Disney might have predicted it with perfect on-screen portrayal in their 1999 Disney Channel Original Movie, Smart House. They were ahead of their time back then, but these days you really can have a smart home. The smart homes of today are optimized with the latest eco-friendly technology to make your life easier and save time, energy and money in the process.
Here’s a few of our favorite smart products that can save you a lot on your monthly electricity bills and increase control over nearly all areas of your home.
1. Google Nest Thermostat
The biggest cost on your energy bill every month is no doubt your HVAC system. The constant AC in summer months and the heater in the winter can really wreak havoc on your pocket as well as on your system. A Google Nest Thermostat not only lets you control your HVAC system from your smart device, but also conveniently learns more about your home and habits to optimize temperature.
The device will start to learn when you come and go from your house so that you’re not wasting energy running your system when not necessary. Its beautiful minimalistic design won’t clash with your home décor either. The US Environmental Protection Agency even reported that homeowners who used smart home technology for thermostat control alone saved anywhere from 10%-30% on their energy bill.
2. All the Alexas
Hey Alexa, save me money every month! Amazon is trying to make it that simple with their arsenal of the latest smart devices. From home monitoring devices to communication platforms, there truly is an Amazon smart product for everything. Easily control the power to these devices with their built in Alexa capabilities as well. “Alexa, dim the lights. Alexa, lower the temperature, Alexa, turn off the oven.” You get the idea. They even have a literal robot now, the Amazon Astro. You might not be ready to have a cute little robot with a personality following you around your home trying to be helpful – but it’s the future!
3. Water Tech
Protecting the earth’s water sources might sound like a big task, but you can start small just by conserving water in your home. The bathroom is a great place to start making conscious decisions about your water usage. You can take steps when you shower, for example, to minimize the amount of water you’re wasting.
These days, shower heads can come designed with many different smart technologies. Remote-activated shower heads can control the temperature to your perfect desired degree, using only the amount of heat (and energy) you need. Shower timers can control how much you spend under the water and your usage.
One of the most popular ways to save water has been slow-flow shower heads that limit the amount of water that comes out per minute so you can shower longer, for less. But thanks to emerging technology, compromising flow, which is a no-go for many who love a strong high-pressure shower, can be a thing of the past. The latest innovation has come up with a way to shape the droplets to feel more powerful, while still being low-flow and outputting less water!
If you’d like to take it a step further and monitor your water usage in real-time, consider installing a smart water monitor on your shower. You’ll be able to learn how much water you’re using and receive recommendations on how you can reduce your usage.
Sometimes your water conservation efforts can feel like a drop in the bucket, but the more steps you make the more it adds up and saves you money.
4. Smart Lighting
You’re likely not surprised to see smart lighting on this list. It’s a no-brainer and one of the easiest places to start when making your home more energy-efficient. Smart bulbs and plugs that let you control lights on a schedule or at the touch of a button are very nice to have. But if what comes to mind is just lights that can be controlled remotely, let us enLIGHTen you. The tech has evolved, big time.
Now, some smart light bulbs can adjust your home’s brightness to the perfect level on their own. How does this work? They react to the natural lighting of your home and the time of day! Saving energy and therefore money without having to think about it is a win in our book.
If you’re wanting to start with baby steps: Make the gradual switch as each light goes out to more-efficient, longer lasting LED light bulbs.
5. Bluetooth Power Strip
You might be familiar with using a power strip for surge protection, but today’s power strips go far beyond that for functionality. Enter the Bluetooth power strip. This small but mighty tool may be inexpensive, but it saves money. Did you know that appliances draw power when plugged in, even if not turned on? Connect from anywhere and control the Bluetooth power strip with your smartphone or tablet. It’s recommended by environmental groups as the smart strip makes shutting down the power to your energy-sucking devices fast and easy.
6. Smart Sprinklers
Did you know America is one of the only countries that prioritizes the open and perfectly manicured, green grass lawn? The environmental impacts of watering lawns is shocking. It adds up to 235,224,000,000,000 gallons of this precious resource per year. Some counties have mitigated this by reusing wastewater for watering lawns and gardens. Many homeowners have invested in rain tanks to collect water themselves and reuse. But for those who don’t have this infrastructure and still want the perfect lawn while being smart about their usage, smart sprinklers are a great thing to use.
Smart sprinklers can be programmed to automatically run on a schedule and control your watering. What’s even more impressive are the smart sprinklers that connect through an app to local weather information and can adjust their operation based on the weather conditions. That means if rain is forecasted, it can pause the scheduled program. There’s no point in watering an already-watered lawn!
7. Smart WiFi System
Nowadays, people are using more devices at a time than ever. They’re not just watching TV but are likely playing on their phone or gaming simultaneously. Studies show that the average American has access to more than ten internet- connected devices in their household. And now that more people are working from home, that number is only going up. That many devices being constantly connected can really drain your WiFi system. If you need more control of the WiFi usage in your home, a smart WiFi system could be your solution.
Smart WiFi systems give you the ability to see how much data each device is using, where they are in your home and even set limits on them. Hello the ultimate parental controls! They also help tackle dead zones in your house with weaker WiFi signals by offering a boost and covering your whole home in coverage.
8. Energy Star Appliances
Updating your old, inefficient appliances is a must for homeowners wanting to decrease their energy consumption and lower their monthly utility bills. “Residential energy use accounts for roughly 20% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the United States, and appliances that use heat and hot water are significant contributors to those emissions.” Today’s washers, dryers, fridges and stoves are designed to operate much more efficiently while using much less energy than those 90’s appliances that need an upgrade.
When shopping for new appliances, check to make sure they are Energy Star appliances. These have been evaluated and independently proven to reduce water and energy usage. They designate appliances into different tiers, with the top tier projected to be 44% more efficient.
9. Sense Monitoring App
Take command of your energy use. Understanding how much energy your home is using, when and where, empowers you to find savings. The Sense home energy monitor detects devices by identifying their unique electrical signals. Powered by a monitor that installs in your electric panel, it reads the current and processes that data to present a whole-home view of your usage. Sense then gives you the tools to break it down and take action, saving you energy and money.
10. Solar Panels
One of the best ways to cut down on your energy spending? Make your own energy! Harness the power of the sun to power your home through solar panels. The cost of solar panels and solar panel installations has gone down monumentally in recent years making them attainable for more homeowners. Plus, federal tax credits, local incentives, and rebate programs can drive the cost down even lower.
Solar panel technology has also gotten smarter. Your ADT Solar panels come with monitoring apps that give you a real-time view of your energy usage and solar panel production. If you level up and get a solar panel battery for your system you’ll be able to keep all of that clean, sustainable energy for yourself and keep tabs on it with the latest tech.
With solar panels, you can achieve a little-to-no electricity bill and offset the energy you consume with energy you produce. Contact a solar energy specialist today for a free quote.
Is a Smart Home Worth It?
Even if you only have the means to achieve a few items on this list of ways to save money with a smart home, it will be well worth it. Typical homeowners save 20% on energy annually after making their home more energy efficient. Running your home more efficiently with the help of the latest technology will help you save money on your utility bills and lower your carbon footprint.