How to Save on Utility 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 expenses and while it’s true that many popular smart devices will initially cost more than a “dumb” alternative, the money you can save on utility bills can make up for it. this cost in a few months.

In August, the price of utility gas had risen 25% in the United States compared to 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 grocery 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 utility bills in just a few months.

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

How to Save on Utility Bills with 4 Smart Home Devices

1. A smart thermostat

Say goodbye to thermostat wars with a smart upgrade. The start-up cost of a smart thermostat can range from around $100 to $300, but the return can easily be worth it. Also, you may be able to get a discount on an upgrade to a smart thermostat.

A smart thermostat means you never have to worry if you forgot to turn down your air conditioning before you leave the house and you can do it right from your phone. Or take advantage of the ability to set scenes and automations to run without you having to think about them.

Did you know that a change as simple as setting your thermostat 7-10 degrees off its usual setting for 8 hours a day can save you up to 10% a year on gas and electricity?

It shouldn’t result in discomfort either. If you work outside the house during the day, you don’t really need your house to stay at 72° while you’re away. Letting it go up to 80° in the warm months and 62° in the winter when you’re away from home can make a big difference in the end. And a smart thermostat can do it for you automatically.

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

Here are some good options to choose from:

Also: Nest Learning Thermostat or Nest Thermostat: Which is Right for You?

2. Smart bulbs

You might be familiar with that stereotype of the budget-conscious father who walks around the house turning off the lights. It’s me, I’m that daddy.

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

Along with switching to LED lights, a smart bulb means never forgetting which lights were left on, because that information is always on your phone. Smart lights can also be scheduled, so you can turn them all off at 11 p.m. every night, for example, and never accidentally leave a light on.

Although different smart devices can be expensive, there are many affordable smart lights on the market that work extremely well. And if you don’t want to spend too much to start with, you can also figure out which lights are used the most — or, in my case, which ones I keep forgetting to turn off — and start by replacing those with smart bulbs.

Also: How to Set Up Motion-Triggered Smart Lights as an Alexa Routine

Lumens and Consumption

LED bulbs use an average of 75% less energy than standard incandescent bulbs. We used to look at wattage when buying an incandescent bulb to get an idea of ​​how bright we could expect it to be.

But for LEDs, the metric you want to keep an eye on is lumens, the unit that measures the brightness of a bulb. The higher its lumens, the brighter the light. An incandescent bulb and an LED bulb can have the same amount of lumens, but the 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 obtained with an LED bulb which consumes only 9W.

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

3. Plugs or smart plugs

Plugs or smart plugs can give you the best control over power consumption because they are connected directly to the source.

A smart outlet replaces the existing outlet in your home, but a smart outlet that you simply plug in, no wiring required.

Either way, the benefits of a plug or smart plug are undeniable: you can set light schedules, triggers, scenes and automations, and always see which lights are on right from your mobile device. .

And some of these devices offer energy monitoring optionsso you can see historical and real-time data on how much power is consumed by what you have plugged into it.

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

Instead of plugs and smart sockets, you can also get smart switches and smart power strips to serve the same purpose.

4. An IR/RF blaster

It’s 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 remote-controlled appliances such as pedestal or ceiling fans, fireplaces, portable air conditioners, and blinds.

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

Exam: 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 any ceiling fans you might have forgotten to turn off in your living room each night.

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

FAQs

Smart thermostats can absolutely save you money even if you’re still at home. Although people are recommended to turn down their thermostat by 7-10 degrees for 8 hours a day, usually at work, you can also do this at night while you sleep.

Even having a setting to automatically lower it a few degrees each night can help save you money.

There is good news and bad news about it. The bad news is that smart bulbs consume power even when turned off. This is because they need to stay connected to a hub or your phone to be able to work on demand. The good news is that power consumption in standby mode is only 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 go into Eco mode when it senses you’ve left the house. This keeps your heating and cooling system running efficiently, reducing your energy bills.

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