard heat, then a smart thermostat might be a huge money saver.
  • What type of thermostat you currently use: The older, cheaper, analog versions use mercury, and the temperature readings are far from exact.

Other info about smart thermostats

Saving the environment should be reason enough to get one of these thermostats, but keep these details in mind:

Setting up a smart thermostat can be a pain—or pricey. Hiring someone to install it for you can cost $300 to $550, but many energy companies offer deals.

Glitches will cost you time or money, or both. As with any smart product, glitches happen.

They are a plus for home sellers. If you’re preparing to move and wondering if adding a smart thermostat will add to your home’s value, the answer is yes.

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