When the economy has everyone pinching their pennies and tightening their belts, investing in your home may not seem like the best thing to do.
But there are a number of ways that you can use home technology to save money on your utilities, including your electric and heating bills.
Here are three ways to save money using home technology.
Energy monitoring and management is an increasingly popular way to cut down on your electric costs.
Research firm Parks Associates expects the number of U.S. households with a smart meter to increase to more than six million by 2012, while Google is even more optimistic, predicting 40 million will be rolled out.
Devices like the Kill-a-Watt and Watts up have recently been recommended by Consumer Reports as accurately showing home much energy your appliances cost.
Lighting and Shade Control
If your home is automated, you’ve likely considered adding lighting and shade control.
The benefits of automating your shades is obvious; by programming them to open and close at certain times, you can maximize the amount of natural light and heat that comes in to your house.
You can save money on lighting in a number of ways. By switching your bulbs to CFLs, you can save both energy and cash.
Implementing a lighting control system into your home will allow you to automate the times that your house is lit and dimmed. Using scenes lets you set the lighting levels in different rooms or turn on and off your whole home at once.
Temperature and Climate Control
Controlling your heating and cooling can have a huge impact on your bottom line costs.
Programmable thermostats and remote access allow you to change your home’s temperature without much effort, and can effectively manage your home’s heating and cooling without you even being in the house.
Climate control essentials include programmable and communicating thermostats, zoned heating and cooling, and fan control.
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