page not found

Watt's Happening

Watt’s the Deal With Smart Thermostats?

How are you controlling the temperature in your home? If you’re not using a smart thermostat, you could be missing out on big savings!

Are you being smart about your energy spending? We’re living in the future, which means there’s plenty of ways you can wield smart home technologies to automate your home with smart products.

But first – what exactly is a smart product? They vary significantly in their functionality but share the common benefit of being remotely controlled via mobile device, computer, or tablet, each addressing different needs – from entertainment to energy efficiency.

Another benefit is that smart products can communicate with each other through wireless signals, allowing one to trigger another. For example, an app can transmit a command to a smart thermostat to increase the temperature.

Speaking of thermostats – does all this smart talk get you feeling hot and bothered? You can cool off with a smart thermostat!

This automated technology replaces a home’s existing thermostat, connects to Wi-Fi and can be controlled by a smartphone app. They range in price from about $100 to $250. Many are designed to be Do-It-Yourself (DIY) installation projects. The best part? They’re so smart they can help you cut costs from your monthly energy bill!

So, Watt’s the deal with smart thermostats? The Watt’s Team is here to help break it all down with this handy guide. 

Smart thermostat, smarter benefits

Smart thermostat owners enjoy energy savings of about $50 a year. We tested both simple and sophisticated smart thermostats in South Florida single-family homes and found the A/C savings for both to be the same. In South Florida, all the savings measured came from reduced cooling. Homes saved on average, 450 kWh per year or about $50. If you live in an area that uses heating, you might save more.

They are also highly convenient. Being able to control your home’s A/C from your smartphone makes it easy to come home to comfort. Say goodbye to having to climb the stairs to adjust the temperature of your two-story residence.

Smart thermostats also offer peace of mind. The ability to remotely monitor your homes’ A/C means you can know what’s going on at home from anywhere, anytime. This can be a great benefit for parents, frequent travelers and those who own a seasonal home.

Made just for you

Who can reap the benefits of this simple and intelligent piece of technology? The answer is... pretty much anyone!

  • Energy Savers. Those looking for the latest, greatest ways to save on their energy bills (we’re looking at you, dear reader).
  • Snowbirds. Folks who are farthest from their Florida home and who depend the most on the home’s A/C to keep their home cool and dry during their absence. These folks benefit from the ability to monitor their Florida homes’ temperature, humidity, and other vital stats -- and be sure their A/C is working when they aren’t around.
  • Gadget Geeks. For those who spend their time obsessing over the latest high-tech gizmos and trying to convince their spouses why “we” can’t live without it. Maybe saving energy, money and keeping an eye on the house from afar will help win the day?
  • Busy Homeowners. For those whose hectic lifestyle causes them to leave the house wondering “did I forget to close the garage” or better yet, “did I forget to raise the thermostat”– a smart thermostat can help provide convenience and peace of mind. And even for those who want to enjoy a comfortable setting when they get home after a day at work or a day running errands, smart thermostats allow for temperature adjustments while on the move.

What’s the latest?

Smart thermostats have been around for about six years, and they keep getting smarter. For example, the new ecobee4 thermostat has Amazon’s voice-assistant Alexa built-in. Users can ask Alexa to change thermostat settings, as well as get updates on current traffic and weather – and even “Ask FPL for energy savings tips.” Be sure to do your research on the best smart thermostat that suits your needs before purchasing.

Here comes the fun part  – installing smart thermostats

Ready to roll up your sleeves? Some smart thermostats are carefully designed for DIYers. While all tools are included and installation videos help, recent research indicates that half of the consumers who try to install a smart thermostat on their own end up calling a professional.

A/C control wiring is unfamiliar to most of us – and we cringe at the thought of getting it wrong. Our advice to the unsure: Get smart and ask your A/C maintenance company to Do-It-For-You (DIFY).

More helpful tools, because you deserve it

You can always see how adjusting your A/C affects your bill and find new ways to save by using the FPL Energy Manager. This suite of tools helps you understand your energy usage and what changes you can make to save big money. And remember – keep up with the Watt’s Team for more smart energy saving tips and tricks!