As the hot summer months begin, many people are planning on using air conditioning and other energy-consuming means of staying cool. This will tend to have a deleterious effect on their wallets, however, as they demand a small fortune on electric bills. By using new energy efficient electronics that turn your residence into a “smart” home, you may be able to lower your energy requirements and thereby save some money.
The Apple Watch has been making headlines recently as an example of cool, wearable technology. But the device isn’t just for style; with the included HomeKit interface, you can control devices in your home. HomeKit can connect with compatible products, allowing you to gather information and issue commands using the Watch on your wrist. Thermostats, lights, and environmental monitors have all been released that are compatible with the Watch, and more such products are planned for the near future. By making it easier to adjust HVAC system operation, Apple is incentivizing users to take responsibility for their energy usage.
The Nest Learning Thermostat goes a step further as is earning praise from companies like Direct Energy Alberta, who calls it the biggest step forward in energy control we’ve seen in decades, and Energypost.eu, who says that Nest is already changing energy markets. In addition to permitting you to control it from your smartphone, it automatically adjusts to your schedule to keep temperatures cozy without you having to cut a massive check to your energy company. You can set up special away temperatures, and the unit will detect when you’re not at home and use the appropriate settings to avoid heating or cooling a residence when there’s nobody there. The Nest will also collect and report detailed info on your energy usage so that you can take steps to reduce it.
With the Aros smart window air conditioner from Quirky, you can enjoy powerful room cooling action without spending a fortune. Unlike normal air conditioning systems, this one uses the GPS system in your mobile phone to determine when you’re away or at home. It can therefore tailor its performance to keep you comfortable without wasting energy by cooling an empty house, and as Energyvanguard.com points out, without you needing to program it manually. The Aros will even peruse weather reports to come up with suggested settings based upon upcoming weather conditions.
“A nightlight with superpowers” is the idea behind the Leeo Smart Alert Nightlight. In addition to the normal functions of a nightlight, this device monitors your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms as well as temperature and humidity. If there’s an emergency, it will send you an alert through your iOS or Android device, allowing you to take appropriate action even if you’re not physically at your residence. You can enter in a list of contacts that the Smart Alert Nightlight will attempt to contact if you fail to respond to its messages.
The Oomi Cube aims to turn the smart home paradigm on its head by focusing more on automatic operation rather than user-controlled access through smartphones. With integrated sensors, cameras and other capabilities, the Cube can take action independently when it detects a situation warranting it. This means that it can turn your lights on or off whenever someone exits or enters a room and adjust the temperature if it’s too hot or cold. It will enable you to reduce your energy consumption without lifting a finger yourself.
Much of the energy used during the summer goes to waste because people don’t have fine control of their climate control systems. By taking advantage of some of the latest smart home technology, homeowners can set their appliances to operate only when their use makes sense. Many of these products therefore pay for themselves in lowered monthly utility bills and reduced negative environmental impact.