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Will a Smart Thermostat Save Me Money on Heating and Cooling Expenses?

December 07, 2020

Keeping your Portland house cozy can eat up a lot of money. A typical homeowner spends about $172 on monthly utility bills, according to ENERGY STAR®, or around $2,060 each year. At least half of that is for heating and cooling.

Most houses rely on programmable thermostats, but most people don’t take the time to use them properly. The process is time-consuming, detailed and only offers you a couple of options for temperature settings. When your residence remains at an unchanging setting throughout the day, it requires utilities and negatively influences your monthly expenses.

Smart thermostats pick up on your schedule and regulate the temp to match it. But can getting one really help you spend less money on heating and cooling? Yes, and here’s why.

Studies Show Smart Thermostats Save on Heating and Cooling Bills

Independent studies show these devices can result in big savings.

These studies involved home energy costs in 41 states before and after adding a Nest smart thermostat. Nest said the study determined its thermostats can save up to 12% on heating and 15% on cooling, generating an estimated savings of $131 to $145 annually.

With the common smart thermostat priced between $100–$250, those savings can help it pay for itself. And many local energy companies offer rebates for smart thermostats since they’re ENERGY STAR® certified.

How Does a Smart Thermostat Work?

After your smart thermostat is installed, you’ll first program it just like your previous thermostat. You’ll turn it up and down, so the thermostat can learn about your preferences. Then, it will start creating a program that helps you spend less money, whether you’re at your house or out and about. Because it geofences with your smartphone, you won’t have to think about adjusting it when you exit or return.

Pros and Cons of Getting a Smart Thermostat


As we talked about before, smart thermostats provide lots of perks to your house and heating and cooling costs, including:

  • No need to set—Your smart thermostat will adjust to your activities, so you won’t be required to waste time adjusting programs or remember to change.
  • Knows when you arrive and go—Since many smart thermostats geofence with your phone, your home will move into an energy-efficient setting when you take off and be comfy when you arrive.
  • Remote temperature supervision—You’ll be able to watch your home’s temperature from nearly any location, because of an app on your phone.
  • Watch heating and cooling use—The majority of smart thermostats offer valuable data through their app, including how long you required heating and cooling on a specific day.
  • Reminders—Some smart thermostats will remind you of critical maintenance tasks, such as when it’s time to change your air filter.
  • Added savings—The majority of local energy companies provide rebates for smart thermostats, so check with yours for more information.


However, there’s a couple of areas you should contemplate regarding getting a smart thermostat in your residence:

  • 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 check with an HVAC specialist like Three Rivers Heating & Cooling. We also suggest having it professionally installed. This ensures that you have the right number of wires and that it’s linked properly. Some systems don’t come with a common wire, which creates compatibility troubles with a smart thermostat. This wire runs your thermostat, so if your house doesn’t have a C-wire, we can put one in.
  • Housing situation—If you own your residence and want to live there for many years, it’s a smart investment to get a smart thermostat. If you’re thinking about moving in the next year or rent, we advise delaying unless you will take the thermostat with you. If you rent, you’ll typically need to get your landlord’s permission first before installing a new thermostat.
  • Cost—Smart thermostats are more expensive than programmable thermostats, and we suggest 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 frequently at the house? If so, you might not see as large of savings, but you’ll get the perks of not being required to program or adjust a thermostat.

Rely on Three Rivers Heating & Cooling for Your Smart Thermostat Needs

At Three Rivers Heating & Cooling, our top goal is to keep your house comfy while helping you conserve more utility expenses. If you’re wanting to install a smart thermostat, our specialists can help, from choosing the ideal model to expert installation. Contact us at 503-213-4433 today to learn more.