Smart Home Devices For Energy Saving

With energy prices rising in recent months, it is now more important than ever to be conscious of your energy consumption, as small changes can lead to big savings. So, where do you start?

Well technology might be the answer! Although they do require an initial outlay, a smart home device could pay off in the long run by helping to reduce the amount of energy you use.

Smart Plugs

These devices slot directly into your standard wall mounted sockets and connect to your home Wi-Fi. Once connected you can use an associated app to manage the plug from inside or outside your home.

These could save you energy in the following ways:

  • Programming it to switch off devices which sit on standby, for instance when you are at work or during the night, this is particularly handy for those hard-to-reach sockets!
  • If you forget to turn appliances off before you leave the house, you can use the associated app to do it remotely from anywhere in the world
  • If you like to leave devices on such as lamps or the radio when you are away from home, instead of them being constantly on you can turn them on and off remotely at various times, reducing your electricity usage and giving the impression you are at home
  • Some smart plugs have the option to tell you how much energy is being used by the connected device, giving you a more accurate idea of how much that appliance is costing you to run
  • If you have an energy tariff that offers a cheaper rate of electricity during the night, connect items that require charging such as your smartphone, tablet laptop, or your electric car and programme the plug to come on when the rate is lower

Smart/Advanced Power Strips

Power strips are like smart plugs but have multiple sockets that allow you to use one wall mounted plug to power several electrical devices. They are often used for home entertainment set ups where you might have a TV, a satellite/cable box, a sound bar, or games console. They are also useful in a home office where you may have a computer, monitors and printer.

These could save you energy in the following ways:

  • Having the same benefits as those listed above for smart plugs
  • The ability to manage multiple electrical appliances power consumption
  • Controlling individual sockets meaning you can switch a device on or off without the others being affected
  • Some versions can detect when standby or sleep occurs and cuts the power to the device automatically
  • They generally have always-on sockets for devices that need constant power such as Wi-Fi routers and alarm systems

Smart Thermostats

Working in a similar way to conventional heating controls, the smart versions offer you advanced options as you can connect them to the internet and then control the heating via an app on your smartphone.

These could save you energy in the following ways:

  • Allowing you to control your heating system using an app on your smartphone when you are not at home. Handy if you forget to turn it off when you leave or turning it on, so it is cosy just in time for you to get home
  • If you are away from home in the winter months instead of leaving the heating on constantly to avoid situations such as frozen pipes, you can turn it on & off remotely as required
  • Some smart thermostats offer a weather compensation function that would automatically turn the heating on if the temperature drops to a certain point
  • They can monitor habits and automatically adjust temperature in line with your daily usage, such as raising it during the evening when you are at home or switching it off at your usual bedtime
  • Some have the ability to detect outside conditions meaning if the sun is warming your home it will adjust the heating to reflect the change in temperature
  • There are some versions that have the option to set up zonal heating, allowing you to control the temperature of individual rooms so only warming the rooms that you require heat in
  • Some can even detect if windows are open prompting you turn off the heating

Smart Light Bulbs

These bulbs look and work the same as conventional versions but give you the added benefit of managing the lights in your home without having too manually do so. This is achieved in a similar way to other smart devices, by connecting to the internet and operating via an app.

These could help save you energy in the following ways:

  • Controlling the lights from anywhere if you have your smartphone and a WIFI signal, within another room you can switch off lights in a different part of your home
  • Syncing up with motion sensors to allow them to come on automatically when you enter or leave your home/room, so they are only on when you need them
  • Most smart bulbs are LED meaning that they will use less energy than other bulbs such as halogen or incandescent versions.
  • To avoid your main lights being on constantly if you are out or away from home for security, you can programme them to come on at different points of the day or night thus saving energy

Although smart devices require an upfront cost and need electricity to power them, over time these devices could save energy in your home as well as the advantage of being able to manage your appliances from anywhere in the world.

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