How Does a Smart Thermostat Save Money on Utility Costs?

December 07, 2020

Keeping your Kearney home comfortable can require a lot of money. The usual family spends about $172 on monthly utility expenses, according to ENERGY STAR®, or approximately $2,060 annually. At least half of that is consumed by heating and cooling.

Most houses use programmable thermostats, but many people don’t take the time to set them. The process is bothersome, detailed and only gives you limited options for desired temperatures. When your residence stays at the same temp throughout the day, it requires gas and electricity and badly impacts your monthly expenses.

Smart thermostats adjust to your routine and modify the temp to match it. But can installing one really conserve money on heating and cooling? Yes, and here’s why.

Studies Show Smart Thermostats Save on Utility Expenses

Independent studies have found these devices can produce major savings.

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

With the average smart thermostat running between $100–$250, those savings can help it pay for itself. And the majority of local energy companies provide rebates for smart thermostats as they’re ENERGY STAR® certified.

How Does a Smart Thermostat Work?

After your smart thermostat is installed, you’ll initially program it just like any other thermostat. You’ll turn it up and down, so the thermostat can figure out your needs. Then, it will start developing a program that helps you save money, whether you’re at home or away. Because it geofences with your smartphone, you won’t have to remember to adjust it when you exit or return.

Pros and Cons of Installing a Smart Thermostat


As we mentioned before, smart thermostats give lots of advantages to your house and utility expenses, such as:

  • No need to adjust—Your smart thermostat will pick up on your routine, so you won’t be required to waste time adjusting programs or remember to adjust it.
  • Knows when you arrive and take off—Because many smart thermostats geofence with your phone, your residence will go into an energy-efficient setting when you leave and be cozy when you return.
  • Remote temperature control—You’ll be able to watch your home’s temperature from nearly any location, due to an app on your phone.
  • Monitor heating and cooling use—The majority of smart thermostats give in-depth data through their app, such as how long you required heating and cooling on a certain day.
  • Reminders—Certain smart thermostats will remind you of important maintenance tasks, including when you’re due to change your air filter.
  • Additional savings—The majority of local energy companies offer rebates for smart thermostats, so call with yours for more information.


Having said that, there’s a few things you should consider regarding getting a smart thermostat in your home:

  • Compatibility—Based on the type and age of your heating and cooling system, a smart thermostat might not work. If you’re not sure, it’s advisable to ask an HVAC specialist like Thurston Heating & Air Conditioning. We also recommend having it professionally installed. This ensures that you have the right number of wires and that it’s linked accurately. Some systems don’t include a common wire, which causes compatibility troubles with a smart thermostat. This wire powers your thermostat, so if your house doesn’t have a C-wire, we can add one.
  • Housing situation—If you own your home and plan to reside there for years, it’s a smart investment to get a smart thermostat. If you’re planning to move in the next year or rent, we advise waiting unless you will take the thermostat with you. If you rent, you’ll typically need to secure your landlord’s permission first ahead of putting in a new thermostat.
  • Cost—Smart thermostats cost more 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 your situation, you might not see as many savings, but you’ll have the benefits of not having to program or adjust a thermostat.

Depend on Thurston Heating & Air Conditioning for Your Smart Thermostat Needs

At Thurston Heating & Air Conditioning, our number one priority is to keep your house pleasant while helping you conserve more energy expenses. If you’re wanting to install a smart thermostat, our pros can help, from picking the ideal model to expert installation. Give us a call at 308-624-3485 today to learn more.