How Does a Smart Thermostat Save Money on Utility Costs?

December 07, 2020

Keeping your the Bay Area residence comfy can eat up a big chunk of change. A typical homeowner spends about $172 on monthly energy expenses, according to ENERGY STAR®, or around $2,060 yearly. At least half of that goes to heating and cooling.

Many houses use programmable thermostats, but the majority of people don’t take the trouble to set them. The process is annoying, complicated and only provides you a couple of options for temperature changes. When your home is kept at an identical temperature throughout the day, it requires energy and badly impacts your monthly expenses.

Smart thermostats adjust to your day-to-day activities and adjust the settings to match it. But can having one really conserve money on heating and cooling? Yes, and here’s why.

Studies Show Smart Thermostats Save on Energy Costs

Independent studies have determined these devices can produce large savings.

These studies used home energy costs in 41 states before and after installing a Nest smart thermostat. Nest said the study showed 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 average smart thermostat costing between $100–$250, those savings can help it pay for itself. And many local energy companies have rebates for smart thermostats since they’re ENERGY STAR® certified.

How Does a Smart Thermostat Work?

After your smart thermostat is put in, you’ll at first use it just like any other thermostat. You’ll set it up and down, so the thermostat can determine your desired settings. Then, it will get to work creating a program that helps you save money, whether you’re at your residence or gone. As it geofences with your smartphone, you won’t have to remember to adjust it when you exit or come back.

Pros and Cons of Using a Smart Thermostat


As we talked about prior, smart thermostats give a lot of pluses to your residence and energy expenses, including:

  • No need to adjust—Your smart thermostat will learn your routine, so you won’t be required to spend time setting programs or remember to change.
  • Knows when you get home and go—As lots of smart thermostats geofence with your phone, your home will go into an energy-efficient setting when you leave and be cozy when you arrive.
  • Remote temperature management—You’ll be able to keep an eye on your house’s temp from just about any location, thanks to an app on your phone.
  • Monitor heating and cooling use—The majority of smart thermostats offer in-depth data through their app, including how long you needed heating and cooling on a specific day.
  • Reminders—Select smart thermostats will let you know about essential maintenance tasks, like when you need to change your air filter.
  • Additional savings—Many local energy companies have rebates for smart thermostats, so call with yours for more info.


Having said that, there’s a couple of areas you should consider when considering getting a smart thermostat in your home:

  • Compatibility—Depending on the type and age of your heating and cooling system, a smart thermostat might not work. If you’re not sure, it’s advisable to ask an HVAC specialist like Contra Costa Heating & AC. We also recommend having it professionally installed. This ensures that you have the correct number of wires and that it’s hooked up correctly. Some systems don’t come with a common wire, which results in compatibility issues with a smart thermostat. This wire runs your thermostat, so if your home doesn’t have a C-wire, we can install one.
  • Housing situation—If you own your home and want to reside there for a long time, it’s a smart investment to get a smart thermostat. If you’re planning to move soon or rent, we suggest delaying unless you will take the thermostat with you. If you rent, you’ll typically need to get your landlord’s permission first in advance of getting a new thermostat.
  • Cost—Smart thermostats are pricier than programmable thermostats, and we recommend having yours professionally installed. However, the energy savings over its lifetime 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 get the perks of not needing to program or adjust a thermostat.

Depend on Contra Costa Heating & AC for Your Smart Thermostat Needs

At Contra Costa Heating & AC, our number one purpose is to keep your house pleasant while helping you conserve more heating and cooling expenses. If you’re wanting to install a smart thermostat, our specialists can help, from selecting the right model to expert installation. Contact us at 510-343-9841 today to learn more.