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Published on January 14th, 2013 | by Guest Contributor

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5 Smart Home Technologies That Save You Money

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January 14th, 2013 by  

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.

Green homes via Shutterstock

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.

Image Credit: Nest

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.

For other DIY energy saving tips, you can visit Energy.gov.

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

UK Home Solar Panels

Solar panels on UK home via Shutterstock

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.

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.

Author Bio: Rick Delgado is a passionate freelance writer in the tech and eco-friendly space.

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