8 Ways Your Smart Home Can Save Energy
MARCH 21, 2019
Energy costs are cutting more and more into household budgets, and families are beginning to look to smart home energy solutions to shrink their monthly utility bills. Smart home devices like thermostats and appliances are highly efficient because they can automatically adjust to changing energy needs. Plus, they can detect inefficiencies so electricity, water and gas waste can be minimized. Your energy consumption can be reduced exponentially when smart devices run your home. Here are eight ways of running a smart home that can save you money.
1. Smart Water Leak and Freeze Detectors
When water leaks and pipes freeze, the result can often flood a home causing costly cleanup and expensive repairs. Smart water leak and freeze detectors can help you stop leaks before they damage precious heirlooms, electronics and personal treasures.
Put smart water leak detectors under your sinks, around your hot water tanks or any other water source. These detectors can text or email you about a water problem so you are aware even if you’re not at home. Early detection can help avoid wasting gallons of water or having to replace a ruined carpet.
2. Smart Thermostats
Nest Labs released a smart thermostat study that found the average household could save 10–12 percent on heating costs and 15 percent on cooling by using a smart thermostat. A home’s heating and cooling system gobbles up the biggest chunk of energy use in the home, so those percentages can translate into savings each month.
Smart thermostats and temperature sensors can adjust to energy needs on the fly. There is less need for heating and cooling when no one is at home. You can program smart thermostats and control them remotely with your smartphone. Set your thermostat to keep your furnace off when you’re away but warm the house just before you arrive. These smart settings can help you save on your heating bill.
3. Smart Light Bulbs
Smart bulbs are light bulbs that talk to your Wifi network and you control them with an app. Much like a smart thermostat, you can program smart bulbs to turn on and off to save energy. Some smart bulb brands detect when you’re headed home and turn the lights on automatically. If you accidentally leave your lights on, you can turn them off remotely. You can also adjust the brightness of a smart bulb, saving you electricity by dimming them when a bright light isn’t required.
4. Smart Plugs
If you don’t have a smart home platform yet, you can start small by using smart plugs. These smart devices plug into your electrical outlets and are used to manage the energy consumption of whatever you plug into them. Their apps let you program times of use, remotely turn on and off power and even view your total energy consumption. If your teenager’s television or computer is consuming too much energy at night, program it to turn off at a specific hour, or just power it off from the comfort of your bed.
5. Smart Appliances
Smart appliances like washing machines, refrigerators and coffee makers are changing the way we interact with our kitchen gadgets — they talk to us. If you leave your refrigerator door open, you get a notice on your phone. If your smart washing machine needs repair, it can email you about the problem. Getting repairs done quickly can prevent you from incurring the cost of completely replacing your appliances. For folks who pay different electrical rates for peak times, your dryer can even let you know when you’ll be charged the least amount for drying your clothes.
6. Smart Home Security Systems
Smart home security systems will communicate with your phone when there’s an intruder, and even lets you view a live stream of your property. These features keep you safe, but they can also cut costs. False alarms are a common problem with home security systems, and they can get to be costly if the local police department begins issuing you fines for repeated calls. Smart security lets you see if the problem is a real 911 emergency or simply an aggressive squirrel using your security camera to take a selfie.
7. Smart Sprinkler Systems
Saving on your water bill is another smart device advantage. Smart sprinkler systems use automatic irrigation systems that knows the weather forecast. These sprinklers automatically set your lawn watering time to match future rain chances. No more watering the lawn during a downpour because you forgot to turn off the sprinklers. Smart sprinklers also run water usage reports so you’ll know when you’re using too much.
8. Smart Garage Door Opener
Even garage door openers have gotten clever. Today’s smart garage door openers integrate with smartphone apps and can tell you when the door is currently open or closed and lets you close and open the door remotely. These smart models are generally more cost-efficient to operate and some are equipped with battery backups in case of power failure. Being warned that your garage door is open helps prevent intrusions and keeps your house from losing its heating and cooling efficiency due to a wide-open garage door.
There are plenty of ways to get smart home energy savings with web-connected devices like these. But investing in smart devices for your home also helps the planet. Canadian households are one of the world’s biggest energy consumers compared to other countries. So, even a tiny drop in per-household energy consumption could result in huge benefits nationwide.