With a great deal of technology available to us, keeping track of the costs of various energy sources, has become easier than ever.
In winter especially, and as a great example, the cost of braving the cold comes to mind. Heating systems can consume a lot of energy, whether they use gas or electricity. There’s a handful of different green devices that can help reduce costs and here are six ways to use smart energy-saving technology in your home to do so.
1. Energy monitor
Let’s start with the basics. The first thing you should get your hands on is an energy monitor that can track energy consumption around your house – that way you know exactly where all the energy is going, specific to each appliance. They inform in real time how much your energy use is costing, and once you know how much you spend, you can make changes accordingly. Needless to say, an energy monitor won’t save you a cent – it’ll just provide the information you need to modify your behaviour.
There are two types of energy monitor: handheld screens that work alongside a separate unit, which clip on to your electricity meter or breaker panel, or online house energy monitors. Some will send the data to an app on your smartphone.
2. Smart thermostat
Smart thermostats can be quite useful at saving energy in the colder months. By learning your habits and needs, smart thermostats create custom heating and cooling schedules, hence eliminating unnecessary energy use and waste of heat.
3. Smart vent
With most heating systems, you can’t pick and choose which rooms to heat – it all gets set to one temperature, which isn’t particularly efficient if you spend the majority of your time in just a few areas, such as the living room and bedroom. Well, now you can get smart vents that help reduce wasted energy by allowing you to regulate temperature by room, stopping other areas of the house from being heated if they don’t need to be.
4. Efficient air-con system
You can now turn your air-con system into a smart gadget that’ll allow a more efficient use of energy. A smart air conditioner with heat controller can save you up to 30% on energy costs, simply by turning itself off when you’re not home, thereby reducing energy waste. This efficient air-con also creates different schedules for different times of the day.
There are other other air-con devices that’ll help with reducing your bill. Imagine if you could tell your air conditioner you only had a certain amount of money to spend on heating for the month. That’s exactly what you can do now with a smart window air conditioner – you can make the appliance work around your budget for the month.
Needless to say, even if you’re not looking into purchasing a smart air-con system, consider upgrading, not necessarily to a fancier model but to one that features a high energy star rating. In addition, some units give you the possibility of shutting off certain vents, so you can have more control over which rooms you’d like to heat and which you wouldn’t.
5. Energy-efficient windows
Energy-efficient windows can seem like a bit of an investment initially – but they can go a long way in reducing heating costs. Make the switch from single-pane to double-pane windows and you’ll be able to notice the difference straight away.
You’ll be surprised how much cold comes in and heat goes out through the windows. With double-pane windows, this will no longer be an issue, as they provide high-quality insulation. In addition, window coverings can also help – by keeping windows shaded on hot days, you can cut down on air conditioning usage. On cold days, keep those same window shades open to allow in natural sunlight.
6. Smart window blinds
Smart window blinds are here for when you’re not. Giving your heating system a break can save a great deal of energy – so when you’re not home, smart blinds will open if they detect sunlight – which will help heat up your home with some warm, natural light. These blinds also work in reverse – so when it’s summer and too much sunlight heating up your place, the smart blinds will automatically shut in order to avoid too much sun from coming in.
Voice activated Smart devices
Although not an official item on our list of 6 above, Smart personal assistants like the Google Assistant, Amazon's Alexa and Apple's Siri and Apple Home are slowly emerging within their updates and with more and more smart energy related in-home capability and functionality, combining many of the list above, all in the one Smart application.
Before you start panicking at the thought of high electricity bills (winter or otherwise) think about planning ahead and how you can use smart technology to find ways to save on energy costs.
Whether it is by installing a new, more efficient air-con system, a smart thermostat or an energy monitor to keep track of your expenses, there are plenty of ways to stay snug and keep the cost down.
If all of the Smart leaves you feeling like it's all too difficult or overcomplicated, please give ourEcosmart Electrical team a call as we can help do it for you or to request a professional energy Audit.