Five Tips for Making Your House an Energy-Saving Smart Home
The future we once envisioned is now becoming a reality.
Automation is a part of our daily lives and homes today, and we now have the power to control almost everything from our smartphones – from home security systems to entertainment like music and movies. Voice assistants, like the Amazon Echo and Google Home, are making these tasks even easier.
But did you know that the addition of smart home devices can make your home more energy efficient and help you save loads of money over time?
Here are five simple tips on how you can make your house an energy-saving smart home:
1. Prevent energy vampires with smart power strips
Energy vampires can lurk in your home even when you aren’t aware of it. When electronic devices are plugged into your wall, even when powered off, they are still using tons of power.
Statistics vary, but the Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory states that standby power consumption in an average home ranges from five to 10 percent of household energy consumption.
A smart power strip can manage these vampires by working hard to reduce power usage. They do this by shutting down power products that go into standby mode, saving some serious energy and cash.
2. Keep your home at a comfy temperature with a smart thermostat
When the summer heat rolls in, it’s tempting to blast your air conditioning unit in an attempt to stay cool. This method will seriously rack up your energy bill – but luckily there is a solution.
Smart thermostats are Wi-Fi-connected devices that automatically adjust heating and cooling temperature settings in your home.
Typical features include programming temperatures you prefer, developing an ideal automated schedule, providing energy usage data that you can easily manage and enabling control of your home’s temperature through your smartphone.
All in all, smart thermostats save the most energy by minimizing temperature swings by cutting on or off closer to the desired temperature than a manual thermostat.
3. Block the sun out with smart blinds
In the summer when the days are long, the sun shines into your home for a majority of the day. Smart blinds can make the most of the day’s natural light, while keeping out the rays at the hottest times.
Smart motorized window shades can help regulate the heat that a room typically experiences by opening and closing at regular pre-programmed times.
The blinds will know when to close during the hottest parts of the day to reduce the need for air conditioning. They are also programmed to open during a bright day in the winter to let the sun heat the room.
4. Control your lights with smart lighting
Remembering to turn the lights off when you leave a room can easily slip your mind when you are in a hurry. Luckily, with smart options, this won’t be a problem anymore.
A smart bulb is an internet-capable LED light bulb that allows lighting to be customized, scheduled and controlled remotely. For example, when you are vacationing this summer, you can program your lights so that you still come home to a lit house without wasting energy while you are gone.
While people may be turned off by the initial cost of bulbs compared to traditional light bulbs, they have a longer life expectancy and are proven to save you money over time. They are also very versatile and have many interesting customization options that you can play around with, like having them turn on automatically with your morning alarm.
5. Make daily tasks simple with smart appliances
What if your daily household chores didn’t have to be so time consuming? Smart appliances give homeowners the option to simplify their day-to-day life, while saving a bit of energy.
For example, smart dishwashers bring enhanced features to your standard dishwasher, including Wi-Fi connectivity and flexibility options such as voice controls. You also have the option to start wash cycles from your smartphone and monitor the performance. Alerts will be sent to your phone when a wash is finished or if there is a malfunction.
Smart microwaves can do more than reheat your leftovers. Just as with dishwashers, you can control the microwave from your smartphone and receive alerts when your food is ready. To save some time, you can scan the barcode on packaged food to download the proper cooking instructions for the particular product.
Finally, smart washers and dryers make laundry day simple by you more control over your laundry cycles. Like the other appliances, you can get alerts on your smartphone about the progress of the cycle, and these machines can also monitor your energy use and run cycles during off-peak hours to save on utility bills.
It’s not quite The Jetsons, but smart home technology has improved rapidly in the past few years. Use these five tips to simplify your day-to-day life, save on energy and perhaps save a bit of money too.
Okay, you’re now on your way to having a smart home, but did you know that “smart” technology is also being applied to other parts of our modern world like the power grid, public transportation and even office buildings? Check out our Internet of Things infographic to learn about the connection between the smart home, the smart grid and smart cities.