Get smart with your smart thermostat
More and more Manitobans are buying smart thermostats for their homes. These Wi-Fi connected devices look slick, are easy to use, and are a great conversation starter when you have guests over. But in order to actually save energy with your smart thermostat, you need to take full advantage of its many features.
While all smart thermostat brands are different, every model has the ability to help you save money on your energy bills. Here are some common features and how they work.
Just like programmable thermostats, smart thermostats allow you to set a schedule that changes the temperature in your home depending on the time of day. This way, you can have one energy-saving setting for when your family is away at school or work, and another more comfortable setting for when everyone is back home.
This summer, we recommend programming your thermostat to increase the temperature by 3°C when everyone’s out of the house. If you set this for at least 8 hours a day, you can save up to 4% on your cooling costs! In the winter, set your thermostat to decrease the temperature by 3°C.
Whether you’re in the comfort of your living room, in the break room at work, or away on a family vacation, access to your smart thermostat is right at your fingertips. Making changes to your heating and cooling schedule has never been more convenient.
For example, let’s say you and your family are on a camping trip and you forgot to adjust the temperature of your home before you left. By accessing your thermostat’s app, you can set your thermostat to vacation mode and not miss a second of valuable family time.
Some smart thermostat models allow you to set up geofencing. This is a feature that connects to your Wi-Fi and GPS to create a perimeter around your home. When you leave (or enter) this perimeter, the temperature of your home will adjust assuming that you’re away (or coming home). This is a great feature to use if you have a busy or unpredictable schedule.
Tracking & reporting
Are you curious as to how much energy you use and when? Many smart thermostats track and report on your energy consumption, savings, and usage patterns. Some can also send you notifications if it senses issues in your home, such as humidity problems, power outages, and unusually high or low temperatures.
Do you have a smart home hub like the Amazon Echo or Google Home? You may be able to integrate it with your smart thermostat. That way, you can adjust your home’s temperature by saying a few simple words. Bonus: if you have other devices like smart LED bulbs, smart plugs, or even a smart doorbell, you may even be able to connect these to your hub and be well on your way to creating a fully-integrated “helpful home.”
Remember, every smart thermostat manufacturer has its own setup instructions, installation requirements, and features. Be sure to check out your thermostat’s user manual or website to find out what’s unique to your product.