Technology makes our lives easier, and smart home devices are a testament to that claim. You can open a garage door with a tap on your phone. Your AC can cool your house before you get home from work. You can wake up every day with the smell of fresh coffee in your kitchen.
Smart home devices can work autonomously. You can set them on a schedule or control them with your phone or speaker. On top of making your life more convenient, these devices save energy. Here are some of the best ways to take control of your bills.
Invisible electricity consumption
Electricity, like gravity, is an invisible force (sparks don’t count). You may not notice it, but your appliances spend energy even when turned off. It is known as phantom power or standby mode.
You don’t see it happening, yet it accounts for 20% of your monthly bill. More than 19 billion dollars go to waste every year because of this phenomenon.
You have to unplug the cable to ensure that the device is off. But why do that manually and waste time when you can get a smart plug?
Smart plugs let you see how much energy you use. You can also go for a smart power strip. Either way, smart devices enable you to set a fixed time when everything turns offs. Or it can be when no device is in use.
It won’t make a massive change on your bill, but it’s a great start.
Heating and cooling
Air conditioning units and fans are the largest electricity consumers in the United States. No one likes sweating in the summer or freezing in the winter. But here’s where a lot of power gets wasted.
When you go to work, you turn off the AC unit because no one will be home. The sun shines through the windows and creates a greenhouse effect. Air doesn’t come out and gets warmer until you return home. As soon as you walk in, you turn on the AC, which has to work at full blast for the next few hours to reach your desired temperature. That’s what makes your bills so high.
On the other hand, a smart thermostat can adjust the temperature throughout the day based on multiple factors. That includes the time it takes to cool the home, the location, and your habits. It will maintain an optimal temperature and chill your home to the perfect number right before you enter the front door.
Ceiling fans help lower your bill too. You can set up a few motion sensors so they turn on when you’re passing below them. Or you can control smart fans through your smartphone.
Don’t you just hate when you water your lawn, and it starts raining an hour later? You wasted water, and you wasted time. Smart sprinklers use real-time weather information to water your lawn at the perfect time. They regulate the correct amount of water based on your plants and how wet the soil is underneath.
Meanwhile, smart leak sensors help you find problems before they turn into something big. Washing machines, toilets, and sinks are the biggest culprits for leaks. If a smart sensor detects something, it will send you a notification to take care of the issue. In the case of a burst pipe, these sensors can turn off the valves and prevent floods.
Turning off lights
Imagine returning home from vacation and seeing you left the light in your room for the whole trip.
Smart bulbs can prevent such accidents. They’re easy to install, use LED lights, and last years. Smart bulbs also use 80% less energy than regular light bulbs.
Moreover, you can set up systems to ensure max energy savings. For example, when you wake up in the middle of the night and go to the bathroom, a movement sensor can turn on the first light in the hallway. Then a chain reaction starts as you move and illuminates your path.
You can estimate how much electricity you use in a month. But do you know how much it costs by the day? A smart meter can tell you how much power an appliance uses in real time. That way, you can make calculated decisions about where to spend and where to save.
Switching up the time when you use your washing machine will start making more sense. You might take quicker showers. Or you can go further and set family goals to see if you can stay within a budget. It’s one of the best ways to change and create new energy habits.
The bad side of most smart appliances is their vulnerability to cyberattacks. But you can always learn how to install a VPN on a router and protect them all with encryption. Having a VPN on a router has many other advantages, but that’s a story for another time.
Over the years, every appliance has gotten more energy-efficient. But we use way more devices now compared to our grandparents. We have laptops, smartphones, gaming consoles, and coffee makers. On average, we spend nearly 13 thousand kilowatt-hours per year.
Our electricity bills keep rising, and we use more power than ever. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can take control of your bills by making intelligent choices and using smart home devices and appliances.
Don’t implement all of the changes at once. It will be too much to take in. Instead, focus on making small improvements until you gradually develop new habits.