Every smart thermostat on the market looks great and promises to save you money. However, smart thermostats are more expensive than the typical programmable one. So, are they actually worth it? Read on to find out.


The Average Savings


Several recent studies show that smart thermostats save customers an average of 10-12% on heating costs and 15% on air conditioning costs. Ecobee goes even further, claiming that their thermostats save up to 23% on energy bills. Their claims revolve around a comparison with a household that leaves their current thermostat at 72°F throughout the year.


Of course, the exact amount an individual household can save depends on your current situation and thermostat habits. To find out your savings, use an energy calculator to set up a heating and cooling schedule that fits your needs.


How Smart Thermostats Save Money


The main way a smart thermostat saves you money is by setting lower temperatures during heating and higher during cooling. The trick is to do that without you noticing. For example, an average U.S. household can save a considerable amount simply by turning the thermostat back 7-10°F from the usual set point for 8 hours per day.


Despite this fact, studies show that 50% of households with smart thermostats don’t configure them properly. For a smart thermostat to save you money, you need to either have a smart thermostat you don’t configure or a thermostat that always stays at the same temperature. If you’re already micro-managing your thermostat, you won’t see much in the way of savings.


Another strong selling point for a smart thermostat is that it’s far easier to configure than a typical thermostat, which can save you a lot of time. Also, there are a few other benefits that might make a smart thermostat a worthwhile investment.


Heat Pump Savings


Most heat pump systems come with an auxiliary heater that kicks in when the system can’t keep up. Unfortunately, the heater is much less effective than the heat pump, so it’s best to avoid using it whenever possible. Instead, your best bet may be to use a smart thermostat to reach your desired set point at the right time using only the heat pump.


Boiler Savings


When you shut off your boiler, it continues to heat your space for a short period after that. If the temperatures dip below a certain point, the boiler may also need a lot of time to turn back on. This is known as the “overshooting” effect and will have your house constantly switching from too cold to too hot. Many smart thermostats have features designed to manage this effect.