10 Ways To Save Money With A Smart House Today

Graphic of someone holding a smart thermostat

In an age where technology is increasingly integrated into our daily lives, a smart home is no longer just a futuristic vision. It’s now a practical way to not only enhance convenience and security but also to save money. Here are several effective strategies to turn your house into a smart home that works smarter and saves you money.

1. Smart Thermostats for Efficient Heating and Cooling

One of the biggest home expenses is heating and cooling. Smart thermostats like Nest or Ecobee learn your habits and adjust the temperature accordingly. These devices can significantly reduce your energy bills by automatically lowering the heat when you’re not home or at night and adjusting to your preferred temperature when you’re active.

Pros 

  • Energy Efficiency – Some models provide energy usage reports, helping you better understand and manage your consumption.
  • Integration – Can integrate with other smart home devices and systems, allowing for a more connected and automated home.
  • Voice Control – Integration with voice-controlled assistants like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or Apple HomeKit allows for hands-free temperature adjustments.
  • Learning Capabilities – Some models can learn your preferences over time and automatically adjust settings to your liking.
  • Weather Responsive – They can adjust settings based on local weather conditions, ensuring optimal indoor comfort.

Savings Tip: Look for energy provider rebates when purchasing a smart thermostat.

2. Smart Lighting to Reduce Electricity Usage

Though more expensive upfront, LED smart bulbs are far more energy-efficient than traditional bulbs and have a longer lifespan. Pair these with smart lighting systems that allow you to control lights remotely, set schedules, and adjust brightness, and you’ll see a decrease in your electricity usage.

Pros 

  • Remote Control & Convenience – You can control your lights remotely via a smartphone app. It is incredibly convenient if you forget to turn off lights when leaving home or want to switch them on before returning.
  • Adjustable Settings – Often offer adjustable brightness and color temperature settings, allowing you to create the perfect ambiance for any occasion.
  • Scheduling & Automation – You can set schedules for lights to turn on and off at specific times, which can be useful for security and energy-saving purposes.
  • Color & Mood Settings – Some models offer a range of colors and dynamic mood settings, adding to the aesthetic appeal of your home.

Savings Tip: Use motion sensors in less-frequented areas to ensure lights are only on when needed.

3. Energy Monitoring for Insight into Usage

Smart energy monitors give real-time information about your electricity usage. Devices like Sense or Emporia Vue can track the most energy-hungry appliances and provide insights on reducing your bill.

Pros 

  • Increased Awareness – Provide real-time data on energy consumption, making you more aware of your home’s energy usage patterns.
  • Environmental Impact – Reducing energy consumption saves money and lowers your carbon footprint, contributing to environmental conservation.
  • Customized Alerts – Many systems offer alerts for unusual energy usage, helping to identify potential issues like appliance malfunctions.
  • Potential Incentives – Some utility companies offer incentives or rebates for using energy monitoring systems or for achieving energy savings.

Savings Tip: Use the data to identify and replace energy-inefficient appliances.

4. Smart Plugs for Controlling Standby Power

Many devices consume power even when they’re turned off. Smart plugs can cut power to these energy vampires. They also enable you to turn off devices that were accidentally left on remotely.

Pros 

  • Remote Operation – You can control devices plugged into a smart plug remotely, allowing you to turn off a forgotten iron or activate a lamp while you’re away, for example.
  • Energy Efficient – By controlling and automating devices, you can ensure they are only on when needed, reducing unnecessary power usage.
  • Enhanced Safety – You can use smart plugs to turn lights on and off randomly when you’re away from home, giving the impression that the house is occupied.
  • No Technical Skills Needed – Unlike other smart home upgrades, smart plugs don’t require special installation wiring or technical skills. They are plug-and-play devices that connect to your home Wi-Fi network.
  • Cost-Effective – Smart plugs are relatively inexpensive compared to other smart home devices, making them an affordable entry point into home automation.

Savings Tip: Use smart plugs with devices that aren’t used daily, like TVs or desktop computers.

5. Smart Irrigation Systems for Efficient Water Use

Smart irrigation systems can save significant water (and money) by customizing watering schedules based on local weather conditions. This ensures your lawn and garden get exactly the amount of water they need.

Pros 

  • Water Efficiency – These systems optimize water use, which is environmentally friendly and can reduce your water bill.
  • Customization – You can create watering zones based on specific garden areas, customizing water delivery to different plants or lawn sections’ unique needs.
  • Adapt to Weather – Many systems include weather intelligence that automatically adjusts watering based on the forecast, preventing unnecessary watering on rainy days.
  • Improved Plant Health – By delivering the optimal amount of water, smart irrigation promotes healthier plant growth and reduces the likelihood of under or overwatering.

Savings Tip: Check for local water conservation rebates when installing a smart irrigation system.

6. Smart Window Shades for Temperature Control

Smart window shades can be programmed to open and close at specific times. Keeping them closed during the hottest part of the day in summer and open during sunny winter days can reduce heating and cooling costs.

Pros 

  • Convenience & Accessibility – Operate your window shades remotely, especially for hard-to-reach windows. Integration with smart home systems allows for voice control or control through a smartphone app.
  • Custom Schedule – Set schedules for your shades to open and close at specific times, enhancing your daily routine (e.g., opening to wake you up in the morning).
  • Interior Furniture Protection – Protect furniture, artwork, and other sensitive interior elements from harmful UV rays by controlling the amount of sunlight that enters the room.
  • Enhanced Privacy – Program your shades to close automatically at night or when you’re not home, improving privacy and security.

Savings Tip: Use smart shades in conjunction with smart thermostats for maximum efficiency.

