We’re finally in the final stretch of the summer and our homes are working hard to keep us comfortable. Warmer summer months mean that we’re all using a little more energy to cool and light our dwellings. The United States Energy Information Administration says that an average U.S. home uses about 867-kilowatt hours per month; most of the kilowatts are used by utilities.
Thanks to advancing smart home technology, we are now able to cut down on our energy consumption. Wired reveals how you can save some money while making your home smarter.
Crunch the Data: Before you can make any changes, it’s important to evaluate how much energy you’re using. There are multiple ways to measure energy consumption including hiring a local energy auditor, using online tools, or attaching an energy monitor to your circuit breaker. Sense is a do-it-yourself tool that allows you to track energy use over time right from your phone. It also can help you identify where energy waste is coming from. Luckily, there are plenty of options out there for monitoring energy use; find one that works best for you.
Evaluate Your Heating: Did you know that heating is the second largest energy-eater in homes throughout the United States? It’s hard to turn down the heat, but there are tools like a smart thermostat to help you. Monitor temperature levels in each room of your home by attaching sensors to the thermostat. Sensors are a great addition to smart home technology because they can automatically adjust to different conditions throughout the home. According to Wired, “it could take advantage of passive solar heating in rooms with open, south-facing windows.” That’s just one example of how smart thermostat technology could help you cut energy costs.
Turn Off the Lights: One of the first steps to an energy efficient home is making the transition to LED lightbulbs. Another way to do this is by getting smart light-bulbs that you can adjust, even when you aren’t home. Smart plugs can also help you cut down on energy use. Using a smart plug is a quick way to cut down on phantom load (energy you aren’t even using).
There are plenty of options out there for making your home as efficient as possible. Remember to find what works best for your energy needs.