Most of us spend too much time with our eyes on screens and, more often than not, we’re not being productive. But cell phones are aimed to make our lives easier and improve the mundane aspects of day to day challenges. On that note, there are a number of items that are coming to the market to make your home work smarter, and your utility bills smaller.
Heating: As we get into the cooler months, big heating bills are inevitable. In fact, it will make up almost two-thirds of your home energy use. A smart thermostat will save at least 8% of that energy use. When choosing one, decide how many features you really want. All the bells and whistles are useless if you simply want to be able to monitor your home temperature when you’re away. But, it might be worth a larger financial investment if you want a thermostat that will integrate with a series of other smart home features. The Nest and Ecobee typically rank highest in consumer tests.
Cooling: During summer months, cooling a home can also be costly. An ENERGY STAR certified room air conditioner uses 9% less energy than regular AC units. Some models offer Wi-Fi enabled smart functionality, like the thermostats mentioned earlier. The same rules apply: buy the features you need and understand that bigger does not always provide better cooling. Also, pay close attention to how you seal your unit. Proper sealing and insulation will maximize your savings.
Lighting: Not all energy saving efforts have to be a big investment at the beginning. Programmable light switches have been around for decades and are useful when you want to have the lights on while on vacation. But they can also allow you to make sure the lights will be on when you get home, without having to leave them on all day. Newer to the market is technology that allows you to control your lightbulbs from your phone! Phillips Hue is considered to be the market leader in this space, and they have a wide variety of tools to fit your needs.
Home security: This smart product won’t save you any money, but it’s really cool. Imagine walking up to your front door with your arms full of groceries, and instead of fumbling for your keys, your door unlocks automatically. It’s possible with a smart electronic dead bolt. It’s connected to the bluetooth in your phone and unlocks your home when you’re in range. Plus, if you ever wonder whether you’ve remembered to lock the door, you can always check your phone for the answer.
Smart technology can make life easier in all sorts of ways, including those you didn’t even know you needed. Many require the initial investment, but you’ll soon be reaping the rewards—both financial and convenience.
For more energy saving tips and products, visit https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/energy/products/energystar/18953, administered by Natural Resources Canada