The home HVAC system makes up a large portion of our daily energy usage. With increasing energy costs, it is important to use your HVAC system wisely. A smart thermostat can help you make better heating/cooling decisions and increase the energy efficiency of your HVAC. Also, unlike previous programmable thermostats, smart thermostats can be accessed from your smartphone or tablet. Touchscreens and voice-activation make it possible to maximize your HVAC efficiency without sacrificing comfort. Here are three reasons you should consider switching from your old mechanical thermostat to a smart thermostat.

Personalized Schedule

With a smart thermostat, you can program your indoor temperature to your exact preferences. Smart thermostats allow you to set up your preferred heating/cooling schedule. While you are at work, schedule the house to stay a little warmer in the summer or cooler in the winter. This little change will reduce the time your HVAC is running, using less energy. Many smart thermostats can detect when the home is unoccupied and change the temperature to your preferred "empty house" setting. Some smart thermostats "learn" your patterns and can adjust to changing weather patterns to make your home as comfortable as possible.

Smartphone Access from Anywhere

Image via Flickr by Andri Koolme. 
To change the temperature on an old-fashioned thermostat, you need to be standing in front of it. Smart thermostats can be accessed from anywhere using your smart device. A simple touch of a screen (or sound of your voice) and you can adjust the temperature of your home. Been away from home for a few weeks and left the house cooler to save money? Use your smartphone to change the thermostat to your preferred temperature while you travel. Changing the temperature from your phone means your HVAC runs only when you want it to, rather than all day long.

Energy Usage Data

To make your HVAC as efficient as possible, you need to know when and how long it is running. Smart thermostats analyze your energy usage and patterns. Detailed energy usage reports allow you to compare energy usage in different seasons and from day-to-day. You can then see when your greatest energy usage occurs and when you are wasting energy. This history will help you decide how to adjust the temperature of your home to maximize HVAC efficiency. Over time, these small adjustments can add up to a lot of savings.

Installing a smart thermostat in your home is a simple change that can benefit your home in many ways. Not only will your home be more consistently comfortable, but it will also be more energy-conscious. The ease of scheduling and on-the-fly adjustments allow you to have more control over your HVAC system. Your HVAC will heat/cool only on your schedule, not all day long. The reduction in your energy bills makes a smart thermostat a wise addition to any home HVAC system.