When people hear “energy management” a lot of times the first thing that comes to mind is solar panels and windmills. However, some environments just aren’t conducive to trendy alternative energy sources such as photovoltaic or wind power based systems. If you’re in that boat, don’t sweat it; there are other ways to be good to both the environment and your pocketbook.
Whether you’re a huge proponent of renewable energy or are just looking to cut costs by improving your home’s energy efficiency, energy management is a great thing to add to your home automation system. Check out some tips about what you can add to your home to better manage your energy costs:
1) The Basics:
To make your Smart home smarter, you’ll need to improve its management of energy. A simple way to do that is simply integration. What that means is that you should be able to access and control your thermostat, your blinds, and your lights from afar, a control that is not at all difficult to install.
With a little programming and networking it is possible to manipulate the electronics in your home from a smart phone, an Apple or Android tablet, or a computer. Once implemented it also becomes possible to receive alerts as to a home’s status with a little manipulation of the system settings. These fundamentals of energy management will grant you a more nuanced climate control that will cut costs almost on its own.
2) Smart Outlets—A Real Power Saver
The market is flush with devices that can be turned on or off from afar, but what about Grandma’s lamp or a not-so-futuristic curling iron? With smart outlets it’s not the device that you can control, but its power source.
Now if you’re in a rush to go to the airport for vacation, you no longer have to pull individual plugs to save on your energy bill; instead you can just pull out your phone and do it from there. WiFi connected outlets also allow you to schedule devices, from lights to fans and beyond.
3) Smart Meters—Making it Simple to Save Electricity
Smart meters are great because they can let us know what devices are ramping up those monthly energy costs. All you do is plug it in and connect it to the main power line. After that you’ll be able to monitor which devices are active and track how much electricity they are using.
In bed and unsure if you left a light or a TV on all the way in the basement? You can set a smart meter to send you alerts when a device has been on for too long, or check in on whatever you’re using as your universal control.
4) WiFi Smart Thermostats:
A staple of energy management systems, WiFi thermostats can be monitored from anywhere. After all, A/C and heating are two of the biggest culprits when it comes to wasting money on energy. WiFi thermostats are some of the smartest electronic devices on the market right now because many of them will both check the outdoor temperature and learn when you like to turn on the heat or the air so they can learn how to adjust their internal schedules.
5) ecovent—Revolutionary Temperature Control
Last, but far from least, is ecovent. A new contender in the field of energy management, ecovent is developing a device for release in August that will link up with your smart thermostat in order to grant you roombyroom temperature control.
All that ecovent requires is a quick installation of a handful of sensors and vents, and a download of their sleek iOS and Android friendly app. From there you will finally be able to stop wasting money and resources on rooms that are constantly leaking hot or cold air, without sacrificing your control of temperature in rooms that would otherwise become a sauna or refrigerator depending on the season.
This list is far from comprehensive, but should give you a good idea of just how effectively you could control your energy output. Installing just one of these nifty devices could save you an absurd amount in energy expenses, and, more than that, it could help to clean up our environment.