Smart home technology tools have the power to save homeowners money and energy – all with the push of a smartphone button. A connected home gives its owner control over simple systems like lights and HVAC or more complex systems like garden irrigation and bathing options.
But smart tech isn’t about having shiny new toys. These digital tools have the power to help homeowners save energy and water, learning daily routines and adjusting their settings to ensure energy savings wherever possible. Many devices have the ability to alert a user when the device has been running for too long or inefficiently.
If you’re thinking about energy efficient gifts for the holidays, this list is an excellent and simple start.
The CNCT Intelliplug 3 brings automation to nearly any device that uses a wall socket. Integrated with Amazon Alexa, the plug allows users to control any home electronic device from a smartphone or tablet. From setting the coffee pot in the morning to switching lights on and off during a vacation, this device is a simple solution for every day routines. With its scheduling and timer feature, the CNCT Intelliplug 3 can help users save energy by automatically turning off appliances that are plugged into the socket, which equates to more savings and less time worrying about whether or not the toaster oven is still running.
By now, the Nest programmable thermostat has become a household name. The gadget offers easy, digital access control of a home’s temperature directly from a user’s smartphone. Nest thermostats can also learn occupant behavior, and will help save energy by turning off the HVAC system when no one is home. What’s unique about the Nest Thermostat E is that it comes at a more affordable price without giving up most of the functionality available in the standard Nest Thermostat models. ENERGY STAR certified, the Nest Thermostat E boasts impressive energy savings. According to independent studies, the Nest thermostat has helped users save an average of 10-12% on heating bills and 15% on cooling bills. This incredible piece of technology is an energy-savers dream!
Since we’re on the topic of smart thermostats, we had to take a moment to mention the Ecobee 4 Smart Thermostat. Its wifi-enabled capabilities allow users to control the room temperature from a smartphone anywhere in the world. Integrated with Amazon Alexa, the Ecobee 4 Smart Thermostat can also recognize and receive verbal commands. Because of this integration, the Ecobee 4 Smart Thermostat can perform additional functions, including setting a timer, relaying the weather and managing items on a grocery list. Based on an internal study in 2013, Ecobee products have helped save customers up to 23% on heating and cooling costs!
Remembering to water the plants and the yard on a consistent schedule can be tough, especially given the irregularities of Georgia weather. Rachio’s Smart Wifi Irrigation can automate yard irrigation through its wifi-enabled controller. According to their website, installation of the Rachio system only takes 30 minutes. After installation, the mobile app allows the user to input information about the types of plants in the yard as well as the soil conditions. The system then creates a unique, automated watering schedule. The app also has the ability to read local weather forecasts and adjust its irrigation timing, which means that if a pop-up thunderstorm hits the area, the user doesn’t have to remember to rush home to turn off the system.
The Hydrao Shower Head revolutionizes the shower experience. Focused on water efficiency and savings, the shower head is connected to the Hydrao mobile app. The user is able to indicate on the app personal “water consumption thresholds.” When the shower is running, LED lights built into the shower head will change colors, helping to illustrate how much water has been consumed and which thresholds have been met. Users can then view total water consumption via the app, which can also measure energy and water savings over time. According to Start & Blue, the French company that developed Hydrao, the average shower uses about 21 gallons of water. By switching to the Hydrao Shower Head, the company hopes to reduce that amount to 15 gallons which equates to major water and money savings for users.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of the expanding market of smart home technology. There are hundreds (if not thousands) of digital home technology tools available that can help users go about their daily routine and save energy at the same time. It truly is the gift that keeps on giving!