10 Reasons Why a Smart Thermostat is Worth Investing In

The open market is very good at developing technological solutions in the form of Smart Appliances to combat modern problems.

Between being able to restrict your energy usage when you’re not around and the ability to monitor the individual use of your appliances, smart appliances are great investments to lower your energy bill and your carbon footprint.

One of the most popular smart appliances is a smart thermostat.  

However, some critics have attacked smart thermostats as being too expensive and promoting convenience over efficiency. 

While the data largely supports the fact that smart thermostats save users money and reduce their energy consumption, many people aren’t sure if they are worth the investment. 

So let’s discuss how smart thermostats work and provide you with pros and cons to decide whether or not a smart thermostat is worth it for your home. 

What is a Smart Thermostat?

A smart thermostat is a Wi-Fi-connected device that enables users to regulate the temperature in their home. 

Like a traditional thermostat, a smart thermostat will turn on and off your heating or cooling unit once a desirable temperature is reached. 

One advantage of  smart thermostats we have tested is that you can adjust the desired temperature of your heating and cooling device from a connected smartphone or tablet. 

In turn, this allows you to adjust your home’s temperature from your bed or even when you aren’t home.

Furthermore, many smart thermostats also come with a bevy of useful features, including:

With these features in mind, let’s explore the ten benefits that we feel smart thermostats offer for homeowners.

10 Reasons Smart Thermostats Benefit You

1. Overall Energy Savings

According to research from EnergyStar, an EnergyStar thermostat can save the average homeowner up to 8% or more on their annual savings.

While this may not seem like a lot of money, these devices can pay for themselves in as little as one to two years. 

According to Nerd Wallet, the average household paid $122 monthly on electricity in 2021, totaling $1464 annually. Using EnergyStar’s figure of 8%, this amounts to savings of $117 annually. 


However, this doesn’t include that energy prices have risen dramatically in the past two years and will most likely continue to rise–significantly increasing your savings. 

Overall in our testing we found a net decrease in spending across a number of sample homes and businesses.A smart thermostat can pay for itself relatively quickly while reducing your overall energy usage. 

2. Smaller Carbon Footprint

Home heating and cooling leave the largest carbon footprint of any other activity we do and account for 20% of total US GHG emissions, according to PNAS testing. 

The reduction in heating and cooling usage can go a long way in reducing your carbon footprint and promoting greater home energy efficiency. For generations, parents have turned down the thermostat and shut doors and windows. Experience and data support using a smart thermostat to help limit cost and carbon footprint.

3. Smart Scheduling

The primary means by which smart thermostats reduce your energy usage is by allowing you to program when you want your heating and cooling to be used. This enables you to reduce your usage when you’re not home, and the energy is being wasted. 

However, this also ensures you always come home to a comfortable temperature. If you’ve ever come home to a freezing home after lowering the thermostat in the winter, you’ll understand how useful this feature can be. In our testing, those that stayed ahead of the forecast temperature and made adjustments to their smart thermostat settings benefited most from the scheduling feature.

4. Remote Temperature Control

As much as smart thermostats offer efficiency advantages, we won’t hide the fact that they are just super convenient. Forecasts and weather conditions change, sothe ability to regulate your appliances from your smartphone is a real game changer when it comes to the convenience of a smart home.

5. Track Energy Usage

Smart thermostats can also help you save money by tracking your home energy usage, specific to your HVAC unit. This information allows you to accrue the best insight into your home heating and cooling energy usage, which is often obscured by other appliances in your standard electric bill. 

6. Monitor HVAC Issues

Some newer thermostats, including the Nest, can alert homeowners to any potential issues with their HVAC units so that they can service them before the repairs become costly. This is one of the many ways smart thermostats save money and make your HVAC unit more efficient. 

7. Humidity Monitoring

One criticism many people have of smart thermostats is that their temperature regulation features may work too well in some instances, leading to issues like mold. However, we have found internal sensors that monitor the humidity solve this problem and alert homeowners of any excess humidity so they can create solutions on the fly. 

8. Safe Temperature Settings

Many of the latest smart thermostats also have features that provide a safe standard temperature to ensure that your home doesn’t grow too warm or cold during extreme weather scenarios. This is especially useful for people with elderly family members or who live in extreme temperature zones. 

9. Learning Capabilities

Many smart thermostats, such as the Nest,  possess some machine learning capabilities which studies your habits to provide you with comfortable temperature regulation. While still in its infancy, this technology makes owning a smart thermostat that much more convenient. 

Nevertheless, with every piece of technology, there are trade-offs that are worth exploring if you’re considering purchasing a smart thermostat. 

10. Comfort

Finally, we can’t overstate the importance of comfort when it comes to purchasing a smart thermostat. Arriving home to a warm home during the summer or a cool home during the winter without having to manually adjust your thermostat makes a world of difference. 

Plus, by leveraging machine learning capabilities, a smart thermostat can analyze your habits and behaviors to supply appropriate temperatures based on the weather outside and when you are home.

Smart Thermostat Cons

1. High Upfront Costs

Smart thermostats may range in price between $30-$250. While not terribly expensive, they may be more pricey than a lot of smart home appliances.

However, this cost needs to be compared to the device’s savings, which may be upwards of $100 or more annually, depending on your home and smart thermostat. 

2. Difficult Installation

One real flaw that anyone will tell you about smart thermostats is their difficult installation setups. As a result, fairly sophisticated electrical knowledge is required, and hiring a professional is often recommended—adding to the cost of your product. 

3. Security Vulnerabilities

While 99.99% of smart thermostats have never been hacked and probably will never be, anything connected to the internet has some security vulnerabilities. Again, while your device is most likely safe, it’s worth noting nonetheless. We are continuing to monitor security updates made by the smart thermostat manufacturers and will update Clean Energy Life readers as we find any concerns, or to provide updates on better security for home and business users.

4. Too Convenient?

One fairly interesting criticism from this article in the Atlantic notes that smart thermostats may be duplicitous because they are too convenient. According to the author, at one point, they lowered the temperature on their AC from their phone, which might not have occurred had they been required to get up off their bed to change it manually. 


However, we have found that the savings from a programmable thermostat when you’re not home tend to balance out the extra costs of making it too easy to adjust your temperature. 


Furthermore, optimizing your home’s insulation and energy efficiency will also help ensure your home can maintain a comfortable temperature without having to turn up the thermostat so often. 

We can’t deny that most smart thermostats are designed to be convenient, but we believe the benefits speak for themselves. 

Are Smart Thermostats Worth It?

Based on our research and experiences, yes, smart thermostats are absolutely worth  the investment for most households, especially for people who live in more extreme climates. 

Overall, smart thermostats can pay for themselves in under two years, cut your carbon footprint, and make your life significantly more convenient. 

They also provide an insight into your home energy usage, which can be coupled with an energy usage monitor to uncover more ways to save money on your electricity. 

Consider investing in more smart appliances to save money and reduce your carbon footprint.

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