Smart thermostats are becoming increasingly popular as homeowners look for more ways to automate their day-to-day lives. However, smart home thermostat buyers continue to report a variety of both benefits and downsides.
The technology first came to most people’s attention a decade ago with the launch of Nest’s Learning Thermostat
. Yet, even ten years on, such devices are still finding their feet in some regards. So, is a smart home thermostat a good choice for you and your home? Let’s start by taking a look at the pros and cons.
Smart Home Thermostat Pros
Improved Energy Efficiency
Today’s smart thermostats are increasingly intelligent. Many models can now sense when you’re at home or not. As such, they can independently adjust a property’s heating and cooling systems to be as efficient as possible. For example, if you leave the house unexpectedly, a suitably equipped smart thermostat can tell and will turn down the heating or air conditioning to save energy.
With a traditional thermostat set on a timer, energy would be wasted heating or cooling an empty home. Unless you’re prepared to adjust a manual thermostat constantly, it’s impossible to match the energy efficiency offered by smart alternatives.
Better for the Environment
Smart thermostats make sure that homes are only heated and cooled when they need to be. Accordingly, they’re an incredible tool in helping to protect the environment. Unfortunately, home heating and air conditioning systems use massive amounts of energy. Unless all of this energy comes from green sources, such as solar, it impacts the planet.
Choosing a smart thermostat, then, is a great way to passively help protect the environment. Some models now even feature on-demand response options to reduce energy consumption at times when carbon emissions are at their peak
. With that, they can pick up some of the slack in terms of the impact of homes still running less efficient, traditional thermostats.
By being more energy-efficient than traditional thermostats, smart options aren’t just better for the environment. By simply cutting down on energy use, they’re better for your wallet, too.
Back in 2015, industry leader Nest reported
that customers could save up to 15 percent on their home heating and cooling costs. Advances in smart thermostat technology have seen this rise to closer to 30 percent in more recent years, according to manufacturers like Ecobee
, and Bosch
Homeowners can access internet-connected smart thermostats remotely. Remote access means that it’s possible to tap into a thermostat’s settings even when you’re not at home. For example, imagine that you’ve left the house without adjusting the heat as you’d planned. With a smart thermostat, it’s easy to make that adjustment from just about anywhere, as long as you have an internet connection.
An important but less-talked-about benefit of many smart thermostats is the option to enable voice commands. Of course, voice commands are a great way to quickly change a thermostat’s settings without manually adjusting the controls. However, for those with limited mobility, for example, they can be a complete game-changer.
A smart thermostat with built-in voice control functionality grants older individuals or those with disabilities the option to change the temperature without having to move. Elsewhere, where age or a medical condition affects dexterity, this further avoids the need to use a smart thermostat’s app. It’s also a hugely beneficial feature for those with reduced vision.
Smart Home Thermostat Warranty
Any thermostat is an integral part of a property’s heating and cooling systems. Because it’s often expensive to repair or replace if there’s an issue, it’s a good idea to have an extended warranty or service contract
For standalone smart thermostats, smart thermostat warranties
are great options to ensure your device stays in the best shape possible. Upsie offers warranties that are up to 70 percent less expensive than competitors while still including premium coverage and benefits.
For example, a comprehensive two-year home tech warranty
costs $11.94 (for a thermostat priced at $120) and includes coverage for:
- Mechanical failures
- Power failures
- WiFi and connectivities issues
- Manufacturer defects
Upsie offers the best plans for smart thermostat protection.
Smart Home Thermostat Cons
A basic, non-programmable thermostat can cost as little as $20. By contrast, even the cheapest smart thermostats currently retail for around $130. Across the board, among the most popular is the latest incarnation of the model that started it all, the third-generation Nest Learning Thermostat
. Right now, this costs $249.
Those looking for something more affordable may prefer Nest’s entry-level model. Although this lacks some of the most intelligent features of its pricier stablemate, the simplified Nest Thermostat
costs around half as much at just $129.99.
All smart thermostats require a degree of installation. While some individuals will be able to tackle this job themselves, in many cases, it’s necessary to call in an expert. Quite often, installation costs can be equal to or greater than the price of a smart thermostat itself.
As a result, the need to factor in this additional amount can be off-putting to some buyers.
Smart Home Thermostat Conclusion
As you can see, the pros outweigh the cons when it comes to smart thermostats. However, if the price is a concern, it’s a good idea to consider the potential cost savings
in terms of energy supply.
Furthermore, be sure to keep a lookout for installation offers. Discounted installation is sometimes made available by manufacturers and retailers, so it pays to shop around. Where an offer isn’t available, expect to budget roughly $250 for installation
, depending on the make and model.
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