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Top Energy Saving Tech to Get When Creating Your Smart Home

By Lindsey Patterson August 16, 2017

Most homeowners want to save as much energy as possible. After all, it's one of the best ways to protect the environment and to save money on the power bill. Fortunately, smart home technology is starting to provide even more ways to do it. Most of them rely on taking existing systems, such as the thermostat or even lights, and making them more efficient by eliminating waste. That usually involves automation, since most waste comes from humans failing to optimize their settings or leaving an appliance on when it isn't doing anything useful. Automated devices don't have that problem, which is why they can do so much to save energy.

Temperature Control
Heating and cooling consume a huge amount of energy. In fact, temperature control is the biggest source of energy use in most homes. That means that even a relatively small change that makes the climate control system more efficient can have a big impact on a home's energy use in the long term. That fact has encouraged many companies to work on smart devices, such as the popular smart thermostat, that interact with the home's heating and cooling systems.

Smart thermostats offer a few distinct advantages over traditional thermostats. Automated climate control is the most important of those benefits. Some systems will heat and cool the home based on a set schedule, which is optimized to make sure it only expends energy when doing so would make the home more comfortable for its inhabitants. Others can work with systems that detect inhabitants and adjust accordingly, or even calibrate each room individually for maximum efficiency.

They also offer a wireless connection. That may not seem important, but it allows owners to control their thermostat from anywhere that they can access their phone. If they need to adjust the system, they can do it from a distance instead of waiting until they get home. That ensures that simply forgetfulness will not cause any problems for the system.

Smart Lighting
An individual light won't consume much energy, but the energy use for every light in the home can be quite significant. A lot of that energy is actually waste. Some of it gets wasted because people often leave lights on inside uninhabited rooms, but some of it comes from the intensity of the lights. Dimmer bulbs use less electricity than bright ones, and the lights are often brighter than they need to be during the day.

Most smart lighting systems can be programmed in the same way as smart heating systems, but their real value comes from their other features. Remote control lighting is great for people who forget to turn off the lights when they leave the room, and some models can combine with sensors to turn themselves off when their owners move away from them. Some can even save energy by integrating that type of feature with dimmers, to make sure that the light is always at an appropriate and efficient level.

Smart Power Strips
Most electronics drain a small amount of electricity from the grid when they are plugged in, even if their batteries are fully charged and the device is turned off. Simply unplugging the devices will solve that problem, but people often forget to do that. Fortunately, plugging the devices into a smart power strip will do just as well. The strips work normally when the devices that are plugged into them need to draw power, but they can cut off the flow of electricity to devices that are full. That won't make a huge impact, but every little bit helps, so they're worthwhile for people who need to install power strips anyway.




Edited by Ken Briodagh

Contributing Writer

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