Do Smart Thermostats Really Save Money on Utilities?

December 07, 2020

Keeping your Lake Forest home cozy can require a good amount of money. A typical household spends about $172 on monthly energy costs, according to ENERGY STAR®, or around $2,060 annually. At least half of that is for heating and cooling.

Many houses use programmable thermostats, but most people don’t take the time to program them. The process is time-consuming, complicated and only provides you a few options for desired temperatures. When your residence stays at an identical temperature throughout the day, it requires utilities and badly influences your monthly costs.

Smart thermostats pick up on your day-to-day activities and modify the temp to accompany it. But can using one really help you spend less 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 produce major savings.

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

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

How Does a Smart Thermostat Work?

After your smart thermostat is put in, you’ll at first use it just like your previous thermostat. You’ll switch it up and down, so the thermostat can learn about your desired settings. Then, it will begin creating a program that helps you conserve more money, whether you’re at your house or away. Since it geofences with your smartphone, you won’t have to put it on your list to adjust it when you go or get back.

Pros and Cons of Installing a Smart Thermostat


As we covered prior, smart thermostats offer many perks to your house and heating and cooling expenses, including:

  • No need to program—Your smart thermostat will pick up on your routine, so you don’t have to use up time setting programs or remember to adjust it.
  • Knows when you arrive and take off—Because a lot of smart thermostats geofence with your phone, your residence will go into an energy-efficient setting when you take off and be comfortable when you arrive.
  • Remote temperature supervision—You’ll be able to see your home’s temperature from virtually anyplace, due to an app on your phone.
  • Monitor heating and cooling use—Most smart thermostats offer in-depth data through their app, such as how long you used heating and cooling on a particular day.
  • Reminders—Some smart thermostats will remind you of important maintenance tasks, such as when you’re due to replace your air filter.
  • Added savings—Many local energy companies provide rebates for smart thermostats, so check with yours for more information.


In spite of that, there’s several things you should take into account regarding getting a smart thermostat in your residence:

  • Compatibility—Depending on the type and age of your heating and cooling system, a smart thermostat might not be compatible. If you’re unsure, it’s advisable to check with an HVAC specialist like 1st Choice Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc.. We also advise having it professionally installed. This ensures that you have the proper number of wires and that it’s linked correctly. Some systems don’t come with a common wire, which creates compatibility problems with a smart thermostat. This wire runs your thermostat, so if your house doesn’t have a C-wire, we can add one.
  • Housing situation—If you own your home and want to live there for a long time, it’s a wise investment to install a smart thermostat. If you plan to move shortly or rent, we suggest waiting unless you plan to take the thermostat with you. If you rent, you’ll typically need to get your landlord’s permission first before adding a new thermostat.
  • Cost—Smart thermostats are pricier than programmable thermostats, and we advise 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 that’s your situation, you might not see as many savings, but you’ll enjoy the convenience of not being required to program or adjust a thermostat.

Rely on 1st Choice Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. for Your Smart Thermostat Needs

At 1st Choice Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc., our top purpose is to keep your home comfortable while helping you save on utility costs. If you’re thinking about installing a smart thermostat, our specialists can help, from choosing the ideal model to expert installation. Contact us at 949-204-0859 today to learn more.