How Does a Smart Thermostat Save Money on Energy Costs?

December 07, 2020

Keeping your Auburn residence comfortable can eat up a good amount of money. A typical family spends about $172 on monthly energy costs, according to ENERGY STAR®, or about $2,060 annually. At least half of that is for heating and cooling.

Most houses use programmable thermostats, but the majority of people don’t bother to use them properly. The process is bothersome, complicated and only provides you a few options for desired temperatures. When your residence is kept at an identical temp throughout the day, it wastes gas and electricity and badly influences your monthly bill.

Smart thermostats adjust to your routine and modify 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 Reduce on Heating and Cooling Bills

Independent studies have found these devices can lead to large savings.

These studies used home utility costs 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 each year.

With the typical smart thermostat costing between $100–$250, those savings can help it pay for itself. And most 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 put in, you’ll initially use it just like your previous thermostat. You’ll switch it up and down, so the thermostat can determine your needs. Then, it will start making a program that helps you save money, whether you’re at home or away. As it geofences with your smartphone, you won’t have to think about adjusting it when you leave or return.

Pros and Cons of Using a Smart Thermostat


As we covered prior, smart thermostats provide lots of benefits to your home and energy bill, like:

  • No need to set—Your smart thermostat will pick up on your activities, so you don’t have to spend time using programs or remember to turn it up or down.
  • Knows when you arrive and go—As many smart thermostats geofence with your phone, your residence will go into an energy-efficient setting when you go and be comfortable when you return.
  • Remote temperature management—You’ll be able to keep an eye on your residence’s settings from nearly any location, thanks to an app on your phone.
  • Supervise heating and cooling use—The majority of smart thermostats offer detailed data through their app, including how long you needed heating and cooling on a certain day.
  • Reminders—Certain smart thermostats will remind you of essential maintenance tasks, like when you’re due to replace your air filter.
  • Added savings—The majority of local energy companies provide rebates for smart thermostats, so contact with yours for more info.


However, there’s several points you should take into account when considering adding a smart thermostat in your house:

  • Compatibility—Depending on the type and age of your heating and cooling system, a smart thermostat might not function with it. If you’re unsure, it’s advisable to check with an HVAC professional like Forster Heating. We also suggest having it professionally installed. This confirms that you have the correct number of wires and that it’s hooked up accurately. Some systems don’t come with a common wire, which leads to compatibility issues with a smart thermostat. This wire energizes your thermostat, so if your house doesn’t have a C-wire, we can install one.
  • Housing situation—If you own your residence and plan to be there for years, it’s a wise investment to have a smart thermostat. If you’re planning to move soon or rent, we suggest holding back unless you plan to take the thermostat with you. If you rent, you’ll often need to have your landlord’s permission first before installing a new thermostat.
  • Cost—Smart thermostats are pricier 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 often at the house? If so, you might not see as big of savings, but you’ll enjoy the perks of not needing to program or adjust a thermostat.

Rely on Forster Heating for Your Smart Thermostat Needs

At Forster Heating, our number one priority is to keep your home comfy while helping you spend less heating and cooling bills. If you’re wanting to install a smart thermostat, our pros can help, from selecting the right model to expert installation. Contact us at 530-885-8081 today to learn more.