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  • Winter is Coming - Is a Smart Thermostat Really Worth It?

    A woman dressed in a warm wool jumper and scarf, adjusting a home thermostat dial.

    Smart home appliances have become all the rage, partly because they offer you tons of convenience, and partly because they’re just plain cool. They can also save you quite a bit of money as well, since you can better control how and when your appliances are being used.

    Many consumers have been drawn to smart thermostats as a way to save money on their monthly utility bills, and with winter just around the corner, it only makes sense to look for ways to keep those heating costs low. So is buying a smart thermostat really worth it? Well, before we get into the potential financial viability of switching to a smart thermostat, it’s probably a good idea to gain a solid understanding of what they actually do first.

    What Are Smart Thermostats?

    Smart thermostats enable you to have much more control over your air conditioning and heating system than what traditional thermostats can afford. Traditional thermostats are basically a control panel that allows you to manually turn your heating and air conditioning system on and off, but smart thermostats actually “learn” from your behaviors to give you a more customized experience. With a smart thermostat, you can activate your air conditioner or heater remotely from your smartphone. Motion-sensitive activation is also commonplace with these devices, a feature that can really help towards preventing the wasted energy that comes from heating or cooling empty rooms.

    Not only do smart thermostats offer better energy efficiency, but they have a number of other cool features including the ability to detect changes in indoor humidity (and then adjusting the temperature accordingly), event-based scheduling, and remote monitoring capabilities via your smartphone or other WiFi device.

    The Honeywell Lyric WiFi Smart Thermostat

    Once you’ve taken a good look at the money-saving capabilities offered by smart thermostats such as the Honeywell Lyric, it’s hard to make a case for sticking with your old-school model. The Honeywell Lyric offers a cool feature known as “geofencing,” which basically means that the Lyric will detect when your smartphone has entered within a certain range of proximity to the house (e.g., you’re on your way home from work), and it will automatically adjust the temperature settings to make everything nice and comfortable by the time you arrive.

    It also includes some very useful monitoring features such as “Smart Cues,” which keeps track of when your filters need to be replaced, as well as “Fine Tune,” which measures indoor humidity and adjusts temperature settings accordingly. Just think: With a smart thermostat such as the Honeywell Lyric, you won’t have to worry about accidentally mis-adjusting the thermostat (and thereby wasting tons of money), or dealing with “thermostat wars” that can put significant wear on your HVAC system.

    How Much Money Can You Save with a Smart Thermostat?

    So do smart thermostats indeed save enough money to cover their admittedly higher price tag? According to research from the EPA’s Energy Star Program, smart thermostats can save you up to $180 per year on your heating and cooling costs. What this essentially means is that the average smart thermostat will pay for itself in less than two years, which is not a bad trade-off at all when you consider how much money you’ll be able to save in the long run.

    So is switching to a smart thermostat really worth it? Well, if you enjoy keeping more money in your pocket, it’s pretty safe to say that it is.

    Honeywell Lyric WiFi Smart Thermostat