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How to Save Money and Energy with Smart Home Devices

How to Save Money and Energy with Smart Home Devices

In this era of energy consciousness, many homeowners are wondering about electricity saving devices for homes, and asking, “Do smart plugs save electricity?” The good news is that there are plenty of ways to cut your home’s electricity usage and, ultimately, your monthly electric bill. And it’s easy to find a device to lower your electric bill, or many devices for that matter. What’s available and what can you expect in terms of energy use reduction? There are different gadgets for lighting systems, heating/cooling, pools, and general use. Plus, most are either surprisingly inexpensive or competitively priced. There’s literally something for everyone, whether you reside in a small apartment, average-size house, or a larger home that includes a swimming pool. Here’s a short survey of what you can find on the retail market today:

Lights: Energy-saving devices for lights include light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs and smart household systems that monitor usage, like plugs that help you keep tabs on exactly how much power your lighting sources are consuming. But do smart plugs save electricity? They indeed do, and can help homeowners reduce lighting costs by as much as 20 percent. Using an app on your phone, you can control the smart plug and instantly turn on or off any device in your home. Plus, you can program one or all plugs to shut off lights or appliances or turn them on based on a specific schedule.

Using a combination of motion detectors, dimmers, smart plugs, and automatic timers can mean never wasting a single minute of time on this category of power usage that accounts for about 25 percent of your total electric bill. Keep in mind that the category “appliances and lights” uses about one-third of all the electricity you consume in an average month. Using smart devices to reduce waste is a powerful strategy for saving money.

Heating/Cooling: A programmable thermostat is probably the simplest and least expensive device to lower your electric bill. These inexpensive devices are not only amazing energy conservation tools but also are simple to install. You can pick one up at your local hardware store and have it up and running in under an hour. You can schedule it to keep temperatures at different levels when you’re at work, sleeping, or entertaining guests.

The beauty of a programmable thermostat is that it never “forgets” what you instruct it to do. Plus, you’ll never have to run back and forth to the wall unit and adjust it every few hours. If you use a roof-based sensor, you can even tell the thermostat to heat or cool the inside of your home based on outdoor temperatures at any given time.

Pools: If you have a swimming pool, you already know about the expenses associated with keeping it clean and warm. Unfortunately, many consumers over-use pumps and pool heaters. Smart devices attached to each can mean a pump that only runs a couple hours per day and a pool that uses solar power for warmth. Of all the devices in your home, pool pumps have one of the highest needs for electricity. Installing a timer for better pump cycling and an inexpensive solar heater can go a long way toward reducing energy bills for the average homeowner with a swimming pool.

Power Strips: These clever, inexpensive multi-outlet strips make it easy to turn off several “power vampire” devices all at once when they’re not in use. Things like laptops, phone chargers, and TVs can use varying amounts of electricity even when they are “off” but still plugged into a wall outlet. Rather than having to unplug each one of them every day, simply plug vampire appliances into smart power strips and use a single “on/off” switch to shut everything down when you go to bed at night or leave home for more than a few minutes.

Pay Attention to Your Monthly Electric Bill

Consider a Prepaid Light Plans : After switching out old light bulbs for LEDs, installing dimmers and a programmable thermostat, heating your pool with solar devices, and using power strips for so-called vampire devices, make careful note of your monthly electric bill. The more tactics you use, the more it should decrease. But it’s important to monitor your bill carefully to see exactly how much your usage decreases month to month.

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