Smart gadgets for the home are advertised to improve a homeowner’s convenience in many ways. For the investment, people may also be delighted to discover that many smart home automation tools will save them money as well as time.
When people spend hundreds or thousands of dollars a year on heating and cooling, anything that can cut a moderate percentage of that energy usage might translate into big savings each year. Many people know that programmable thermostats can eliminate wasted energy, but smart thermostats take it to the next level. With the Nest or Ecobee smart thermostats, homeowners can easily:
- set temperature settings
- monitor their heating or cooling efficiency
- change the settings from a remote location
With a firm handle on the largest factor of a home’s energy consumption, smart thermostats make it simple to decrease expenses without compromising comfort.
Lighting does not consume energy like a furnace can, but replacing dozens of light bulbs year after year tends to add up quickly. Upgrading to LED light bulbs from incandescent bulbs could save as much as 80 percent with a lower energy consumption, and last an amazing 25 times longer. Smart LED light bulbs and fixtures are designed to improve convenience, as well. For example, the smart LED bulbs from Philips Hue can be remotely switched off, placed on a sensor, or even change colors.
Plugs and Switches
Many homeowners host energy vampires that increase their expenses month by month. Appliances that need to stay plugged in for practical reasons will often consume a portion of energy constantly, even if they are turned off. Smart plugs and switches, such as iDevices or Belkin WeMo, are easy to disconnect from power without having to unplug an appliance or tool from the outlet. After the initial investment in the switches, people may be surprised to learn how much these energy vampires were costing them.
Heat transfer through windows is a bane for any homeowner who wants to minimize the amount of work a furnace or air conditioner has to do throughout the year. The best kinds of window treatments could significantly decrease heat gain or loss through windows, but they often rely on homeowners to open or close them at the right time. Smart window treatments, such as MySmartBlinds, have a sensor designed to move or tilt the blinds according to the sun’s position in relation to the window.
Energy Monitoring Systems
Every home is a little different in the way it uses energy and equipment, and so the informed homeowner needs to know where they stand out. Smart monitoring systems, like the one from CURB, can hook into a circuit breaker panel, to provide real-time data about the home’s energy consumption by day, month, or year. Equipment efficiency can change over time. Having access to this information might tell homeowners when they need to consider an upgrade, or if simply changing their behaviors will make the most practical investment.
Being able to control all of a home’s smart devices from one central access point is more than just a convenience. Of course, people would rather go to one app on their smartphones to turn off the lights, instead of having to open several just to perform more than one task. This is where a smart hub becomes key. With a smart hub, such as Amazon Echo or Samsung SmartThings, people can connect all their smart tools into one center that is easy to manage by app or voice control. They can even use the hub to sense problems with the connected devices, as a way to prevent damage or expensive repairs.
Buying smart automation tools for the home is certainly an investment, but it offers plenty of benefits. These smart gadgets have great potential to save homeowners money while making their lives easier.
Author: Gary Ashton