It may seem counterintuitive that smart home devices can save you money. People associate smart devices with expensive expenses, and despite the fact that many popular smart devices will initially cost more than just a “dumb” alternative, the money you can save on utility bills can offset that cost in a matter of months.
As of August, the price of utility gas is up 25% in the U.S. compared to the previous year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. And with electricity costs rising 14% at the same time, inflation, and the potential for a recession, not to mention an increase in grocery costs, people are feeling the pressure.
There are small changes we can all make to ensure we save as much energy as possible, both for the health of the planet and for the health of our bank accounts. Implementing these changes can have an impact on utility bills in just a few months.
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How to save on utility bills with 4 smart home devices
1. Intelligent thermostat
Say goodbye to the thermostat wars forever with a smart upgrade. Startup cost for smart thermostat It can range from around $100 to $300, but the payoff can easily make it worth it. Besides, you may be able to get a discount on upgrading to the smart thermostat.
The smart thermostat means you’ll never have to worry if you forget to turn off the air conditioner before you leave the house and will instead be able to do it right from your phone. Or take advantage of the option to set scenes and automation to play without having to think about them.
Did you know that a simple change like setting the thermostat 7-10 degrees to the usual setting for 8 hours a day can save you up to 10% annually in gas and electricity?
This doesn’t have to translate to discomfort either. If you work outside during the day, you don’t really need your house to stay at 72°C while you’re gone. Letting it reach 80 degrees in the warm months and 62 degrees in the winter while you’re away from home can make a huge difference to your bottom line. And the smart thermostat can do this automatically.
With Alexa, Google, or HomeKit, you can set your smart thermostat to automatically adjust the temperature on a schedule, or on a trigger like when you say, say, “Alexa, I’m going.”
Here are some good options to choose from:
also: Nest Learning Thermostat vs. Nest Thermostat: Which Is Right For You?
2. Smart bulbs
You may be familiar with this stereotype of the budget-conscious dad walking around the house and turning off the lights. It’s me, I’m that father.
This is where smart bulbs really shine, pun intended: LEDs are the most energy-efficient lighting option. All of the options below are LED bulbs, and they can be conveniently located to replace a standard bulb in your home.
Aside from upgrading to LED lights, the smart bulb means you don’t forget the remaining lights, because that information is always on your phone. Smart lights can also be set on a schedule, so you can turn them all off at 11pm every night, for example, and never accidentally leave the light on.
Although different smart devices can be expensive, there are plenty of affordable smart bulbs on the market that work very well. And if you don’t want to spend a lot to get started, you can also identify the bulbs I use the most — or in my case, the ones I always forget to turn off — and start replacing those with smart bulbs.
also: How to set up motion-triggered smart lights as an Alexa routine
Lumens and consumption
LED lights consume 75% less energy than standard incandescent bulbs on average. We used to look at the wattage when buying an incandescent bulb to get an idea of the brightness we can expect from it.
But for LEDs, the metric you want to monitor is the lumens, the unit that measures the brightness of the lamp. The higher its lumens, the brighter the light. An incandescent lamp and an LED can have the same amount of lumens, but an LED can consume up to 80% less watts for the same brightness.
A 60-watt incandescent bulb typically has a brightness of 800 lumens. But the same brightness of 800 lumens can be achieved with a LED bulb that consumes only 9 watts.
A wide range of smart bulbs can provide you with these benefits in different price ranges:
3. Smart outlets or sockets
Smart plugs or outlets can give you maximum control over power consumption because they are connected directly from the source.
A smart outlet replaces the existing outlet in your home, but a smart plug that you can simply plug in, no wires required.
Either way, the benefits of a smart plug or outlet are undeniable: you can set lighting schedules, triggers, sights and automation, and always see which lights are lit right from your mobile device.
Some of these devices provide Energy Monitoring Optionsso you can see historical and real data on how much power is consumed by what you have connected to it.
also: I got a $3.49 smart plug on Prime Day, and here’s how it went
Instead of smart outlets and sockets, you can also have them smart keys And the smart power chips to serve the same purpose.
4. IR/RF amplifier
This is one of those little devices that can make your current stupid devices smarter at a low cost. The IR/IF blaster can be connected to your mobile device and remote controlled devices such as ceiling or pedestal fans, heaters, portable AC units and blinds.
With an app in your mobile device, you can control these dumb devices wherever you are, as the amplifier will effectively replace individual remote controls.
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And many of the explosives on the market can also set up sights and automation, like one to turn off any ceiling fans you might have forgotten to turn off in your living room every night.
I’m a fan of saving money whenever I can. As a budget householder, I’ve seen how prices for everything we buy in the store have gone up, and it didn’t even get me started on gas, electric, and gas bills. Although these smart devices incur an upfront cost, the savings from using them may be worth the investment.
Smart thermostats can totally save you money even if you are always at home. Although it is recommended that people set their thermostats down 7 to 10 degrees for 8 hours per day, usually while working, you can also do this at night while sleeping.
Even having a setting to automatically lower it a few degrees each night can help you make some savings.
There is good news and bad news about this. The bad news is that smart bulbs actually consume energy even when they’re off. This is because they need to stay connected to a hub or your phone in order to work on demand. The good news is that standby power consumption is only a few cents a month: roughly 1 to 18 cents a month, depending on the brand.
Depending on the brand, your smart thermostat will likely have a setting in your phone where you can tell it to track your location and change settings or go into eco mode when it detects you’ve left the house. This helps keep your heating and cooling system efficient, reducing energy bills.