How to Save Energy With Smart Home Automation

18-03-2019 |   |  By Moe Long

Smart home control and smart home automation afford many benefits. There’s the convenience of configuring scenes, consolidating device control, and providing enhanced security. While a smart home may simplify various behavioural processes, such as turning on or off lights automatically and triggering climate control systems, one of the top reasons to create a smart home is energy savings. According to Simply Self Storage, a comprehensive smart home retrofit may result in around $1000 USD in annual savings. Learn how to save energy with smart home automation!

What is a Smart Home?

   

A smart home is a location decked out with network-connected gadgets. These typically communicate with one another as well as a hub. Then, you may control your Internet-enabled smart home tech with companion apps. Moreover, with automation's you may set up optimizations. For instance, when you leave your home, you can configure your lights to turn off, a smart lock to bolt the door, and a connected thermostat to lower or raise its settings to remain off while you’re away.

What is Smart Home Automation?

   

Essentially, smart home automation removes human intervention from the equation. Whereas smart home control requires the end user to turn devices on and off or manually adjust settings, automation controls devices based on preset factors. These might be mandated by the user, or devices might dictate automation's through gathering analytics on usage over time. I have my smart lights set to turn off when my phone leave my apartment, for example. Likewise, in the morning I configured a routine for my smart lights to turn on at 6:15 AM at 25% brightness, and orange in color.

How Can You Save Energy With Smart Home Automation?

Taking advantage of smart home automation can afford energy savings which in turn translate to monetary savings. From powering off devices to setting comfortable temperatures, learn how to save energy and money with smart home control!

1. Invest in a Smart Thermostat

  Ecobee4  

Among the best starting spots for creating a smart home, there’s the smart thermostat. You can buy a premade connected thermostat such as an Ecobee, Nest learning thermostat, or Honeywell Wi-Fi thermostat. Alternatively, it’s possible to perform a retrofit and create a do-it-yourself (DIY) smart thermostat. With geofencing, utilizing RFID or GPU to make a virtual boundary, you can automate various actions when a mobile device leaves or enters a certain location. When you leave or arrive home, your smart thermostat reacts accordingly to shut off when you’re not around, then turn back on when you get back. Alternatively, you may control temperature remotely via an app. Some thermostats such as Nest even feature smart learning capabilities, leading to energy savings, and a monetary savings of between $131 USD and $145 a year.

2. Use Smart Plugs to Battle Vampires

  best-smartthings-wall-plug-2018-fibaro-smart-plug  

These vampires don’t require a wooden stake, garlic, or holy water. In standby power, electricity continues to be used and devices still suck energy from unsuspecting victims despite being turned off. With smart home technology, you can tackle vampire energy by installing smart plugs, then connect your vampire energy electronics to smart plugs. Turn off smart plugs using apps or voice control when not in use, and your vampire energy gadgets won’t bite.

3. Install Smart Lights

  OSRAM-Lightify  

Smart lights rank among the easiest smart home retrofit. Often, installing smart lights is as easy as screwing in a bulb and connecting to an app. With smart lights, you can turn off lights automatically when you leave a room or your house with geofencing, voice commands, motion sensors, and more. Even when in use, you can lower the brightness settings on your lights. While this won’t result in immense savings, over time it will add up. At night, I typically lower the brightness to 5% while reading in bed. It’s rare that 100% brightness for my smart lights is necessary.

4. Make Use of Geofencing

Geofencing is a means of creating a virtual boundary using RFID or GPS technology. All you need for this is a smart home hub, smart home gadgets, and your phone. When you leave a certain area with your phone, you can configure several home automation's such as lowering the thermostat, automatically shutting off lights, and powering off smart plugs or other devices. It’s an excellent, all-in-one smart home automation technique which can save energy and money. Moreover, motion sensors and occupation detectors may allow for geo-fencing as well.

5. Adopt a Smart Sprinkler System

The entire premise of a smart home hinges on the ability of connected-devices to perform the same abilities as humans but more efficiently. A smart sprinkler system can tackle several different irrigation zones, and automatically compensates for weather changes. Plus, minimizes wasted water. This can save almost $150 yearly. While you may buy a full-on smart sprinkler system, you can always build a DIY water irrigation system with an Arduino.

6. Smarten Up With Smart Appliances

Smart dryers, showers, dishwashers, and more can monitor the likes of energy consumption and water use, then adjust their settings accordingly. You’ll conserve resources and benefit from lower utility bills. Though smart appliances won’t result in immense annual savings, only about $20 a year, it adds up over time and in conjunction with other smart home tech.

How to Save Energy With Smart Home Automation: Final Thoughts

Creating a smart home comes with tons of benefits. With the proper smart home devices, and efficient smart home automation, you’ll make your home more efficient which in turn results in energy and monetary savings. I suggest beginning with a hub and some smart bulbs. It’s an inexpensive investment, and excellent beginner-friendly smart home starter. A smart thermostat and smart plugs or a smart plug strip also boast incredible capabilities to transform a “dumb” home into a smart home, while presenting superb home automation potential.


By Moe Long

Moe Long is an editor, writer, and tech buff with a particular appreciation for Linux, Raspberry Pis, and retro gaming. When he's not hammering away at his keyboard, he enjoys running, reading, watching cinema, and listening to vinyl. You can read his writings on film and pop culture at CupOfMoe.com and check out his thoughts on movies on the Celluloid Fiends podcast.

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