Did you know that smart home devices can save you money? Despite the upfront costs of raising your home’s IQ, many of the best smart home devices can actually help you cut down your utilities bills. Some can even help reduce damage in case of floods or other unexpected disasters, saving you even more.
You can save thousands with a DIY smart home, and the savings won’t stop after setting up your space. Many smart home devices have energy consumption and monitoring features, and don’t suck up unnecessary power when they’re not in use. Smart plugs, smart lights and smart thermostats can be particularly energy efficient. Meanwhile, a flood detector or automatic water shutoff system are more preventive measures in case of a cracked pipe in your home.DIY Smart Home
See our smart home guide for everything you need to know (and buy) to set up a connected space.
The best smart lights are another affordable and effective way to save money. Depending on what kind of bulbs currently illuminate your home, smart light bulbs can decrease your monthly energy bills since they use LED technology rather than incandescent and halogen light bulbs. LED bulbs also last much longer than other types of bulbs, meaning they hardly need to be replaced. (Check out ourlight bulb guide for more benefits of LED bulbs.)
The most popular smart lights are perhaps Philips Hue lights, which come in a wide range of bulb shapes and even smart light strips and permanent smart light fixtures. Philips Hue lights aren’t the most affordable, but the collection of features and compatibility with other smart home devices is hard to beat. That said, Sengled, Lifx, Wyze, Wiz, TP-Link Kasa and GE’s Cync are some other smart light brands we’d recommend.
If you live in a larger home, installing smart switches instead of smart light bulbs might be a better option for saving money. Smart light switches aren’t as easy to install and require knowing about neutral wires, but could save money if you have a lot of light sockets. Most smart switches cost somewhere between $40 to $60 depending on the brand and features, and can be used with several basic LED bulbs.
The best smart light switch overall is the GE C-Start Smart Switch Motion Sensing Dimmer. But some smart switches are more than just a light switch, too. The Brilliant Smart Home controller acts as smart home command center, combining multiple light switches with a display for controlling the rest of your smart home devices.
Like smart plugs and smart lights, the best smart thermostats can save you money on your utility bills. Most smart thermostats have an energy-usage dashboard of some sort in a companion app, so you can track your trends and see how your temperature settings impact your home’s energy consumption. You can adjust the temperature more precisely and more frequently throughout the day using the app, or have the temperature change automatically based on your routines. The Amazon Smart Thermostat will even make adjustments using Alexa Hunches.
There’s another way smart thermostats can save you money. Many energy companies offer rebates for the purchase and installation of smart thermostats. For example, Con Edison will slice money off your electricity bill if you enroll in a program in which your Nest Thermostat use less energy during peak hours or peak heating seasons. PG&E will give you $120 when you install an eligible smart thermostat, too. If you already have a smart thermostat and haven’t taken advantage of a rebate or reward yet, look into the offerings from your energy provider.
If you live in a place that sees chilly temperatures, smart water leak detectors can save you thousands. Along with knowinghow to insulate your windows for winter andhow to bleed a radiator, you should know how to keep your pipes intact during the cold weather months and invest in a smart water leak detector.
Frozen pipes are prone to crack, and according toFixr, the average cost to fix a burst pipe is $500. Add in the value of personal effects or replacing ruined carpet, and you’re probably looking at very costly damage.
One of the best smart water leak detectors can alert you to early signs of a leaking pipe, whether you’re home to hear the alarm or receive a push notification from a smartphone app. Then, you can shut off your home’s water supply more quickly than you might’ve otherwise.
Some water leak detectors are also part of smart water shutoff systems that can automatically stop water in your home at the sign of a leak. The Flo by Moen smart water shutoff device and Phyn Plus Smart Water Assistant are our top recommendations, but both must be installed in-line at your house’s main water supply line by a plumber.
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