Smart homes are leading the charge when it comes to automating your life, with intelligent devices taking care of all of the little things that used to take up so much time. But on top of saving you time, what if your smart home could actually save you money?
If you make the right choices, your smart home could help you control your energy usage and slash the price of your energy bills by installing smart devices in your home that monitor everything and do the hard work for you.
But how much money can a smart home actually save you, what are the options, and is it really worth considering for you and your family?
A smart thermostats can offer big savings
When the colder months come rolling in, everyone suddenly becomes concerned with energy costs and savings. Smart thermostats like HIVE or the Google Nest can help you control your heating and save large amounts of money.
In a typical household, as much as 50% of the total energy bills are made up of heating and hot water. A smart thermostat can schedule your heating, switching it on or off remotely. They can also select which areas of your home need heat rather than heating the entire home, which is fantastic in larger homes.
Most smart thermostats will also learn your habits over time, constantly monitoring when your heating and hot water are used, and changing your needs to be more efficient in terms of energy usage.
Some smart thermostats also monitor your home heating and hot water systems, and can alert you to any issues like blockages or filter changes before they become a problem.
A smart thermostat is one of the best starting points for a smart home, one, because it’s something that’s constantly in use and you’ll see the benefits from it, and two because of the savings. Installing a smart meter can save over $200 dollars per year on average, which means that installing a smart meter will pay for itself in a little over a 12 months, so after the first year, it’s all savings.
Intelligent power strips keep things off standby
Did you know that TVs, laptops, phones and other big electrical devices don’t switch off completely when they’re on standby?
A single TV can use up to half a watt of energy per hour on standby, which adds up over time. Over the course of a single year, this can result in costs up to $40. For a single device.
According to the stats, 98% of homes always leave their TV on standby, and most modern homes have several TVs, laptops and phones permanently plugged in, silently eating electricity and ticking up your bills.
A smart power strip can be set to a timer or linked to your home’s hub, so it shuts down everything that’s not in use, potentially saving you hundreds of dollars year on year.
Smart lights are one of the most popular entry points for smart housing, because of how cheap they are and how simple they are to install.
Incredibly versatile, smart bulbs can be controlled from your smartphone using an app, but can also be linked into any other smart home system, whether that’s a home hub, or a voice control device like the Amazon Echo.
Letting you turn your lights on and off remotely, smart lighting gives you a lot of flexibility, like switching everything off if you forget when you head out to work.
Smart lights can be set to run on timers, automatically coming on when you need them, and can also usually be scheduled to the natural day/night cycle, only switching on when they’re needed to save you money and make the most of natural lighting.
A home’s lighting can account for up to 15% of the energy bills, and by switching all of their bulbs for smart LED bulbs, a home could easily save around $100 per year.
Movement and person sensors
Occupation sensors are the obvious next step from smart lights. They detect when a person enters a room, and switch everything on, including the lights, ready for use. This can save money, just like having smart lights and power strips can, but there’s another big benefit.
Smarter sensors can also be linked to your home security networks, external lights, cameras, and more. This adds yet another layer of home security to your system, giving you even more peace of mind. Because if anyone manages to get inside without triggering your main alarms, then the lights and other appliances automatically switching on will trigger an alert instead.
Saving money and the environment
If you’re one of the many people who takes pride in their garden, then smart sprinklers are the future.
The US uses billions of gallons of water every single day, with most of this used on landscape irrigation. And up to half of this water is outright wasted due to overwatering and inefficiency.
Smart sprinklers can help deal with this issue. Unlike traditional sprinklers, smart sprinklers are linked into automatic controllers that take into account:
- The local weather conditions
- Ground soil conditions
- Local evaporation
- Plant water use
This lets them only activate when your grounds need water, and lets you set thresholds for the minimum and maximum watering schedules. Depending on the size of your garden, setting up smart sprinklers could literally save you hundreds of dollars per year.
On top of this, some water companies are starting to see the benefits, and offering rebates and other advantages for homes who install smart irrigation systems. We expect to see this trend continue until it’s standard practice in the next few years.
The advantages of smart appliances
Almost every household appliance now has the option of smart installation, including smart refrigerators, washing machines and dryers, dishwashers and more.
But realistically, smart appliances don’t actually save you a lot of money. There are long term savings involved, but the initial cost of a smart appliance tends to offset those savings.
The big advantage of smart appliances is that they save you and your family a lot of time. Smart fridges can monitor their contents, advise on expiration dates, create and order grocery lists and even stream music when you’re working in the kitchen.
Washing machines, dishwashers and other appliances streamline their processes, update detergents, automatically go on cleaning cycles and much more. All of this adds up to extra hours every week that can be spent doing the things you want to do, rather than have to do.
Can smart homes cost you more?
Smart doesn’t always mean savings. Certain smart devices, generally the things that are always on, can actually cost you more money in the long run, because they’ll always be constantly using power.
Like everything in your home, your smart set up should be designed with care and forethought. And by taking a little more time up front, you’ll be able to reap massive savings later while still having a sleek and gorgeous home that anyone would be proud to own.