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Best smart thermostats to cut heating costs

Best smart thermostats to cut heating costs
Tab1962 | Dreamstime

It doesn't matter which part of the country you live in, most likely there are times of the year when your energy bill is out of control. If you're in a warmer climate like Arizona, the summer heat can put a serious dent in your wallet. Cooling your home can cost hundreds of dollars per month during the scorching summer months.

On the other end of the spectrum are states like Minnesota and North Dakota. In those areas, energy costs can be overwhelming during the coldest months of winter. Which makes sense when you think about temperatures dropping below zero on any given blistering cold day.

Outdoor temperatures don't even need to be on the extreme spectrum to cause expensive energy bills. If you make simple temperature control mistakes it could cost you big time over the year.

That's why you need to know the best settings for your smart thermostat. They will help you save energy and keep some of your hard earned money.

Saving on energy costs

Did you know that you can save up to 10 percent a year on cooling and heating costs by simply adjusting your thermostat 7-to-10 degrees from its normal setting for eight hours a day? It's true.

 


One way to easily make this adjustment is by installing a smart thermostat in your home. It's smart technology that lets you control your home's temperature remotely with a smartphone, tablet or computer. It helps you keep costs low by adjusting your home's temperature even when you are not there.

This technology also adds a level of convenience that we've never had before. During wintertime, you can set your thermostat to a cooler temperature while you're out, keeping costs low. Then, turn the heat up using your gadget when you're on the way home so it's nice and warm when you get there.

It also works in the summer, just reverse the scenario. Set the air conditioner at a warmer temperature while you're away and turn it down when you're headed back to the house. Either way, you're only heating and cooling the house when you actually need it, potentially saving you a nice chunk of change throughout the year.

ecobee4 Alexa-enabled thermostat with sensor

When it comes to smart thermostats, we recommend the ecobee4 Alexa-enabled thermostat with sensor.

The ecobee4 is more than a smart thermostat. It comes with built-in Amazon Alexa Voice Service and you can ask it to do tasks like order groceries, read the news, and so much more.

Most thermostats read the temperature in just one location of your home, which can make other rooms uncomfortable. Not the ecobee4. It comes with a free room sensor to help manage hot and cold spots in your home.

When you place sensors in your favorite rooms, ecobee4 can read the temperature and detect occupancy. That's how it ensures comfort in rooms that matter most. You can purchase it from Amazon by clicking the button below for under $200.

Buy from Amazon

Nest Thermostat

Do you know that your thermostat accounts for nearly half of your energy costs? It's true.

The Nest Learning Thermostat can help you control those energy costs. This smart thermostat has the ability to learn what temperature you like to keep your home comfortable and builds a schedule around yours. It will automatically adjust the temperature in your home so that you don't have to.

The Nest adapts as your life and the seasons change. Simply use it for one week and it will program itself. It's that easy to use. You can easily purchase a Nest thermostat from Amazon by clicking the button below, you'll be glad that you did.

Buy from Amazon

Perfect settings for winter

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has some guidelines to help consumers save money on their energy bills. They say the perfect temperature to set your thermostat during winter is 68 degrees F. That's while you are awake.

To save even more money you should turn the temperature down a few more degrees while you're sleeping or not at home. This might sound a bit chilly to some of you, but your body will get used to the lower temps and adjust. Thicker clothing and extra layers can also help along with blankets while you're sleeping or lounging around the house.

If you're taking a vacation and will be away for an extended period of time, you should lower the temperature even more. The DOE said that you can set your thermostat as low as 55 degrees F without having to worry about the pipes freezing.

These steps can easily save energy and cash during the winter season.

Perfect settings for summer

You can implement the same type of strategy during the summer as you did in the winter, just in reverse. Just set the temperature of your air conditioner a little warmer than normal when you are not at home.

When you are at home, the DOE said the perfect temperature setting during those hot summer months is 78 degrees F. When you're away, you should set your thermostat as high a temperature as comfortably possible and ensure humidity control when needed. Your overall cooling bill will be lower when the difference between outdoor and indoor temperatures are smaller.

Typically, putting your thermostat at 85 degrees while you're away is a good setting. It won't take too long to cool down to a comfortable level once you return home.

The DOE said, "Avoid setting your thermostat at a colder setting than normal when you turn on your air conditioner. It will not cool your home any faster and could result in excessive cooling and, therefore, unnecessary expense."

Another way to stay cooler, even though you have the air conditioner at a higher temp, is with the help of fans. Ceiling fans let you set the thermostat four degrees warmer without feeling a noticeable difference.

(Note: remember to turn fans off when you leave the room to save more money.)

These suggestions, along with the implementation of a smart thermostat, will help you save money on energy bills. You might be surprised by how much you save at the end of the year.

 

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