Investing in smart devices for your home can save you quite a bit on your home energy costs, and that is worth every penny that you put into automating your home.
Emily Folk | Conservation Folks
Smart homes are becoming more and more common. Everything from thermostats to garage doors can now be automated with the help of integrated devices that can all be controlled from a smart phone or a smart device like an Amazon Echo or Google Home. These devices are good for a lot more than just making your home run a little smoother — they can help you save money too. How can home automation become the key to reducing your overall home energy costs?
We've all got our computers, televisions and game consoles plugged into power strips. Most of them act as surge protectors, keeping our electronics safe during lightning storms, but they still draw power even when the devices that are plugged into them are turned off, which can increase your power bill. Smart power strips do the same thing that standard power strips do — providing extra sockets while protecting your electronics — with an added bonus.
They also allow you to remotely turn them off when you're not using them, preventing that phantom power drain that can cause your electric bill to go up. Some even work using motion sensors — once they detect that you've left the room, they will automatically power down, and turn back on when you return. This saves you from having to remember to shut off the power strips when you leave.
Home lighting accounts for 11 percent of our home energy usage. Smart lighting can help you cut the amount of money that you spend on energy costs. Smart lighting, that can be controlled by motion sensors or smartphones can help save you money. Motion sensors can turn lights on when you enter the room and turn them off again when you leave. Smart lighting controlled by remote or by your smart phone can allow you to turn off the lights even when you're away from home — or turn your lights on when you get home late.
We all know how important it is to have a good thermostat to keep your home cool. Smart thermostats are the next step up, technologically speaking, when it comes to energy conservation. Not only can you keep your home comfortable from home or work, you can save between 10 and 23 percent on your overall energy bill.
Smart thermostats allow you to set your air conditioner to keep your house warmer when you're away and cooler when you are home — and to cool off the house when you're on the way home so it's comfortable when you walk in the door. These thermostats can be programmed so they can change the temperature inside your home depending on the time of day, or even the temperature outside.
Smart devices aren't just good for keeping your home cool or your power bill down — they can allow you to monitor your power usage as well. Many of the integrated apps for these devices automatically generate power usage graphs that can help you figure out where your biggest power drains are. If your smart devices aren't cutting down your power usage as much as you would like, studying these graphs can help you determine where your biggest power suckers are.
Home automation is fantastically useful, but it isn't just good for making sure that you actually closed the garage door before you left for work. Investing in smart devices for your home can save you quite a bit on your home energy costs, and that is worth every penny that you put into automating your home. Even just installing a thermostat can help save you up to a quarter of your energy bill every year.
The content & opinions in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of AltEnergyMag
Emily Folk - Contributing Author
Emily is an environmental writer, covering topics in renewable energy and sustainability. She is also the editor of Conservation Folks.
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