How to save on bills with 4 smart home devices

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It may seem counterintuitive that smart home devices can save you money. People associate smart devices with high spending, and while it’s true that many popular smart devices will initially cost more than a “dumb” alternative, the money you can save on bills can offset that cost in a matter of months.

By August, the price of service gas had increased 25% in the United States from the previous year, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. And with electricity costs rising 14% at the same time, inflation and the prospect of a recession, not to mention rising food costs, people are feeling the pressure.

There are small changes we can all make to ensure we save as much energy as possible, both for the health of the planet and the health of our bank accounts. Implementing these changes can impact your bills in just a few months.

Also: The future of money. These innovations will change the way we shop, spend and save

How to save on bills with 4 smart home devices

1. A smart thermostat

Say goodbye to thermostat wars forever with a smart update. The startup cost for a smart thermostat can range from around $ 100 to $ 300, but the return can easily make it worth it. Additionally, you may be able to get a discount on upgrading to a smart thermostat.

A smart thermostat means you’ll never have to worry if you forgot to turn down the AC before leaving the house and instead you can do it right from your phone. Or take advantage of the option to set scenes and automations to run without you having to think about it.

Did you know that a simple change like setting the thermostat from 7 to 10 degrees from the normal setting for 8 hours a day can save you up to 10% a year on gas and electricity?

This doesn’t have to translate into discomfort either. If you work outside the house during the day, you don’t really need your house to stay at 72 degrees while you’re away. Letting it go at 80 ° in the warm months and 62 ° in the winter while away from home can make a big difference basically. And a smart thermostat can do it automatically for you.

With Alexa, Google or HomeKit, you can set your smart thermostat to automatically adjust the temperature based on a schedule or trigger such as when you say, for example, “Alexa, I’m off to work.”

Here are some good options to choose from:

Also: Nest Learning Thermostat vs Nest Thermostat: Which One is Right for You?

2. Smart bulbs

You may be familiar with that stereotype of the budget-conscious dad walking around the house turning off the lights. It’s me, I’m that dad.

This is where smart bulbs really shine, pun intended: LED bulbs are the most energy-conscious lighting option. All of the options below are LED bulbs and can fit perfectly to replace a standard bulb in your home.

Aside from upgrading to LED lights, a smart bulb means never forgetting which lights were left on, as this information is always on your phone. Smart lights can also be programmed, so you can turn them all off at 11pm every night, for example, and never accidentally leave a light on.

Although several smart devices can be expensive, there are many affordable smart lights on the market that work very well. And if you don’t want to spend too much to get started, you can also determine which lights are the most used – or, in my case, which ones I always forget to turn off – and start by replacing those with smart bulbs.

Also: How to set motion-activated smart lights as an Alexa routine

Lumen and consumption

LED lights consume 75% less energy on average than standard incandescent bulbs. We used to look at wattage when purchasing an incandescent bulb to get an idea of ​​the brightness we could expect from it.

But for LEDs, the metric to look out for is lumen, the unit that measures the brightness of a light bulb. The higher its lumens, the brighter the light. An incandescent bulb and an LED bulb can have the same amount of lumens, but an LED bulb can consume up to about 80% less watts for the same brightness.

A common 60W incandescent bulb typically has a brightness of 800 lumens. But the same brightness of 800 lumens can be achieved with an LED bulb that consumes only 9W.

A wide range of smart bulbs can give you these benefits in different price ranges:

3. Smart plugs or sockets

Smart sockets or sockets can give you maximum control over your energy consumption because they are connected directly to the source.

A smart socket replaces the existing socket in your home, but a smart socket simply plugs in, no wiring needed.

In any case, the advantages of a smart socket or socket are undeniable: you can set lighting schedules, triggers, scenes and automations and always see which lights are on directly from your mobile device.

And some of these devices deliver energy monitoring optionsso you can see historical and real-time data on how much energy is being consumed by what you have connected.

Also: I got the $ 3.49 smart plug on Prime Day, here’s how it went

Instead of smart plugs and sockets, you can also get smart switches And intelligent multiple sockets to serve the same purpose.

4. An IR / RF blaster

This is one of those little devices that can make your existing dumb devices smarter at low cost. An IR / IF blaster can connect to both your mobile device and your remote controlled appliances such as pedestal or ceiling fans, fireplaces, portable AC units and blinds.

With an app in your mobile device you can control these stupid devices from anywhere, as the blaster will effectively replace individual remotes.

Revision: Broadlink RM4 Pro: Make your home smarter for under $ 50

And many blasters on the market can also set up scenes and automations, like the one to turn off ceiling fans that you may have forgotten to turn off in your living room every night.

I’m a fan of saving money whenever I can. As a household budget, I’ve seen how the prices of everything we buy at the store have gone up and they didn’t even get me started with fuel, gas and electricity bills. While these smart devices come with an upfront cost, the savings from using them could be worth the investment.

FAQ

Smart thermostats can absolutely save you money even if you are always at home. Although people are advised to lower their thermostats by 7-10 degrees for 8 hours a day, typically during work, you can also do this at night while you sleep.

Having a setting to automatically turn it down a couple of degrees every night can also help you save money.

There is good and bad news on this. The bad news is that smart bulbs consume energy even when they are turned off. This is because they have to stay connected to a hub or your phone to work on demand. The good news is that power consumption in stand-by mode is a few cents per month – around 1 to 18 cents per month, depending on the brand.

Depending on the brand, a smart thermostat will likely have a setting in your phone where you can tell it to track your location and change settings or switch to Eco mode when it senses you’ve left the house. This helps keep your heating and cooling system running efficiently, reducing your energy bills.

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