When looking for ways to save money, you might not think to look into home automation. In the past, the term “smart home” conjured up images of expensive home improvements and high-tech gadgets that were only found in celebrity mansions or grand estates. However, with the emergence of new wireless technology and more companies providing these products, these systems are now more affordable than ever. Additionally, they do not require any major renovations to your home and will actually start saving you money on your utilities costs. In fact, the savings you’ll realize in just a few years can pay for your whole smart home system.
1. Programmable Thermostats
The largest portion of a home’s energy bill generally comes from heating and cooling costs. Furthermore, most homes have inefficient systems that waste large amounts of energy in heating and cooling unoccupied rooms or even the entire home. Smart home technology can solve this problem in two ways.
First, current home automation systems with programmable thermostats allow you to set the temperature of your home remotely from your smartphone, tablet, or other internet-enabled device, so you don’t have to heat or cool your home while you are away. Before returning home, you can reset the thermostat so that a comfortable temperature is waiting for you.
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2. Zone-Based Thermostats
With zone-based thermostats, your house can be divided into zones so that unoccupied rooms and areas are not being cooled or heated unecessarily. Motion sensors in the room can start up and stop your heating and cooling system to decrease the amount of wasted energy.
It’s been estimated that homeowners can saved on average $180 per year simply by using programmable or zone-based thermostats.
3. Occupation Detectors and Motion Sensors
Motion sensors can control the lights and appliances in your home. This will help lower utility costs by ensuring that lights, televisions, sound systems, and even small appliances like candle warmers or curling irons are turned off when no one is in the room to use them. With some systems, you can also control lights and appliances remotely from your personal digital devices. This way you aren’t paying for the energy that is normally consumed when lights and appliances are mistakenly left on while you are not home.
4. Power Timers and Monitors
Being aware of the optimal times to run your electrical appliances can save you a bundle. There are several monitoring devices that can give you real-time feedback on how much energy your home is using, as well as the times when your energy costs are lowest. Based on this feedback, you can set power timers to run large appliances like hot tubs, spas, and attic and exhaust fans at optimal times, and have them automatically turned off at set times to avoid wasted energy.
5. Solar-Powered Products
You don’t have to invest in large solar panel technology to start harvesting energy from the sun. Start with some well-designed solar lights for patios, porches, and other outdoor lighting needs.
In fact, the savings you’ll realize in just a few years can pay for your whole smart home system or an intelligent home.
But if you’re ready to invest in something bigger, the good news is that doing so will likely save you a lot of money over the medium to long term. Overall, solar power costs can be 20-30% lower than your standard utilities. Although solar energy has saved homeowners money over the long-term, upfront equipment and installation costs have typically taken them several years to recuperate. However, there are now companies that provide very affordable solar panel technology for your entire home, helping you avoid expensive upfront costs and allowing you to start saving money almost immediately.
With these home automation products, you can make your home work smarter without a lot of upfront investment. An energy-efficient smart home can save you money while you save the planet. You can start with these five products or call a home automation company that can help you design a system that best meets your needs.
Source : cleantechnica.com/2013/01/14/5-smart-home-technologies-that-save-you-money/
Turn your house into an energy smart home
Maintaining your home is possibly the largest monthly expense you have. One of the biggest home expenses are your utilities and they include electricity, gas, and water. With energy costs soaring, many homeowners are looking for ways to reduce monthly utility costs and turn their homes “green.” A growing number of people are turning to home automation, because in a short time their investment pays for itself. You may also decorate your child’s room in camo to make his fantasies feel real.
Saving On Your Electric Bill
The most obvious way to save money on your electric bill is to turn lights off when they’re not in use. Using home automation timers or motion detectors to turn off lights automatically if you forget, can have a big impact on your monthly electric bill.
A less obvious way to save money is by reducing the brightness of your lights. Setting your home automation dimmers to reduce lamp intensity even just 25% reduces the power consumed (and expense) by these devices also by 25%.
Using your computer to send an “All Off” command, you can program every light to turn off at a preset time; for example, after everyone has left for work in the morning or gone to bed at night. This simple function eliminates the problem of forgetting to turn off any lights.
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Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems (often referred to as HVAC) is a major home expense. Turning off the heat or AC when you don’t need them will make a substantial dent in your monthly gas or electric bill. Although many modern thermostats have programmable start and stop times, only home automation controlled thermostats provide the capability to control your thermostat through your computer, the Internet, or a cell phone.
Reducing Your Water Bill
One cost that typically goes up during the summer months is the water bill, often because of increased lawn watering. Using home automation water valves to control your sprinklers, you can set a timer that will turn off your sprinkler after a preset time. Never again worry about leaving the water running while you go out on an errand. Program your sprinkler to shut off after 30 minutes, and forget about it.
Source : compnetworking.about.com/od/homeautomationvalueproposition/a/energy-saving-homes.htm