If you’re like me, the air conditioner is already cranking. I really hate the heat. Does anyone really enjoy sitting inside, just sweating? The answer has to be no. However, some people are willing to suffer, in order to avoid costly energy bills.
Well, you shouldn’t have to go without—not in the Electronic House! There are too many cool gadgets designed to help you stick to a budget, all while keeping you from sticking to the couch.
All of the options listed below offer some type of scheduling, so you can deliver those cool breezes at appropriate times of the day. However, we know that during the summer, you don’t always stick to a schedule. There are sandcastles to build and even s’mores to build. Remote access is key and will allow you to tweak temperatures on the fly.
Need something to cool down your house while keeping your budget in check? Check out these five cool gadgets that can curb your AC use this summer.
Quirky + GE Aros Smart Air Conditioner
This product can deliver 8,000 BTUs of cooling goodness, all of which can be controlled almost anywhere, using the free Wink app for iOS and Android devices. That way, you won’t have to worry about leaving the AC on—or off. It’s also smarter than the average smart appliance, since it can actually learn all about your budget, location, schedule, and usage, and adjust the temperature accordingly. It can even turn on and off based on your location and GPS settings. Other features include three cooling modes, three fan speeds, and retractable wings for a perfect fit in your window.
For More Information: Quirky
There are a slew of smart thermostat options out there. Why do you want one? These cool gadgets allow for some type of scheduling, so you can have the house as hot or cool as you want it at specified times. However, if you have a change in plans or (ahem) forget to actually schedule it, you can access those controls via your favorite smartphone or tablet. This means you can make all sorts of adjustments on the fly—including cranking up that AC so you won’t come home to a stuffy, hot house. So why pick the ecobee3 over all of the other ‘stats out there? This model actually bases its adjustments on occupied rooms throughout the entire house, thanks to the use of remote sensors. It comes with one, but additional sensors are available in two-packs for $79. Buy up enough for the entire house; the ecobee3 can support up to 32 of them.
For More Information: ecobee
Having the shades open on a hot day can make a room unbearable. Instead of cranking up the AC, consider buying this easy bridge/app combo, which can add automation to any Somfy motorized products featuring RTS (Radio Technology Somfy). That includes motorized window shades, drapes, awnings, screens and rolling shutters. Just plug the bridge into any available outlet, connect it to your wireless network, and you’ll be able to block out the sun’s burning rays at the touch of a finger. Other features include individual control, group control, scenes and the Somfy MY feature for instant access to any preferred position.
For More Information: Somfy
One of the best things about the modlet (or modern outlet) is that it can provide remote control over anything that’s attached to either receptacle. So if you forget to shut off that wall AC unit too often or stay out a little later than planned, you can cut the power via a web browser or the modlet’s iOS and Android apps. The device can even track usage, savings and your schedule, so it can “recommend” ways to cut back on energy waste. Other features include built-in surge protection, schedule templates for common applications, an override function, and the option to download energy use data for further analysis.
MSRP: Starts at $50
For More Information: ThinkEco
Big Ass Fan
The best thing for a hot evening is a cool breeze, especially if that breeze isn’t costing you a fortune in electricity. A company called Big Ass Fans makes big fans (they’re not really all that big), but one in particular, the Haiku, is packed with technology that can make it work better and integrate with other smart devices. The Haiku ceiling fan has an on-board computer with temperature, humidity and awareness sensors, known as SenseME. It can automatically turn on and off based on the temperature or whether it senses anyone in the room. It also has a learning ability, so it can remember your preferences. Of course, there’s an app to operate it. Big Ass Fans is also part of the Thread technology group, so the device will integrate with the Nest smart thermostat.
MSRP: $895 – $1,145 (depending on style and size)
For More Information: Big Ass Fans