Plenty of consumers think that smart home devices are just bells and whistles. Does anyone really need a refrigerator that tells them when they’re low on milk? Or shades that close when they turn on the TV?
If you look beyond the flash, though, you’ll see cash. Home automation features can save you money month in and month out.
Here are six cost-effective options for reducing your bills “automatically”:
Smart thermostat: Set it and forget it — that used to be the mantra of most energy-saving thermostats. But basing your programming on a clock can be unreliable. Who hasn’t come home to a house that’s been unnecessarily heated because you had a late evening — or worse, were out of town? Smart thermostats can be controlled from anywhere and offer automatic energy-saving settings.
Smart washing machine: Let’s face it: Sometimes you just have to wash that favorite T-shirt so you can wear it, yet again, tomorrow. But even high-efficiency washers often use the same amount of water, no matter how small your load. New smart washers save energy by adjusting water levels to the size of your load, and even the dirtiness of the clothes. They can also save you energy, with handy apps that tell you exactly when that tee is clean.
Smart window shades: Worrying about the glare on your TV is one thing, but using smart window shades to lower your energy bill is another. Automated window shades can coordinate with the sun’s location and your house’s indoor temperature so that you can enjoy natural light when it’s not too hot and then cool down the house as the day progresses.
Smart irrigation: Have you ever seen someone’s sprinklers on even though it’s raining? First of all, it’s a dead giveaway that no one’s home. Second, what a waste of water! A smart irrigation controller will automatically adjust your water schedule based on weather, season, and even zone type. It’s controllable by an app, and savvy energy savers will love the reports that show how much water they use month to month.
Smart security camera: Many alarm companies offer security cameras as part of their suite of services. The problem is that they also apply a pesky monthly surcharge. Check out a Wi-Fi-enabled system that will save you money — because once you’ve bought it, you’re done paying for it.
Smart air conditioner: Perhaps nothing can feel as refreshing as that window air conditioner on a hot summer’s day. You’re better off keeping your cool with an energy-saving smart air conditioner. These units tailor their energy usage to your schedule and the local weather report, and will help you not only maintain the perfect temperature but also cut down on expenses.
The bottom line is that the smartest way to automate your home is to focus on what matters to you — without paying extra monthly monitoring bills. Finding a system that works across platforms and brands means that you can choose the energy- and time-saving features that matter to you without incurring monthly charges.
Article written by Cathie Ericson