Smart Thermostats

image of a smart thermostat

What is a smart thermostat? 

A smart thermostat is a Wi-Fi enabled device that automatically adjusts heating and cooling temperature settings in your home for optimal performance.

Smart thermostats that earn the ENERGY STAR label have been independently certified, based on actual field data, to deliver energy savings.

While system designs may vary, common smart thermostat features include:

Convenience

  • Many smart thermostats learn your temperature preferences and establish a schedule that automatically adjusts to energy-saving temperatures when you are asleep or away.
  • Geofencing allows your smart thermostat to know when you’re on the way home and automatically adjusts your home’s temperature to your liking.

Control

  • Wi-Fi enabled thermostats allow you to control your home’s heating and cooling remotely through your smartphone.
  • ENERGY STAR certified smart thermostats quickly enter a low-power standby mode when inactive.

Insight

  • Smart thermostats provide equipment use and temperature data you can track and manage.
  • Periodic software updates ensure your smart thermostat is using the latest algorithms and energy-saving features available.

More Ways to Save

ENERGY STAR certified smart thermostats are also designed to be compatible with the programs that some local utilities offer, providing home owners in their service territory with incentives to help them manage reliability.

For the average American household, almost half the annual energy bill goes to heating and cooling – more than $900 a year. Being smart about how you control your temperature settings will help you save money and stay comfortable in your home.

Current Specification Effective Date:  January 1, 2017

Smart Thermostat Key Product Criteria: ENERGY STAR

Learn How a Product Earns the Label

For the average American household, almost half of the annual energy bill goes to heating and cooling – that’s more than $900 a year. Being smart about how you control your temperature settings with an ENERGY STAR certified smart thermostat will help you save money and stay comfortable in your home.

Each product uses slightly different features to help homeowners save energy, so do your research, and choose the ENERGY STAR certified smart thermostat that's right for you.

Common ENERGY STAR certified smart thermostat features may include:

  • Remote Control:
    • Using your smartphone, you can adjust the temperature in your home from anywhere with an internet connection.
  • Geofencing:
    • This feature allows your thermostat to detect when you’ve left for the day to ‘set back’ your HVAC system and save money on your heating or A/C bill. If you’re on the way home, the thermostat can automatically adjust the temperature to ensure you arrive to a comfortable home.
  • Learning temperature preferences:
    • Certain ENERGY STAR certified smart thermostats can learn your preferences automatically and establish a schedule that adjusts to energy-saving temperatures when you are asleep or away.
  • Over-the-Air Updates:
    • Your thermostat may update its software periodically to ensure it uses the latest algorithms and energy-saving features available.

Buying tips:

  • Make sure the smart thermostat you purchase is compatible with your heating and cooling system. For the very highest efficiency heating and cooling equipment, you may want a controller from the same company. (E.g. Air conditioner rated at 20 SEER or higher).
  • If your smart thermostat uses WIFI, make sure it’s reasonably close to the router to prevent periodic disconnections. If your thermostat is too far from your router, consider a WIFI range extender, which can improve overall connectivity.

ENERGY STAR certified smart thermostats are also designed to be compatible with the programs that some local utilities offer, providing home owners in their service territory with incentives to help them manage reliability.

The Smart Choice Made Simple

Make the smart choice for your new thermostat by choosing ENERGY STAR certified smart thermostats.  Only thermostats that have earned the ENERGY STAR deliver what you expect from a smart thermostat: including demonstrated energy savings and environmental benefits as well as reliable performance and convenience, insight and control. ENERGY STAR is the smart choice made simple.

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More information and resources to help you choose ENERGY STAR for your next smart thermostat:

FEATURED UTILITY PARTNERS

Please note that links in this section take you away from energystar.gov. (link is external)

New Mexico Gas SoCalGal Pacific Gas and Electric Company Efficiency Smart Focus On Energy City of Burbank Water and Power Columbia Gas Ameren Illinois

I PLEDGE TO MAKE THE SMART CHOICE

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Pledge to choose an ENERGY STAR certified smart thermostat. If everyone used an ENERGY STAR certified smart thermostat, savings would grow to 56 trillion BTUs of energy and $740 million dollars per year, offsetting 13 billion pounds of annual greenhouse gas emissions.

Disclaimer
By taking the Pledge, you acknowledge and agree that: 1) Your personal information submitted as part of the ENERGY STAR Pledge will be shared with the EPA and organizations you have agreed to associate with your account; 2) that EPA's use of your personal information shall be governed by EPA's Privacy Policy, and 3) you may receive emails from ENERGY STAR or the associated organization.

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