Voice-controlled smart home assistants are highly popular, bringing entertainment, comfort and convenience to your home. You can use them to play music, look up recipes, get news and sports updates, check the weather and even tell jokes!
Did you know these gadgets could also help you save money? It's true! When connected to other smart devices, a digital assistant can help make life a little easier at home.
Let's look at a few ways to use smart home technology to save money and improve your home:
Cut back on heating and cooling
Let's look at a few ways to use smart home technology to save money and improve your home according the U.S. Department of Energy. Climate control is one of the largest energy expenses in any home, adding up to $875 per year for the average household. But simply turning your thermostat down 7 to 10 degrees for 8 hours a day in the fall and winter (up 7 to 10 degrees in the spring and summer) may help you save up to 10% a year on heating and cooling bills!
Consider investing in a smart thermostat to help you control your home's heating and cooling systems so you're never wasting energy on an empty house. You can control the settings with your smart home device or smartphone. Some smart thermostats will even learn your typical schedule and optimize the temperature automatically.
Control lighting costs
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the average household uses about 5% of its energy budget on lighting alone. Switching to long-lasting, energy-efficient light bulbs is one of the quickest ways to reduce your monthly energy bill. Plus, you'll save money by replacing fewer bulbs. Controlling your lighting with a smart home assistant or smartphone is another good way to cut back on energy costs. When you set your lighting on a schedule, you'll never worry about forgetting to turn off a light when you leave home again!
Outsmart energy-draining outlets
Many electrical appliances such as coffee makers, TVs, gaming consoles and cell phone chargers continue to use power when they're plugged in, even if they're not in use. These energy-sucking gadgets make up nearly 10% of the average household energy bill! One way to cut back on this passive energy use is to try smart plugs or outlets, which allow you to control the power with your smart home assistant. You can also turn the plug on or off with your smartphone. This way, if you forget to turn off a curling iron or space heater before leaving home, you can prevent a fire hazard.
Protect against theft
We all want to keep our homes safe and secure. One way to improve your home's security and add convenience is by upgrading to a smart front door lock. These devices allow you to lock and unlock your home with your smartphone, so there's no need for a key. Likewise, getting a smart doorbell with a built-in camera may reduce the risk of break-ins or package theft.
Although smart home assistants have an upfront cost ranging from $50 to $250, they can help you save time and money on utility bills in the long run when combined with other devices like smart thermostats and smart light bulbs. As with any big purchase, be sure to do your research, compare the options and plan room in your budget before making a decision!
Looking for more money-saving tips and tools? Check out Wright-Patt Credit Union's online Education Center for helpful videos, worksheets and interactive learning modules to help you save better, borrow smarter and learn a lot about your finances!