Summer brings plenty of heat and with it comes the sky-high energy bills. Especially if you live in the South, your energy consumption is likely higher in July than almost any other month of the year.
No matter where you live, there are a lot of new technologies that can help you regulate your electricity use and the comfort level of your home.
Types of thermostats
Today, there are many options to help you control the temperature in your home. As you go down this list below, the thermostats become progressively more expensive but they also become increasingly energy efficient, resulting in savings on your electric bill.
A non-programmable thermostat
- You change the temperature on the device yourself at the moment in person.
A programmable thermostat
- You can set the temperature ahead of time on a weekly schedule at the thermostat in person.
A programmable thermostat with WiFi connection
- You can change the temperature on your thermostat from a smart device.
A smart thermostat
- You can adjust the thermostat from your smart device and you can link it to your smart home automation. Some models can even learn your preferences and automatically adjust.
How do smart thermostats work?
A smart thermostat can be controlled by a smart device that is connected to the internet. You can set the temperature in advance on a schedule. Or you can adjust the thermostat from your device at home or anywhere in the world where you have an internet connection.
The Nest Learning Thermostat can learn what you like and then eventually automatically adjust on its own. Some smart thermostats can alert you to problems in your HVAC system or ducts and others will keep you updated about maintenance needs or energy use.
With thermostats that are compatible with Google or Alexa, you can speak a command out loud and the thermostat will adjust. You can even control a humidifier, dehumidifier, or ventilator from your smart thermostat.
Some smart thermostats have geofencing and know when someone is home and automatically adjust the temperature settings based on when you are home or away. Other devices can change the temperature of individual rooms.
Thermostat with humidity control
A thermostat with humidity control can monitor your temperature and the relative humidity level in your home. In the winter, you want the humidity to be about 40% or less and in the summer, you want it to stay below 60%.
Some newer learning thermostats can monitor your home’s humidity and the weather conditions around your home to help adjust the temperature and humidity inside. And you can connect them to a humidifier to help control both temperature and humidity.
A more efficient way to control the humidity of the entire home can be to wire your humidistat (that monitors humidity) to your smart thermostat. A trusted handyman business or HVAC professional can help you decide what works best for your system and your situation.
If the humidity gets too high in the summer, mold and mildew may start growing and impacting your family’s health, especially those with certain allergies. If the relative humidity gets too low in the winter, your home may experience warping boards or built up static electricity. And with low humidity, your family members may have painfully dry sinuses, nose bleeds, and increased infections.
Your AC unit helps to dehumidify the air in the summer, but you can also buy a whole house dehumidifier for the summer or a whole house humidifier for the winter. Or you can buy a humidifier or dehumidifier for a specific room or area.
How much can smart thermostats save?
The actual amount of money you save depends on your particular family’s cooling and heating habits, the amount of preventative maintenance you do with your HVAC system, and how well you take advantage of all of the statistics and services available from your smart thermostat.
Nest conducted a large study to determine how much money its customers saved and found they save 10-12% on heating and about 15% on cooling costs overall. Their results were confirmed by two other independent researchers.
Some smart thermostat companies claim you can save up to 23% on your heating and cooling bills with their products.
The reason you can save more money with a smart thermostat is that it will keep temperatures higher in the summer when you are away and lower in the winter when you’re not home. It is about a more efficient use of your heating and cooling so that you don’t pay for energy consumption you don’t need but you do get the comfort you want when you are home.
You could get the same savings if you turned the thermostat up 7-10 degrees during the day when you are away from home in the summer. But most people don’t do this. Even those with programmable thermostats tend not to set them properly 50% of the time. A smart thermostat handles this without anyone having to think about it.
You can get an idea of how much your family could save per year by using one of these energy calculators:
Home automation ideas
If you want to know how to make a smart home, there are so many new advances in technology you can consider. The reasons to add automation include everything from energy savings, time savings, convenience, improved security, and safety.
How to make a smart home
Here are a few areas where technology can make your life easier and better.
- Smart thermostat
- Smart lightbulbs
- Smart locks
- Robot vacuum cleaners
- Automated blind/drape controls
- Play music, set alarms and reminders
- Adjust temperature from anywhere
- Pet feeders
- Entertainment systems
- Personal digital assistants
- Security cameras
- Home security system
- Smart doorbells with cameras
- Window sensors
- Motion-detecting lights
- Health alert systems
- Panic buttons
- Flood detectors
- Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
Need help installing your home automation hub?
If you don’t have the time or desire to handle installing a DIY home automation system, you don’t have to do the work yourself! A handyman service can help you with installing a smart thermostat and other smart home devices.
Then you can sit back and enjoy the improved security, convenience and safety!
Are you looking for help installing a new smart thermostat in the Columbia, SC area?
Let us tackle the jobs you need done around the house so you can keep your free time and energy for more important things in life.