The future is now. We’re developing flying, self-piloting cars to taxi us around. We have multiple digital assistants ready to serve us at a moment’s notice. Virtual reality is becoming commonplace. With technology driving so much innovation, it’s no surprise that we’re seeing gadgets trickle into our homes. Smart home upgrades are on the rise. But how do you know what’s hype and what’s actually helpful?
Of course, it at least partially depends on your needs and preferences. You may want to keep $16,000 in your pocket and fold your own laundry, for example. We can’t give you a hard-and-fast rule to decide what home tech is worth the purchase price. We can, however, point you toward some smart home technology that will accomplish something we can all agree is good: saving money. Here’s a quick rundown of smart home upgrades that will help you keep more of your hard-earned cash in your own pocket.
1. A bright idea: smart lighting
Smart lighting cuts costs and is perhaps the easiest smart home upgrade to make. All smart lights are more energy efficient than the incandescent bulb, so if you haven’t already made the switch to LED or CFL, you get immediate savings just through that. Where smart lighting really helps you save pennies, though, is in its everyday usage — or lack thereof. Have you ever left on a light because you were too lazy to turn it off? (We’ve been there.) With these connected lightbulbs, you can flip the switch with a tap on your phone.
If you want to take your lighting cost savings to the next level, consider swapping out your light switches for ones with occupancy sensors. This technology scans the room and turns lights off when it doesn’t find any people present.
2. Do more with less: remote outlets
Your lights aren’t the only thing you can remotely control. A Wi-Fi-enabled smart socket gives you the power to flip the power on anything you plug in.
You might not think this will save you significantly. However, remote outlets earn their significance through one-off instances of forgetfulness. You know the feeling: You’ve left the house, but did you turn off the coffee pot? If you have a remote outlet in place, cutting power is a snap. In that case, not only do you save money by avoiding an all-day power drain, you also save your sanity. Imagine never again having to worry that you left on the oven as you board a plane!
3. Insulate your wallet: smart thermostats
There are two types of people: those who set the thermostat once and never adjust it again, and those who constantly fiddle with it. In either case, you could be losing money. Even if you’re a set-it-and-forget-it type, you should still adjust your thermostat when the seasons change; the Department of Energy recommends 68 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter and 78 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter. And if you’re always adjusting it, you could be working your HVAC into overdrive, costing you big.
Fortunately, with the right tech, you can maximize your savings and minimize the time you spend in front of that little wall-mounted device. You can program a smart thermostat to adjust temperatures throughout the day and throughout the seasons for optimal savings, and some will even make recommendations and adjustments for you.
If that’s not enough to pique your curiosity, give your energy company a call. Many utility providers offer rebates to people who are interested in installing these power-saving devices. In fact, some people have had the full cost of the thermostat covered. Now that’s a smart home upgrade.
Save money, save effort with smart home upgrades
This is just a quick overview of the smart home upgrades that can keep more money in nearly every family’s pocket. Don’t stop your exploration here, though. We highlight some other smart home tech here, and the list of available upgrades never stops growing. Do you find yourself with three gallons of milk because you can never remember if you have enough when you’re at the store? A smart fridge could help. Do you worry about your home’s safety? There’s a wide range of security devices available that give your phone constant access to cameras around your property. Whatever the pain points of your daily domestic life, smart home upgrades can help you spend less and do less.
Which smart home upgrades have you made in your own home? How have they made your life easier? We’d love to hear about it below.