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Do you have a smart home? Wait! Before you roll your eyes and click away by how annoying this buzzword is, think of this: smart home technology can actually save you money. It’s not just a gimmicky way to make your house similar to Tony Stark’s on Iron Man.
Specifically, these five very simple tricks for smart home tech can save you money around your house, without pesky contracts locking you into monthly fees.
Inexpensive video baby monitors
While video baby monitors aren’t technically a necessity, it sometimes feels like they are. Peeking on your feisty toddler gives you peace of mind along with a few entertaining screenshots for their baby book. Unfortunately, most video baby monitors are expensive, with price tags running hundreds of dollars. Yikes.
Here’s a parenting hack for you: buy a basic Wi-Fi camera instead. One example is the inexpensive D-Link DCS-932L. It’s just $40 for this basic camera, but it comes with night vision, motion alerts, and the web and in-app viewing, all without monthly fees. Don’t pay more just to read the words “baby monitor” on the box. Save your cash for diapers and wipes instead—you’ll need it.
Turn off your lights while you’re away
Beyond outsmarting the forgetful people in your home, smart lights also let you trick burglars by scheduling or remotely turning on your lights while you’re out of town. Your electricity savings, combined with added security, make the small investment of a few smart light bulbs really pay off. Just make sure you check whether or not the lights require a hub before you buy them—some like LIFX, MagicLight, and Flux don’t, but others do, which can increase the functionality, but also adds to your up-front cost.
Get a thermostat that learns your habits and saves energy
Another way this works is with motion sensors. Ecobee3 smart thermostat uses connected motion sensors in popular rooms of your home to tell the thermostat if you’re home or away. It also has geofencing, so if you (or your phone) leaves your home area, Away mode kicks in.
Save water with a smart sprinkler system
Ever had your sprinklers run during a rainstorm? It can be frustrating since it’s not just tough on your water bill, it’s also bad for the environment. Plugging in a smart sprinkler system like Rachio into your sprinkler controller will create a customized watering schedule that incorporates local forecasts to make sure you don’t water when it’s rainy. It claims to save you up to 50% on your outdoor water bill, while also helping you keep your lawn looking beautiful and green. So far, Rachio has saved over 1 billion gallons of water!
Cancel your expensive security system
But new technology has a solution for that too. Canary security cameras are way more than just cameras—they also feature a 90-decibel siren for scaring away intruders, along with air quality monitoring to lookout for harmful gasses. While it isn’t professionally monitored, it alerts you whenever there is motion, giving you a chance to decide if you need to call the police, or if it’s just a false alarm.
While several of these technologies have a high start-up cost, don’t let that stop you—lots of cities incentivize energy-saving devices like smart thermostats and sprinkler controllers. Check with your local government; you might be surprised at the rebates you can get. Additionally, smart home appliances that stay with the home increase the resale value of your home, especially since millennials and younger homeowners have reported a high interest in smart home technology.
New technology might seem like a pain, but between decreasing your energy usage and increasing your home’s value, it’s easy to see how the savings can add up quickly.
Does your home have smart devices?
Krystle Cook – the creator of Home Jobs by MOM – put her psychology degree on a shelf and dived into a pile of diapers and dishes instead. She is a wife and mother to two rambunctious boys, sweating it out in her Texas hometown. She loves cooking, DIY home projects, and family fun activities.