How Does a Smart Thermostat Save Money on Utility Costs?

December 07, 2020

Keeping your Columbia residence comfy can eat up a lot of money. The average family spends about $172 on monthly utility bills, according to ENERGY STAR®, or around $2,060 each year. At least half of that goes to heating and cooling.

The majority of homes have programmable thermostats, but most people don’t take the time to program them. The process is bothersome, involved and only gives you limited options for desired temperatures. When your residence is kept at an unchanging temperature throughout the day, it consumes utilities and adversely affects your monthly expenses.

Smart thermostats adjust to your routine and adjust the temperatures to coordinate it. But can getting one really save you money on heating and cooling? Yes, and here’s why.

Studies Show Smart Thermostats Save on Heating and Cooling Costs

Independent studies have determined these devices can result in big savings.

These studies used home heating and cooling expenses in 41 states before and after putting in 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 each year.

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

How Does a Smart Thermostat Work?

After your smart thermostat is ready to go, you’ll initially set it just like any other thermostat. You’ll set it up and down, so the thermostat can figure out your preferences. Then, it will get to work creating a program that helps you conserve more money, whether you’re at your residence or gone. Since it geofences with your smartphone, you won’t have to remember to adjust it when you exit or come back.

Pros and Cons of Having a Smart Thermostat


As we talked about previously, smart thermostats offer a lot of perks to your residence and utility bill, like:

  • No need to set—Your smart thermostat will learn your activities, so you won’t need to waste time setting programs or remember to change.
  • Knows when you arrive and leave—Because many smart thermostats geofence with your phone, your home will move into an energy-efficient setting when you take off and be comfy when you get back.
  • Remote temperature supervision—You’ll be able to see your residence’s temp from virtually any location, thanks to an app on your phone.
  • Supervise heating and cooling use—Many smart thermostats offer great data through their app, like how long you used heating and cooling on a specific day.
  • Reminders—Some smart thermostats will let you know about critical maintenance tasks, including when it’s time to get a new air filter.
  • Added savings—Most local energy companies provide rebates for smart thermostats, so call with yours for more information.


In spite of that, there’s several points you should consider when thinking about installing a smart thermostat in your house:

  • Compatibility—Based on the type and age of your heating and cooling system, a smart thermostat might not function with it. If you’re not sure, it’s best to check with an HVAC pro like Watts Electric & A/C Inc. We also recommend having it professionally installed. This confirms that you have the proper number of wires and that it’s hooked up correctly. Some systems don’t include a common wire, which causes compatibility issues with a smart thermostat. This wire powers your thermostat, so if your home doesn’t have a C-wire, we can install one.
  • Housing situation—If you own your residence and plan to be there for a long time, it’s a smart investment to have a smart thermostat. If you’re thinking about moving in the next year or rent, we advise delaying unless you plan to take the thermostat with you. If you rent, you’ll usually need to have your landlord’s permission first ahead of installing a new thermostat.
  • Cost—Smart thermostats are pricier than programmable thermostats, and we recommend having yours professionally installed. However, the energy savings over its lifetime can help pay for itself.
  • Lifestyle—Does a family member work from home, or is someone regularly at the house? If so, you might not see as many savings, but you’ll have the convenience of not having to program or adjust a thermostat.

Depend on Watts Electric & A/C Inc for Your Smart Thermostat Needs

At Watts Electric & A/C Inc, our top purpose is to keep your home comfy while helping you conserve more energy bills. If you’re considering installing a smart thermostat, our professionals can help, from choosing the ideal model to expert installation. Call us at 601-736-7362 today to learn more.