Smart home systems were invented to make life a lot easier, and boy do they. It feels like I don’t have to get up to do much of anything if I don’t want to! My vacuum cleans the floor without my help, a pot of coffee gets started in the kitchen before I even get out of bed in the morning, and I don’t even have to get off the couch to open the blinds in the window anymore.
This stuff makes our homes safer too. I can lock or unlock the door at the touch of a button, which means I don’t have to be home to do it. I can even check in on my security cameras while I’m typing an article at the local coffee shop.
Well, I gotta tell you, for as convenient and safe as smart home technology is, I wouldn’t be half as excited about it if it didn’t also reduce energy usage. These tips are for those people who want to go a little greener with help from their smart home systems.
Track your energy usage
With smart home technology today, it should come as no surprise that you can keep track of all the energy usage in your home. A home energy monitor makes that easy.
Devices like these connect to your home’s power meter and tell you how much energy your home is using. If you notice that things seem a little out of hand, you can go on the hunt to discover what’s causing the spike. It could be that your kid left their computer on. Again.
Some devices can attach directly to different appliances. For example, the Aquanta is a device that helps you keep track of the energy your water heater uses. You can also control when it’s used, drastically reducing the amount of water that’s kept hot on a regular basis.
Use smart plugs
Remember when the go-green tip was to unplug everything that you aren’t using? In theory, that’s a great idea because appliances and electronics continue to pull energy from the outlet even if they aren’t being used. I don’t know about you, but that was a tip I never followed, no matter how green I wanted to be. There’s no way I’m unplugging the TV, the microwave, the phone charger, the lamps, my Xbox… And then plugging them all back in again all day, every day.
Smart plugs to the rescue!
By plugging these into the outlet first, you can effectively unplug all those appliances and electronics without actually unplugging them. Not only can they allow you to cut power to those appliances, you can even control them with a smartphone. That way you can turn the lights on in your house before you walk in the door so you don’t stub your toe.
Install a smart thermostat
A programmable thermostat and a smart thermostat are not the same thing. Although a programmable thermostat is better than nothing when it comes to saving energy, a smart thermostat can do much more.
Smart thermostats will actually learn your family’s patterns, adjusting the temperature in your home without you having to do any programming at all. They can also use the temperature and humidity outside to adjust the thermostat. Many will help you monitor HVAC usage so you can save even more energy!
By all means, update all the lights in your home to LEDs and turn down the thermostat when you leave for the weekend, but with these high-tech tips, you can make life greener, more convenient, and safe, which is really what smart home technology is all about. And not having to get off the couch if you’re binging your favorite show on Netflix.