In today’s modern and green-focused environment, many people are looking for energy efficient alternatives in order to become more efficient power consumers. In fact, a whopping 70 percent of people say energy conservation is an important factor in their daily lives and purchases.
But even if you remember to unplug your phone charger, turn your heat down, close the blinds and turn off the lights before you leave the house in the morning, there’s still a chance you could forget something.
That’s where recent innovations in connected home technology come in. Thanks to groundbreaking smart home devices, we can now use the same connected technology that powers our daily lives to reduce our carbon footprints. Here are four smart home innovations that can help you maximize your energy efficiency. (As a bonus, they could also lower your energy bills.)
Wi-Fi-connected thermostats are becoming more common and for good reason. Many run-of-the-mill thermostats offer the ability to program your heat or air conditioning schedule, but high-tech smart thermostats allow you to control your home temps via your smartphone or tablet from anywhere in the world. So if that mid-day blizzard doesn’t come through as expected, you can turn your heat down from the office (or hopefully the beach). How simple, your home is getting more green by the minute!
In fact, if everyone in the U.S. switched to an Energy Star-certified smart thermostat, we could save an average of $740 million per year and curb greenhouse gas emissions by a staggering 13 billion pounds annually.
Connected light bulbs can change color on demand and can even pulse to the beat of your favorite playlist. But parties and mood lighting aside, they’re typically LED bulbs, which means they only use 20 to25 percent of the energy that incandescent bulbs consume. Plus, they last between eight and 25 times longer than halogen incandescent bulbs.
You can also operate these smart bulbs from any connected device. Even if you have light fixtures that don’t take standard A-shaped bulbs, you can replace your dimmer switch with a connected one to gain the same energy and cost savings from every light in your home.
One of the best ways to rein in your electricity usage and maintain a ‘green’ home is to cut off power-hogs right at the source: the outlet. Similar to the devices above, smart outlets are Wi-Fi-enabled, allowing you to control them from your mobile devices.
These handy outlets come in many forms. While some require installation in the wall, others simply plug into your existing outlets. The purpose, however, is the same. Plug in your TV, desk lamp, vintage pinball machine – anything really – and control it from anywhere you may be.
This gives you the ability to switch off your coffee pot from your train to work or turn the slow cooker on at noon from your desk. Most importantly, it provides the peace of mind that comes with knowing none of your appliances are consuming power unbeknownst to you.
SMART ENERGY MONITORS
If you’re really serious about improving your energy consumption and creating a green home, a smart energy monitor can help you take your homes energy efficiency to the next level. These devices attach directly to your circuit breaker and allow you to view the energy output of every appliance in your home. If you spot an energy hoarder, you can adjust your usage accordingly and even get a prediction of how much that appliance will affect your next energy bill.
This puts the power in your hands, so to speak, by giving you total control of your household energy usage and spending. As with anything that requires electrical work, you should have a professional install your device. But given how much money you could save on your power bill, the installation cost is likely just a drop in the bucket.
Of course, if you want to go all-in on a connected home, there are many more options on the market to choose from. But these four devices are some of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to achieve a green and sustainable home, and get a quick bang for your buck!