7. Smart Security Systems for Insurance Discounts

Several insurance companies offer discounts for homes with security systems. Smart security systems with cameras, door and window sensors, and smoke detectors not only provide peace of mind but can also lower your homeowner’s insurance.

Pros 

  • Remote Monitoring – Monitoring your home remotely using a smartphone app, gives you peace of mind when you’re away.
  • Customizable Alerts – Receive instant alerts on your phone for various events, such as when windows or doors are opened or if motion is detected.
  • User-Friendly – Modern systems come with user-friendly interfaces, making managing and monitoring your home security easy.
  • Record & Replay -Smart cameras can record footage, which can be crucial for evidence in case of a break-in or other incident.

Savings Tip: Contact your insurance provider to understand eligible discounts.

8. Leak Detectors to Prevent Costly Damage

Smart leak detectors can alert you to water leaks before they cause major damage, saving you from expensive repairs. These are particularly useful for detecting issues like pipe leaks or malfunctioning appliances early.

Pros 

  • Early Leak Detection – Quickly alerts you to water leaks, potentially preventing major water damage and expensive repairs.
  • Remote Alerts  Sends notifications to your smartphone, allowing you to take immediate action, even when you’re away from home.
  • Prevent Mold and Property Damage – Early leak detection helps prevent mold growth and structural damage caused by water, maintaining the integrity of your home.
  • Easy to Install – Most leak detectors are easy to install and do not require professional installation.

Savings Tip: Place detectors in high-risk areas like under sinks, near water heaters, and basements for maximum benefit.

9. Smart Appliances for Greater Efficiency

While replacing all your appliances with smart ones isn’t cheap, it can be cost-effective in the long run. Smart refrigerators, washers, and dryers optimize energy use and can provide maintenance alerts to prevent costly repairs.

Pros 

  • Enhanced Convenience – Smart appliances offer features that make everyday tasks more convenient, such as refrigerators that can track groceries or washing machines that you can start remotely.
  • Energy Efficiency – Many smart appliances are designed for energy efficiency, helping to reduce electricity consumption and lower utility bills.
  • Maintenance and Diagnostics – Smart appliances can alert you about maintenance needs or mechanical issues, often before they become serious problems.
  • Integration with Other Smart Home Devices – They can be integrated into broader smart home systems for a more interconnected experience.

Savings Tip: Prioritize replacing appliances that consume the most energy.

10. Voice Assistants for Centralized Control

Voice assistants (Amazon Alexa or Google Home) can centralize control of your smart home devices. This not only adds convenience but also ensures that you’re maximizing the use and benefits of each smart device.

Pros 

  • Hands-Free Control – Voice assistants allow for hands-free control of various devices, which is convenient when cooking, cleaning, or otherwise occupied.
  • Easy Access to Information – Quickly get answers to questions, check the news, get weather updates, or receive traffic information, all hands-free.
  • Home Automation – They can be a central hub for controlling other smart home devices like lights, thermostats, and security systems.
  • Convenience in Daily Tasks – Set reminders, make shopping lists, play music, or send messages without having to type or use a screen.
  • Entertainment – Use them to play music, audiobooks, or radio stations, and even control your smart TV or other entertainment devices.

Savings Tip: Regularly update or check for new skills and features that enhance device efficiency.

Drawbacks to Smart Home Technology

Graphic of a modern home

Smart home technology has significantly transformed how we interact with our living spaces, making daily routines more convenient and efficient. However, despite its many benefits, there are also drawbacks to consider. Understanding these can help you make an informed decision about integrating smart technology into your home.

High Initial Cost

  • Expense: Smart home devices and systems can be expensive. The cost of purchasing, installing, and potentially upgrading multiple devices can add up quickly.
  • Upkeep Costs: There might be ongoing costs for subscriptions or software updates for certain smart home devices.

Complexity and Usability

  • Technical Skills Required: Setting up and maintaining smart home devices can be complex, requiring a certain level of technical knowledge.
  • Overwhelming for Some Users: The range of functionalities and settings can be overwhelming, especially for those who are not tech-savvy.

Compatibility Issues

  • Interoperability: Not all smart home devices are compatible with each other. This can limit the ability to create a fully integrated smart home system.
  • System Upgrades: As technology advances, older models may become obsolete or require upgrades to remain compatible with new devices.

Reliability and Performance Concerns

  • Dependence on Internet and Power: Most smart home devices are dependent on a stable internet connection and power supply. Outages can render these devices useless.
  • Software Bugs and Glitches: Smart devices may suffer from software bugs or technical glitches, impacting their performance and reliability.

Security and Privacy Risks

  • Vulnerability to Hacking: Anything connected to the internet is vulnerable to hacking and data breaches.
  • Privacy Concerns: These devices collect personal data, which raises concerns about privacy and how this data is used and stored.

Overdependence on Technology

  • Less Manual Control: There’s a risk of becoming overly reliant on technology for basic home functions, which could be problematic in case of technological failures.
  • Reduced Problem-Solving Skills: Heavy reliance on smart technology can diminish a person’s ability to perform tasks manually or solve problems without technological assistance.

Environmental Impact

  • E-Waste: As technology evolves, outdated devices contribute to electronic waste, which has environmental implications.
  • Energy Use: Some smart devices, especially those always on or needing to be charged frequently, can increase energy use.

Conclusion

Adopting smart home technology can initially seem like a significant investment, but the long-term savings are undeniable. By automating your home’s essential functions, you save money on utilities and contribute to a more sustainable lifestyle. As technology advances, the potential for savings and efficiency in a smart home will only grow, making it a wise investment for the future.

You might also be interested in: How Do Smart Light Bulbs Work? [The Benefits of Switching to Smart Lighting]

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