Do Smart Thermostats Really Save Money on Energy?

December 07, 2020

Keeping your Hodgenville residence comfy can require a lot of money. A typical homeowner spends about $172 on monthly utility bills, according to ENERGY STAR®, or approximately $2,060 each year. At least half of that goes to heating and cooling.

Many homes have programmable thermostats, but the majority of people don’t bother to use them properly. The process is time-consuming, detailed and only offers you a couple of options for temperature changes. When your home stays at the same temp throughout the day, it requires energy and badly impacts your monthly costs.

Smart thermostats adjust to your day-to-day activities and adjust the settings to match it. But can getting one really save you money on heating and cooling? Yes, and here’s why.

Studies Show Smart Thermostats Save on Energy Costs

Independent studies have determined these devices can lead to major savings.

These studies included home utility bills 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, producing an average savings of $131 to $145 annually.

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

How Does a Smart Thermostat Work?

After your smart thermostat is ready to go, you’ll first set it just like your old thermostat. You’ll turn it up and down, so the thermostat can learn about your needs. Then, it will begin developing a program that helps you save money, whether you’re at your residence or gone. As it geofences with your smartphone, you won’t have to remember to adjust it when you leave or come home.

Pros and Cons of Installing a Smart Thermostat


As we talked about before, smart thermostats provide lots of advantages to your residence and energy bill, including:

  • No need to set—Your smart thermostat will pick up on your activities, so you won’t be required to use up time adjusting programs or remember to change.
  • Knows when you arrive and leave—Since many smart thermostats geofence with your phone, your house will be put into an energy-efficient setting when you leave and be cozy when you arrive.
  • Remote temperature management—You’ll be able to keep an eye on your residence’s settings from virtually anywhere, thanks to an app on your phone.
  • Monitor heating and cooling use—The majority of smart thermostats provide valuable data through their app, including how long you used heating and cooling on a certain day.
  • Reminders—Some smart thermostats will remind you of important maintenance tasks, including when it’s time to put in a new air filter.
  • Added savings—Most local energy companies provide rebates for smart thermostats, so check with yours for details.


However, there’s a few things you should contemplate when considering adding a smart thermostat in your house:

  • Compatibility—Based on the type and age of your heating and cooling system, a smart thermostat might not work. If you don’t know, it’s advisable to ask an HVAC specialist like Phelps Heating & Cooling. We also recommend having it professionally installed. This guarantees that you have the right number of wires and that it’s hooked up accurately. Some systems don’t come with a common wire, which causes compatibility troubles with a smart thermostat. This wire powers your thermostat, so if your residence doesn’t have a C-wire, we can put one in.
  • Housing situation—If you own your residence and want to reside there for years, it’s a smart investment to have a smart thermostat. If you’re planning to move in the next year or rent, we suggest holding back unless you will take the thermostat with you. If you rent, you’ll typically need to get your landlord’s permission first ahead of putting in a new thermostat.
  • Cost—Smart thermostats are more expensive than programmable thermostats, and we suggest having yours professionally installed. However, the energy savings over time 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 large of savings, but you’ll get the benefits of not being required to program or adjust a thermostat.

Rely on Phelps Heating & Cooling for Your Smart Thermostat Needs

At Phelps Heating & Cooling, our top goal is to keep your home cozy while helping you conserve more utility costs. If you’re considering installing a smart thermostat, our pros can help, from choosing the right model to expert installation. Give us a call at 270-358-3167 today to learn more.