For many homeowners, the go-to method for saving energy and reducing home heating and cooling costs is the programmable thermostat. But there’s a much better way: Meet the smart thermostat. Much more than a timer, these devices are Wi-Fi-enabled and include the latest smart technology, giving them the ability to save energy in a variety of ways.

Not all smart thermostats are alike, however. If you want to choose a product that is designed for energy savings, cost savings and environmental protection, look for the ENERGY STAR label. ENERGY STAR-certified products have been reviewed to ensure that they reduce HVAC use in different climates across the U.S. Only ENERGY STAR smart thermostats have been independently certified to deliver energy savings. And all ENERGY STAR-certified devices feature a low-power mode when inactive for extra energy savings.

Features and Benefits Specific to ENERGY STAR Smart Thermostats

Wi-Fi-Enabled Control and Convenience

    • Much like their programmable predecessors, smart thermostats allow homeowners to control temperature settings. But they do so in a way that is far more convenient. Wi-Fi-enabled smart thermostats can be controlled from smart devices such as phones, tablets or computers, allowing homeowners to adjust their in-home temperature from anywhere.

Geo-Fencing Smart Technology

    • Smart thermostats are equipped with geo-fencing technology, which allows your thermostat to detect location changes. In other words, your thermostat knows when you’ve left the building. You can forget having to program or adjust the settings when you leave because a smart thermostat does it for you. Likewise, when you’re on the way home, a smart thermostat can reverse the ‘set back’ to make your house comfortable for your return.

Learning and Adaptability

    • For optimal energy savings, smart thermostats can adjust to your routine, scheduling temperature changes based on your lifestyle. In addition, ENERGY STAR-certified smart thermostats are designed to recognize local utility information so that they can regulate use during peak demand and rate times. This helps save energy and money.

Over-the-Air Updates

    • Smart thermostats are also equipped to automatically update software to access new energy-saving features and algorithms.

Cost Savings and Rebates

    • Many utilities offer rebates for ENERGY STAR-certified smart thermostats, which can be redeemed at the point of purchase. Check the ENERGY STAR Rebate Finder to see the options provided in your area.

However, if saving energy, saving money and protecting the environment are your top concerns, an ENERGY STAR smart thermostat is the way to go.

“ENERGY STAR-certified smart thermostats help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. If everyone used an ENERGY STAR-certified smart thermostat, our annual savings would grow to 56 trillion BTUs of energy and $740 million per year, while offsetting 13 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions each year.” 

Daniel Cronin, ENERGY STAR Program Manager at USEPA

Other Things to Consider When Choosing a Smart Thermostat

Before you choose a smart thermostat, there are a few things to consider. First, familiarize yourself with your HVAC system so that you can ensure that the device you purchase is compatible. Next, if you have a budget in mind, be sure to check for rebates so that you can take advantage of the best price. When considering the cost of the device, make sure you compare features to ensure you are buying the model that works best for your needs. Lastly, unless you are comfortable with electrical projects, consider the cost of installation.

For more information, be sure to check out ENERGY STAR’s Guide to Smart Thermostats.

Click the link to shop for ENERGY STAR-Certified Smart Thermostats at The Home Depot.