money saving with smart thermostat

How Much Money Can You Save With a Smart Thermostat?

Thanks to inflation, the cost of living has gone through the roof. We’re all paying a whole lot more for basic essentials such as food, transportation, and utilities.

Increasingly, homeowners are examining ways to reign in their natural gas and electricity bills. No wonder. Just look at these figures from energyrates.ca:

For electricity, the average regulated rates for EPCOR increased from 9.825 cents/kilowatt hour to 13.618 cents/kilowatt hour in 2022. Over that same period, ENMAX’s rate climbed from 9.309 ¢/kWh to 13.340 ¢/kWh.

This has led to shocking increases in monthly utility bills. One proven way to reduce costs is to cut down on energy consumption. That’s why a growing number of Calgary homeowners are installing smart thermostats.

What is a smart thermostat?

A smart thermostat is a programable thermostat that can be controlled by adjusting temperature settings on the wall-mounted unit – or remotely through a smartphone/tablet or smart speaker.

The thermostat is hard-wired to your furnace/air conditioning unit like a standard thermostat.

Unlike a regular programmable thermostat, a smart thermostat connects to your home’s Wi-Fi, which allows you to control temperature through an app or voice-activated system (like Siri or Alexa).

Smart thermostats have become more and more popular in a world where schedules and routines and constantly changing due to our busy and active lifestyles. They allow you to adjust the temperature from anywhere.

How much can you save with a smart thermostat?

According to the US Department of Energy48% of household energy consumption is dedicated to heating and cooling the home.

Every degree you turn down your thermostat while you’re away can save you money. The Department of Energy suggests homeowners can reduce annual energy costs by 10% by dropping the furnace temperature setting a few degrees for 8 hours/day.

In the winter months, it is suggested you keep the thermostat at 20°C when you’re at home and lower it to about 14-15°C at night or when you’re away.

Smart thermostats make it easy!

Like a standard programmable thermostat, smart thermostats allow you to automatically set the furnace to a lower temperature while you’re away (or asleep) and turn it up again just before you get home (or wake).

Here’s the difference. Say you decide to spontaneously go out for dinner and won’t be home for a few more hours. A smart thermostat gives you the flexibility to adjust the temperature while you’re perusing the menu for appetizers.

Higher-end models can even learn your schedule and automatically adjust the temperature based on your usage habits.

Other ways a smart thermostat helps you save

Some of the more advanced smart thermostats are designed to communicate with your furnace to diagnose problems and even tell you if it’s time to change the filter. This helps to improve energy efficiency. Catching a problem early can also save you from more costly repairs if the issue is not addressed.

What do smart thermostats cost?

In Calgary, at the time of writing, out-of-the-package smart thermostats at Home Depot ranged from $129 for a basic Emerson Sensi Smart unit to $289 for the top-of-line ecobee (with room sensor and Alexa voice control).

If you are putting in a new furnace (or air conditioner), or are replacing an old one, installation companies like Advanpro can provide a smart thermostat and install it for you at a competitive price.

Set yourself onto a path of energy-wise habits

Adjusting your thermostat to reduce energy usage is one way to save money. Another is to turn off any lights or appliances that aren’t in use.

Perhaps the greatest savings can be achieved by upgrading an old furnace to a high-efficiency model. A top-rated high-efficiency model can heat a home using 50% less gas than an older model furnace!

Finally, many experts are suggesting this is a good time to lock into long-term gas and electricity contacts and shop around to get the best rate. (To compare, visit energyrates.ca).

In these inflationary times, everything you can do to save a dollar here and there helps!

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