A.I powered virtual assistants, app-powered thermostats and lights that dim themselves when you’re ready for bed: these types of smart gadget aren’t just good for letting you feel like you’re living in a sci-fi film. They can also be a canny way to start shaving money off your monthly bills.
Setting up a smart home does require a bit of initial investment. Although these devices have started to come down in price over recent years, they’re still not what many of us would consider ‘cheap’. However, considered as part of a long-term strategy to make your home more energy efficient, they can play a part in helping both your finances and the environment.
Leaving the lights on or forgetting to unplug/switch off your appliances can be a huge drain on electricity. Smart lights are the obvious solution here, letting you use your phone to check whether you’ve left any lights on around your house and switch them off remotely. They can also be used to have the lights come on during certain periods – a couple of hours in the evening, for instance – to give the illusion that someone is home and help protect empty buildings.
To go to the next level in smart energy management, you could also consider using smart plugs. Depending on the model that you choose, these will not only allow you to turn off your devices remotely, but also understand your energy consumption better. You’ll also be able minimise energy consumption from devices that have been left on standby.
Finding the optimal temperature
Overheating your home, or heating it rooms that aren’t actually occupied, is a terrible waste of money and energy. With traditional thermostats it can be difficult to find the sweet spot, meaning that you either end up uncomfortable or with an inefficient home. A smart thermostat is the simple solution here, letting you exercise far more control over the temperature of each room in your home.
Avoid costly home repairs
Some smart gadgets act as an insurance policy against potential home maintenance problems that could cost you a fortune. In particular, leaky pipes can cause hugely expensive problems, with costs for repairs running into the thousands. Water sensors and leak alarms are designed to catch smaller problems and fix them before they get any worse.
If you live in a colder area, then you might also worry about frozen pipes. Freeze sensors will monitor the temperature of your incoming water supply and alert you if things are getting dangerously chilly.
Bring down insurance costs
A smarter security system can help you to bring down the cost of your home insurance, as some insurers will offer a discount if you use products such as smart locks and motion detectors. And if you can use these devices to help avoid a costly break-in then you’ll be saving a lot more than money – burglaries also cause a lot of stress and can be very emotional to deal with. While a decent smart security package will set you back at least a couple of hundred pounds, the increased peace of mind could be great value for money.