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Saving Energy with Smart Home Technology: Part 1

Smart home products are making a big impact on the way we look at modeling our homes and energy usage. Home automation and smart home technology rely on the basic principle of conservation, an idea most likely pre-programmed in you by your parents long before computers and smartphones were an everyday part of life. Don’t leave the lights on when you aren’t using them, turn down the heat if you’ll be gone for the day, if you aren’t using your electronics then shut them off, basically the less energy you use, the more you’ll save on your utility bills. Seems like a simple concept.

But as with all things in life, the devil is in the details. Managing your energy usage manually through standard methods like a conventional thermostat, light switches, and appliances are better than nothing, but it doesn’t account for unexpected events or human error. The average household spends $2000 on every year on energy costs alone. Smart home technology provides a fun way to save on your energy bill and bridge the gaps in control using your smartphone or tablet.

 

Appliance Options

Home automation devices offer huge chances to save on your energy bill. Left the lights on when you walked out the door? Not a problem. Want to turn the AC off while you’re at work, but want the house to be nice and cold when you get home? They can do that. The options available for smart home appliances and the amount you can save on your energy bill will have you considering putting them up in your entire home. Here are just a few of the items available.

Smart Thermostats – Back in the day, efficiency experts were obsessed with programmable thermostats. Providing homeowners with an affordable tool to set the temperature at home seemed like an obvious choice. The problem is, it didn’t quite work out that way. Studies at the time showed that these supposed miracle devices were only reducing the use of energy 6.2%. What’s worse is that out of all the programmable thermostats installed, only about 53% were being used as intended. People were just leaving them on hold, meaning they were functioning like a normal thermostat. Their reputation was so bad that Energy-Star removed their labeling from their products.

This is where smart HVAC control systems and thermostats come into play. What if you didn’t have to tell your AC you wouldn’t be home during a certain time? What if it could tell you weren’t home and adjust itself on the fly? What if you could change the programming and easily monitor where all your energy goes? The EPA hasn’t released data yet on how efficient smart thermostats are. Regardless, industry findings look promising, potentially saving the home owners around $135 a year. If you live in an area with an extremely high or low-temperature climate you will more dramatically save on your energy bill.

 

This is just one of the many smart home appliances available that will help you save on your energy bill. Next week we’ll go over some other new home automation items that are sure to help you save a lot of money in the long run.

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