Looking to save money? Before you think about cutting back on dinners out or skimping on your next family holiday, you may want to look right inside your own home to discover where you may be wasting resources—and consequently, money. For instance, electricity powers dozens of machines in our homes, including cooking appliances, refrigerators, dishwashers, and an ever-growing number of home entertainment and rechargeable devices.
Making a conscious effort to decrease your monthly utility bills use won’t just save you money, it will also help decrease your home’s environmental impact. Additionally, with energy costs on the rise, energy efficient upgrades to your home will also make your home more attractive to future buyers.
Assess Your Energy Usage with a Home Energy Meter
To reduce your overall energy consumption you need to do two things. First, inspect areas like attics, ceilings, floors, and crawl spaces to make sure they are properly insulated. According to SEAI up to 30% of your heating and air can escape your home through leaky windows and poor insulation. Next, you’ll want to make sure that your Heating and Lighting systems are working efficiently, while also monitoring which appliances are using the most energy.
One of the best ways to do this is by purchasing a home energy meter like Aeotec’s Z-Wave Home Energy Meter. Installed in an electricity box, the energy meter will monitor the total consumption of electricity used throughout your home. It reports energy use back to you in real time so you can see how much electricity you really use and when you use it. The data that you collect from your home energy meter can help you plan smart purchases and home improvements that will maximize your energy efficiency and save you the most money.
Decrease Your Heating Costs with a Programmable Thermostat
Turning down thermostats by 1 Degree can reduce annual heating energy consumption by 10% with an equivalent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. You can do this automatically by using a programmable thermostat that enables you to schedule when you turn on the heating or air conditioning. As a result, your Heating system doesn’t work as hard when you are asleep or not at home. Programmable thermostats, like the Secure Thermostat & Receiver, can store multiple daily settings that you can manually override without affecting the rest of the daily or weekly program.
Turn on the Lights Only When You Need Them with Indoor Motion Sensor Lighting
While you have probably seen motion sensors used for outdoor lighting, they are also great for reducing energy waste and enhancing safety inside your home. Motion sensor lighting provides an automated, hands-free way to turn on lights when you need them, and off when you don’t. Illuminate your way through the hallway when you get up in the middle of the night. In addition to preventing bumps and bruises, motion sensor lighting will also help reduce your monthly energy costs due to lighting. You no longer have to worry about hitting the light switch every time you leave the room. Instead, motion sensor lights reliably turn themselves off after you’ve left a room. The Aeotec 6in1 multi sensor is a good example of a smart multi sensor.
Water Conservation—Smart Home Devices Can Help!
If you’re concerned about your water consumption, the FortrezZ Water Shut-Off Valve is a fantastic tool for you. Combined with a flow meter plumbed on the water main and integrated into a Z-Wave compatible network, it allows homeowners to monitor their water consumption in the same way that they manage electrical usage, providing detailed information about when they are using the most water and how much exactly. Additionally, homeowners can create automation scenarios to turn their water supply on and off according to usage parameters.
This new integration fills a much-needed gap in smart metering technology that consumers have been asking for. As homeowners grow more aware of their water consumption habits, behavior changes toward conservation are inevitable.
An energy-efficient home will keep your family comfortable while saving you money. Whether you take simple steps or make larger investments (like solar technology) to make your home more efficient, you’ll see lower utility bills. Over time, those savings will typically pay for the cost of improvements and put money back in your pocket. You can also feel good that you’re doing your part to live a more eco-friendly, sustainable lifestyle.