Saving energy means using less energy, right? Well, yes, but how do you know how much energy you’re using on a daily or even hourly basis? Most of us have no idea what our appliances, gadgets or even our heating and air conditioning systems are consuming until it comes time to look at the bill.
You can probably guess what some of them are. If you’re a regular reader of Electronic House you already know we’re fans of things like smart thermostats that let you customize your home’s temperature based on occupancy and time of day or night. But what other gadgets are also energy savers?
First, let’s start with the smart thermostats we mentioned already. For a smart thermostat to actually help you save energy, you have to use it. I know that sounds obvious, but many people install programmable thermostats and then never bother to learn how they work, and never realize the energy savings. An easy-to-use smart thermostat, like the Nest, which learns your schedule automatically, is an easy energy saving gadget. This article offers a few more valuable tips on using your smart thermostat.
Another great energy saver is a smart ceiling fan. You may think that a ceiling fan is one of the least high-tech devices in a home, but new smart ceiling fans, like the one described in the January issue, is packed with technology designed to keep your room comfortable for the least amount of energy use.
Other normally mundane devices, such as your house lights or window shades, can be upgraded with technology to turn energy wasters into energy savers. For instance, motorized blinds, when operated by a smart home system or smart home app, can be set on a schedule to open and close with the time of day and passage of the sun to make sure you maximize (or avoid) the sun’s heating rays.
A smart lighting system, especially if it includes low-power LED light bulbs, can save energy because you can automatically (or even remotely) turn off lights when you’re not using them. In fact, dimming your lights by 10 percent will save quite a bit of electricity, but you won’t notice the difference in the amount of light produced.