During summer, many Americans work hard to keep their homes cool and comfortable while trying to save money through reduced energy consumption. A smart thermostat is the most effective tool at your disposal to realize these savings conveniently. With that in mind, let’s look at how a smart thermostat can make a big difference.

Energy Losses

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that Americans waste at least 20% of the energy consumed for cooling their homes. Many factors, including losses due to ductwork and insulation, play a role in this. But Americans also spend billions every year cooling their homes unnecessarily while they’re sleeping and away at work. This is where a smart thermostat can make the biggest difference. If you could just move your thermostat back a few degrees eight hours a day, you could reduce costs by 15%.

Reducing Energy Loss Through a Cooling Schedule

The easiest way to minimize energy loss is automatically through your thermostat. A digital thermostat is far more accurate than an older analog unit. A programmable thermostat is a digital thermostat that supports scheduling. A smart thermostat is a programmable thermostat that has Wi-Fi capabilities and often other advanced features.

Through programming, you could, for example, have a Monday-Friday schedule. This schedule would automatically increase the temperature when you leave for work or when you go to bed. It would also automatically lower it when you wake in the morning and arrive home from work. In this scenario, you could enjoy up to 15 hours of energy savings. Even a change of just 3 degrees could make a substantial difference throughout a cooling season.

A Note About Thermostat Compatibility

Most American homes have a low-voltage air conditioner with a single-stage air handler. The vast majority of smart thermostats on the market support this configuration.

If you have a high-voltage or millivolt system, you’ll need a thermostat that supports that voltage. Likewise, if you have a two- or variable-stage air handler, your thermostat must support that feature.

Smarter Scheduling With Advanced Smart Setback

Preprogrammed schedules are effective until they aren’t. Perhaps you don’t have a uniform work schedule or you have an unexpected change in your routine. Most thermostats have home and away modes to help with this. However, you have to remember to set them, and this approach just isn’t nearly as efficient.

A popular solution is an advanced smart setback. This feature goes by different names depending on the brand, but the concept is the same. Rather than rely on programming alone, the thermostat can set the thermostat based on real-time data about the household.

You can do this in one of two main ways: motion sensors and geofencing. Geofencing is possible by linking your family’s smartphones to the thermostat. Motion sensors are just as effective when it comes to putting the system in away mode. But geofencing is more efficient overall since the system can detect you returning home and adjust the cooling in advance.

More Savings With an Adaptive Recovery Mode

Some smart thermostats have machine-learning capabilities. This takes many different forms depending on the make and model. Perhaps the most notable is adaptive recovery. Air conditioners are at their least efficient when they’re recovering. An adaptive recovery mode helps mitigate this loss. It does this by tracking and analyzing the time it takes for your system to get from setting A to B. It also learns how aggressive it should be during this period to minimize energy consumption.

Real-Time Weather Monitoring

Real-time weather monitoring via the internet is useful in this regard as well. Your system will know ahead of time about predicted heat waves and cooling rains. It can use that information coupled with the adaptive recovery feature to reduce energy usage.

Remote Sensors

One reason a smart thermostat is better than a programmable thermostat is Wi-Fi capability. This allows it to communicate with other Wi-Fi devices. Remote temperature sensors are a great example of how you can use this feature to save in summer. Many homeowners do not have ideal thermostat placement, which reduces energy efficiency. Multiple remote sensors make thermostat placement less important. They also provide the system with a more accurate picture of what is going on in the home. That makes features like adaptive recovery even more effective at helping you save.

Vacation and Other Modes

Many families take their vacations during the summer. Vacation profiles allow you to save even more when you’re away. Smart thermostats often support other profiles as well apart from home and away. Hold provides a convenient way to temporarily override programming while the weekend profile offers convenient weekend programming options. Some systems even offer separate profiles for each member of the family. This is especially useful for zoned HVAC systems.

Remote Access and Control

Most Wi-Fi thermostats have an app that lets you access them from your phone. This makes your system more efficient because you can overcome oversights from anywhere. Adjust programming, or put your system in vacation mode. Some systems even provide push notifications. This can be useful when the system detects an issue and or reminds you about HVAC filters or predictive maintenance.

Automatic Energy Reporting and Analysis

Many smart thermostats can track your energy consumption and even use that data to generate reports. These reports provide you insight into when you’re being efficient and when you’re not. Often, you’ll be able to adjust programming during those periods of inefficiency to save even more. You can customize your reports and have the system send them to you automatically via email.

Thermostat Rebates

The EPA certifies thermostats through its Energy Star program. This certification provides you confidence that the thermostat will perform up to the manufacturer’s claims. It may also make you eligible for an energy rebate. You can find these listed for your area on the EPA website.

Energy Program Participation

Many local electric companies offer opt-in programs. You may, for instance, get a monthly bill credit for allowing them to adjust your thermostat during peak periods. A smart thermostat is usually required. Be sure to check your provider’s website for a list of approved thermostats.

A Caveat Concerning Air Conditioners vs. Heat Pumps

ACs and heat pumps are the same when it comes to cooling and saving in summer with a smart thermostat. But if you have an AC, you likely have a furnace or other heater. A heat pump is an all-in-one solution. Not all thermostats are compatible with heat pump heating.

Smart Thermostat Installation in Camp Verde

If you live in Camp Verde or the neighboring communities and would like a smart thermostat installed, Goettl's High Desert Mechanical can help. Our HVAC technicians install, maintain, and repair all manner of heating and cooling technologies. That includes ducted, ductless, single-zone, and multi-zone configurations. We have indoor air quality experts that install whole-house air purifiers, dehumidifiers, and humidifiers. You can also count on our plumbers for repiping, drain cleaning, garbage disposals, and water filtration and softening systems. Contact us today to schedule a service appointment or an on-site consultation.

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