Smart products for your home aren’t new, but they’re growing in popularity for more than just the convenience factor. While there are many different smart devices out there, one of the first you should consider is a smart thermostat. When you replace your existing thermostat with a smart thermostat, your heating and cooling units use energy more efficiently which significantly reduces your energy bills.
What is a smart thermostat?
A smart thermostat is a Wi-Fi-enabled device that automatically adjusts your heating and cooling temperatures based on programmed settings to keep your home running at optimal efficiency. You can typically control them from your phone, smart speaker, or other Wi-Fi-enabled devices. Aside from improved energy efficiency, they’re intended to help you keep your home comfortable in the most convenient and cost-effective way possible.
How do smart thermostats work?
If you’ve gone this long with a traditional thermostat, you might be asking yourself if it’s really necessary to install a smart thermostat. To determine if making this transition is right for you, here are some key differences between the two home temperature control devices:
- Your smart thermostat automatically adjusts throughout the day based on your desired settings; a traditional thermostat needs to be adjusted manually.
- Smart devices can provide you with detailed data and reports so you can see how much energy you’re using over a period of time; a traditional thermostat provides minimal to no insight on energy usage.
- Smart devices are easy to take with you if you move into a new home, so you won't have to worry about losing your investment.
- If you have a WiFi-enabled device, you can control it from an app no matter where you are; this is convenient if you travel often and want the option to change the settings should unexpected weather happen while you're away (or you forget to change the ac temperature before you leave).
Are smart thermostats worth it?
With smart technology becoming more readily available and more integrated, this is an investment that will likely become more effective and efficient as time goes on. This also makes it worthwhile to protect your smart thermostat with an extended warranty like MulberryCare. You can get an ecobee Smart Thermostat for $159, and 2 years of MulberryCare for only $13.99. You can also view MulberryCare plans when you install the extension.
Do smart thermostats save money?
Absolutely. A smart thermostat like the ecobee can reduce your energy bills by up to 26%. How to install a smart thermostat is easy, and if you need help there are dozens of YouTube videos out there so you can find the exact model you're trying to replace. Since you’ll save money over time, and it'll only take you a few years to recoup the cost of the smart thermostat, it’s generally worth the investment.
What are the best smart thermostats?
There are plenty of options to choose from depending on your budget. You can get some for as low as $100 (check out these online shopping tips that will help you save even more), with more sophisticated models costing a few hundred. With so many brands to choose from and almost all Energy Star certified, make sure you understand benefits of each before you decide on your smart thermostat.
Here are some of the most popular brands on the market right now:
ecobee Smart Thermostat
- Average cost: $149-$249
- Energy cost savings of up to 26%
- Equipped with voice control
- Integrates with Apple HomeKit and can be controlled by the Apple Watch
- Includes a SmartSensor in the box
- Average cost: $130-$250
- Energy cost savings: 10-12% on heating bills, 15% on cooling bills
- No need to program—the Nest becomes familiar with your preferences and programs itself (you can choose to program it yourself)
- Eco function for when you’re away to save energy
- Nest Leaf icon helps you keep track of energy-efficient temperatures, maximizing your cost-savings
Honeywell Smart Thermostat
- Average cost: $120-$230
- Savings of up to 10% annually
- Has the most cost-effective options to choose from but functionality and connectivity may be more limited
- Works with RedLink Room Sensors to detect motion and focus on occupied rooms (sold separately, around $60 for two)
Protect your smart thermostat with a MulberryCare product protection plan
No matter which brand you go with, MulberryCare extended protection will ensure your smart thermostat functions properly and efficiently for years to come. For electronics with smart technology, it's always important to have an extended warranty to fall back on because electrical failures are bound to happen. Add the MulberryCare extension to your browser and get alerts when your smart thermostat is eligible for MulberryCare.