5 reasons why smart thermostats are the key to saving on winter heating costs

They really are a game-changer when it comes to home energy efficiency

smart thermostat
(Image credit: Google Nest)

At the end of the day, smart thermostats do what any thermostat does: control the temperature. What sets smart thermostats apart is their ability to learn from your habits and preferences, automatically modify the temperature according to your set routines, and be controlled remotely from your smartphone or computer. The list could go on, but that's the crux of it. 

According to Phillip Pratt, a Geonode technology expert, a significant portion of a homeowner's utility bill goes towards heating and cooling. The best smart thermostats, through the use of powerful algorithms and sensors, optimise your energy usage, ensuring you only heat your home when it's occupied or to maintain your chosen comfortable temperature. They're here to help really, whether it's taking over and controlling things for you or saving you money. However, make sure you're not making this smart thermostat mistake - it could be costing you more!

Keep reading to find out exactly why smart thermostats are a great way to save money. I swear by mine, and you will soon too. 

1. They learn and adapt to your patterns 

If you leave for work at 8:00 and come back at 18:00, your thermostat will lower the heating during these hours to conserve energy. They're specifically designed to reduce your heating and cooling systems for when nobody is home during large periods of time. If you prefer your home to be warm when you get it, you can also schedule your smart thermostat to turn the heating on one hour or 30 minutes before you walk through the door. 

2. They're remote-controlled

Smart thermostats can be controlled remotely. If you're coming home earlier than usual, you can adjust the heating in advance via an app on your phone. If you're at home, you may also be able to connect your smart thermostat to a voice assistant like Amazon's Alexa or Google's Assistant. That means you won't even have to leave your sofa!

3. You can create 'zones'

Some advanced models even allow you to create different ‘zones’ in your home, enabling you to heat specific areas depending on their usage. This obviously depends on the size of your home, but if there's a few rooms that you don't use in the day, there's no point in heating them up! This feature is perfect for that, and will end up saving you a lot of money too. 

4. They give energy consumption reports

These thermostats also give you insights into your energy consumption, helping you be more aware of your usage and adjust accordingly to save more money. A lot of models provide the ability to see a history of your heating use during the day, week or month. Some even allow you to share it with your energy provider, giving them a more accurate reflection of how much energy you use. However, some manufacturers, such as Hive, charge a monthly or yearly subscription for access to view your data.

5. They adapt to the weather

These devices can adapt to heating according to the weather forecasts. If a particularly cold day is expected, your smart thermostat will know to work a little harder and will heat up your home slightly earlier to maintain comfort without overworking the system. This is a great feature to have, especially with the completely unpredictable UK weather!

What's the verdict?

The effectiveness of a smart thermostat ultimately depends on your living habits, the insulation in your home, and the severity of the winter season. Even then, the projected savings are impressive. These devices ensure that heat isn't wasted during the hours when no one's at home, saving you a significant amount of money.

Interested in more? Read about why you shouldn’t turn up your thermostat when it’s cold. It's an interesting thought!

Lizzie Wilmot
Staff Writer, Home

Lizzie is T3's Home Staff Writer, also covering style, living and wellness. She works closely with Bethan Girdler-Maslen, T3's Home Editor, ensuring all the latest news, trends and recommendations are covered. Outside of T3, Lizzie can be found mooching around Bath, attempting (or at least trying to) a new DIY project or spending time with family and friends.