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Getting energy saving smart with smart tech

  • 4 min read

Written by Domestic & General

At a time when fuel and energy prices are skyrocketing, the idea of introducing more electricity consuming products to your home seems like a bad idea during an energy crisis. However, smart tech devices can often help you save money by automating parts of your energy-saving efforts or utilising more energy-efficient components.

Smart-home devices often use a smartphone to control settings, meaning you’re able to control them remotely, set or adjust schedules, connect to a smart speaker, or (most beneficial of all) set them to perform actions on their own via routines or rules. By taking proactive control over the devices in your home that requires energy, smart-home tech can be integral to your energy-saving strategy.

We’ve rounded up a few ways to use smart-home devices to reduce energy and water waste and save some money in the bargain.

How to control your lighting costs

Smart bulbs are an easy way to save money because switching lightbulbs is a simple change to make. Not only is it straightforward to switch but all smart bulbs are LED bulbs, which use roughly 75 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs and last 25 times longer on average. Smart bulbs offer additional savings by providing a dimming function, which could save another 40 percent.

Smart bulbs carry the ability to trigger as part of routines or rules set within an app or in response to other smart devices, such as motion sensors and your proximity to the device (geofencing). These functions allow the bulbs to work efficiently without you needing to remember to turn them off manually.

woman putting in a light bulb

Another more permanent option, for those who are qualified to wire an outlet, is a smart in-wall light switch, which replaces your existing standard light switch to control lighting fixtures.

If you’re unable to change the bulbs and switches you already own, due to cost, circumstances, or time, then a smart-plug address similar on/off and scheduling functions for lamps and small appliances and this also, means you can still add established money-saving LED bulbs.

How to save water using smart devices

Saving water using smart tech seems unlikely but there are products on the market now that enable you to do just that.

A smart leak sensor is a device to monitor under sinks, behind toilets, around washing machines, and other potential leak points. When a leak is detected, the device sends a smartphone alert so you can attend to the issue quickly, before excessive amounts of water are wasted, or property is damaged.

person looking at app on mobile phone

Smart outdoor sprinkler controllers can control water waste in your garden or outdoor areas by controlling the quantity you use; this can be as specific as basing irrigation levels on your specific soil moisture and plant types.

Heat and cool your home efficiently

If you’re able to install a smart thermostat on your property, this is one of the best changes you can make (especially in eternally temperamental Britain). The device optimises your home’s heating (and possibly cooling) so that you don’t waste energy. There are smart device options on the market that are “learning thermostats” which can automatically adjust to optimal temperature levels based on your habits, location, and the average time it takes to warm or cool your house.

The option to add routines from our smartphone that trigger based on proximity to location or timings mean that when you leave home, it can adjust temperatures, so you aren’t running your heating all day. Similarly, you’re able to turn the system back on before you get home, keeping a toasty return to your abode in the winter and a cool home in the summer.

young boy looking at thermostat with his mobile phone

British summers are a thing of beauty, but the sweltering evenings can disrupt sleep. A smart ceiling fan is a futuristic option. There are models that include motion sensors, so they function only when you’re in the room; some also integrate with a smart thermostat to maximise energy savings. If a ceiling fan won’t work for you then another less permanent option is a standard room fan with a smart plug. This can be an easy and affordable option, with the added benefit of being portable, meaning you can move the fan to whichever room requires it.

If you have the cash to splash, then smart shades are an incredible option to assist in summertime overheating in the home. A lot of heat passes through your windows, resulting in stiflingly hot rooms in the summer. You can make the choice to set motion either at specific times or schedules, smart shades and blinds open and close to allow light (and therefore heat) to pass through only when you want it to.

person holding a mobile phone by a window

Smart tech devices used wisely can open a world of energy-saving options for your home. However, balancing the initial outlay of the device to your own budget and circumstances could lead to significant financial savings for you.

If you've found this article helpful, then you can find lots more home help advice on our blog.