With the summer heat still sneaking in, everyone is looking for creative ways to stay cool without breaking the bank. Consider the smart thermostat.

Smart thermostats have seen a huge surge in popularity in recent years, but they aren’t just an expensive convenience. About half of the average American electricity bill comes from heating and cooling, making climate control the most significant contributor to your home’s energy profile. Many Wi-Fi connected thermostats learn your schedule and preferences, helping you save energy by automatically adjusting your temperature settings based on current need.

Some models on the market today go further to take the mystery out of temperature control by reminding you to change your air filter, helping you diagnose problems with your A/C unit, and encouraging you to make more energy-efficient choices. However, before you decide to order one, it’s important to understand the difference between the standard thermostat that came with your house (or apartment) and the new smart thermostat you’re considering.


What is a Regular Thermostat?

Your standard thermostat is “that box on the wall” that controls room temperature. Other than occasionally turning a dial or pressing a few buttons, we rarely think about it.

During the summer, most of us lower the temperature inside the house to stay comfortable. The thermostat kicks in when the inside temperature begins to rise higher than the set temperature. When this happens, the thermostat signals the air conditioner to start. When the room reaches the desired temperature, the thermostat turns the air conditioner off.

The same process occurs with the heater except the thermostat helps to warm the room when it senses that the temperature has exceeded the set temperature.


What is a Smart Thermostat?

A smart thermostat is a sophisticated box on the wall. It gives you the opportunity to control your heating and cooling remotely while taking into account a wide variety of factors, such as the times you leave and come home from work, the rooms in your house you spend the most time in, and your ideal room temperature at different times of the day. Not only can you switch your AC on before heading home from work, you can also program it to turn on and off based on your schedule, the current weather, and even when a certain number of people are in your home.

In addition to high levels of customization, smart thermostats provide insights about your energy usage patterns, such as how much energy it takes to keep your home cozy in the winter and cool in the summer. Some even compare your AC and heater use to the average home in your neighborhood with continual updates and gentle reminders about conserving energy.


How Do Smart Thermostats Work?

While you can control the device via a smartphone app, you can also use the touch-based interface on the device itself—just like on a traditional thermostat. Many people start with the conventional controls. This provides more flexibility if you ever lose Wi-Fi (or misplace your phone) for an extended time, such as during a storm or scheduled maintenance in your area.


How Much can you Save with a Smart Thermostat?

Programming your thermostat correctly can save you almost $200 a year alone. For some models, this initial saving helps pay for the entire purchase price of a new smart thermostat in less than a year, with a little left over for LED bulbs or other energy-saving innovations.

In addition, the “eco” or home/away feature included with many smart thermostats helps you save money by automatically raising or lowering room temperature based on the ambient conditions outside.

All in all, the benefits of smart thermostats outweigh the price tag. Not only do they offer an easy way to cut your energy costs, but they also provide in-depth, behind the scenes insights into your actual energy usage like never before.


Regardless of whether you have a conventional thermostat or a smart one, be sure to contact Santanna Energy when it’s time to upgrade or renew your natural gas and electricity plans. Call 630-552-6881 or go online to: www.santannaenergyservices.com


About Santanna Energy Services
Santanna Energy Services located in Austin, TX, is a Natural Gas and Electricity Provider for Residential, Commercial, Industrial, and Institutional customers. The company was founded in 1988 and has been in business for 32 years and growing!