Whether it’s an updated gaming system or a new shade of lipstick, we all get excited about products that promise to improve our daily lives. We’re always on the lookout for the next big thing that will help us save time, save money, or just save our sanity.
Sometimes, our investments live up to the hype; other times they’re a total waste. But when it comes to products that offer to help you save energy in your home, never fear. We’ve got the inside scoop on which ones are worth it — and we’re happy to share that knowledge with you!
If you’re only going to invest in one new product for your home, go with a smart thermostat. Heating and cooling costs make up the bulk of your monthly energy bill, so any usage cuts in this area will result in noticeable savings.
Smart thermostats work by learning your household’s energy use patterns and preferences and adjusting themselves accordingly. Imagine your air conditioner knowing in advance that you get home each evening at 6 p.m. and automatically lowering the temperature so that it’s right at the perfect temperature when you walk through the door. And when there’s a change in behavior, whether it’s a late night at the office or a weeklong vacation, you can adjust the temperature settings from anywhere.
Finally, your thermostat will send you a monthly report, helping you track your usage over time and finding more ways to save.
Smart Shower Heads
Another place where we waste a lot of energy? The shower.
A smart shower head can help by keeping track of both water temperature and usage. Some models employ different colored lights to alert you as time elapses; others show a readout of the water temperature and usage in gallons. Start a little friendly competition in your house to see who can cut down their shower time the most!
One last note on these devices: the best ones run on hydro power — no batteries needed!
Smart Sprinkler Controllers
Looking for an easy way to cut your outdoor water costs in half? Invest in a smart sprinkler controller.
By analyzing everything from local weather forecasts and the layout of your yard (including sun exposure) to the types of plants and soil you’re working with, the smart controller will design and implement an optimal watering schedule specifically for you.
Smart Occupancy Sensors
Sometimes a small investment can make a big difference. One example? Consider replacing some of your light switches with occupancy sensors.
Sensors determine when someone has entered or left a room and turn lights on and off as needed. No more arguments over who left the bathroom light on, and no more searching for the switch in a dark or unfamiliar room. Most sensors also detect natural light, helping you continue to cut down on costs.
If you’re making these changes without seeing results, or if you’ve got more questions about saving energy, contact your residential electrician to schedule an inspection. In the meantime, satisfy your taste for a new gadget with one of our recs — they’re worth it!