The smart home system may sound like a fad, but it’s a beneficial trend. With smart devices, you’re able to control your home electricity consumption both from inside your house and while you’re away, giving you the ability to save tons of money annually on energy costs. If you’re setting up a smart home with an eye toward saving money on your electric bill, consider using the following tech to maximize your savings.
In the world of energy-saving smart home tech, smart thermostats are the gold standard. Install one in place of your standard thermostat and you’ll be able to tell your house to heat up or cool off from wherever you are, whenever you want — all through an app. You can also set temperature thresholds so you don’t have to worry about adjusting the thermostat yourself, and set schedules for heating and cooling to kick in. Some thermostats will even learn your habits, noting when you’re home and when you’re not and monitoring the temperature of each room when you’re present. The device will take that information and curate a heating and cooling schedule specifically tailored to you.
Smart Outlets and Plugs
Have you ever heard of vampire power? It’s a term that means something you’ve plugged in but aren’t using is still sucking up energy. Even if your device is powered off, it’s still drawing energy through the cord. Smart outlets and plugs can help you stop the energy loss. They monitor usage of whatever’s plugged in, and when they notice it’s not in use anymore, the plug switches off so it stops using electricity.
Smart Light Bulbs
By nature, smart light bulbs use less energy — that’s because they’re always LED bulbs, which require less power than traditional incandescent bulbs. Smart light bulbs can be connected to your Alexa or Google Home and programmed to turn on and off according to your preferences. They can also serve other functions in your home. For example, if you have a smart lock on your front door, the lights will know to turn on when you open the lock. Plus, dimming options can save you additional electricity costs.
We’re practically living in the future with smart appliances. Your refrigerator can now show you what’s in it before you even open the door. And if you accidentally leave the door open, you can get a notification to close it right on your phone. It’s not just the fridge, either. You can schedule your washer and dishwasher to run during off-peak electricity hours, saving you money. Your dryer can sense the dryness level of your clothes and adjust the cycle time. And you can turn things on and off at will from your appliance’s app.
Motion sensors are great options for controlling electricity usage in your home. If no one’s in the room, you likely need very few devices to be powered on. With motion sensors, you can control the lights, the appliances, the room accessories, and more.
Even though our responses to the pandemic have changed, some of the COVID activities are staying in place — like more people working from home and having virtual meetings and classes. And that can understandably lead to an overload of your internet router. Pick up a smart router with Alexa or Google Assistant capabilities. With it, you’ll be able to prioritize certain types of internet traffic (say, your Zoom call over your teenager’s Minecraft game) and also set a schedule for turning the wi-fi on and off. No one needs your home internet if no one’s at home, right?
Outdoor sprinklers use a lot of water — and that water usage translates into costs for you. Avoid the problem by installing smart sprinklers. These sprinklers allow you to program start and end times for optimal sprinkler usage. Some even integrate with weather forecasts and can automatically delay use, so you don’t end up sprinkling your thirsty lawn an hour before it rains.
Leaky pipes are one of the fastest ways to waste money. When water is dripping out without you noticing, you’re not only incurring water damage — you’re also eating the cost of unhindered water usage. Smart leak sensors can be placed anywhere there are pipes, like under the sink or next to the toilet, to monitor for leaks. If it senses one, you’ll get a notification on an app, alerting you that there’s a problem that needs fixing.
Fans can be a great way to save on heating and cooling costs. But the caveat is that you need to turn them off before you leave the room — otherwise they’ll keep sucking up energy. Enter the smart fan. These ceiling fans have motion sensors that detect you in the room. And if you’re not there? They turn themselves off. Some also have thermostats integrated so they can maintain the proper room temperature without you fussing with anything.
Looking for more ways to save energy? Check out our post on how to perform a DIY home energy audit.