Six Ways to Smarten Up Your Home to Save Energy
You've already got a smartphone, and maybe you've heard about the smart grid, but what about smart homes? Smart technology is expanding into all areas, including home energy efficiency. Here are a few ideas for ways to make your home smarter... and more energy efficient!
As you probably already know, heating and cooling account for the bulk of your energy costs, and considerable savings can be made by adjusting your home's temperature by just a few degrees. Smart thermostats allow you to program the temperature of your home when you are away from it (using an internet-enabled device such as your smartphone, tablet, or computer). Some models are even able to learn your family's habits and will program themselves automatically. Others will divide your home into zones so that unoccupied rooms aren't being unecessarily heated or cooled, and can be directed by motion sensors.
Air conditioners use a lot of electricity, and on average account for 6 percent of a household's energy consumption - though this proportion can be much higher in warmer climates. But you can keep your power bills to a minimum by maximising how efficiently you use your air conditioning. Smart air conditioners help you do this by - like smart thermostats - allowing you to program them remotely, so that you can avoid cooling your home when nobody's around. Depending on which model you use, you may even be able to program it to use geo-locating to track when you are and aren't home and change temperatures accordingly.
Smart lighting works similarly to smart thermostats or smart air-conditioning units: they can be programmed or can work by motion detection, so that your lights are only in use when and where you need them. We also recommend LED lighting where possible, which use only 15-20 percent of the energy used by traditional incandescent bulbs, and last longer than CFLs.
Make the Most of Your Smart Meter
Many utilities that have deployed smart meters on their territories have implemented accompanying programs designed to help their customers make use of the data their smart meters record and save energy. If you have a smart meter, check to see if your utility runs any related energy-saving programs. If not, consider signing up to a smart-meter compatible web portal that will allow you to track and analyse your energy consumption.
Smarten Up About Your Energy Use
Make the most of smart technology in your home with the many apps that you can download (often for free) to help you save energy and money. Some apps help you manage all of your smart devices from a distance, while others give you handy tips for energy-efficient habits. Check out some of our favorites here.
Even if you don't have smart home technology, you can still smarten up about how you use energy. Some web portals help you calculate how much electricity your appliances use, which can help you estimate your energy bills and may give you some ideas on how to improve your energy efficiency.
Get Smart About Prices
Our final recommendation for raising your home's IQ is to smarten up on the price you pay for your energy. Depending on which state you call home, you may have a choice of which company supplies your electricity, gas, or both. If you're looking to save on your energy costs, we recommend you take a hard look at your energy bills, and see if the rates you pay can't be beat by the competition. Call us at phone currently not available to find the best rates in your area.