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.
Installing and investing in connected devices around your home can improve your health, save you money, and make life simpler.
You can improve your health by using smart water filters and air quality monitors. Save money with automated blinds or a smart thermostat from Pruitt Heating & Air, Inc.
Stay safe and have peace of mind with remote access to your door locks and security system. Enjoy speakers who play your favorite tunes when you walk in the room and worry less by using smart outlets to reduce electricity use.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.Click To Tweet
Today's technology provides an almost endless number of ways to connect you to your home.
Specifically, here are several ways 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-935L. It’s just $50 for this basic camera, but it comes with night vision, motion alerts, and 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
Remembering to turn the lights off is the ultimate dilemma for any parent of teenagers (or forgetful spouses). Luckily, this is yet another problem that you can easily solve with technology.
A few years ago, you would need an electrician to wire your home for fancy dimmer switches and other advanced lighting. Now, you just have to crack open a box, screw in a light bulb, and download an app.
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 and add to your up-front cost.
Get a thermostat that learns your habits and saves energy
You’ve probably heard of Nest Learning Thermostat, but how does it really learn from your habits?
It’s simple. Let’s say it’s the summertime. For about a week, you turn up Nest whenever you leave and turn it down when you get home. After a week of learning, Nest discovers that you usually leave at 8 in the morning and get home in the evenings around 5.
With this knowledge, Nest automatically adjusts its temperature throughout the day to help you save on your energy bill. The estimated average savings is between $131 and $145 annually, meaning the thermostat pays for itself in under two years.
Another way this works is with motion sensors.
Ecobee3 smart thermostat uses connected motion sensors in your home's popular rooms to tell the thermostat if you’re home or away. It also has geofencing, so if you (or your phone) leave 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
If you have a security system, you know the monthly fee is not cheap, usually in the $60 per month range. You might think, well, I want to protect my home, so it’s a necessary cost.
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 look out 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 your home's resale value, 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? Tell us about them below!