How To Properly Use Smart Home Tech To Save Energy

Home technology is growing in popularity because it brings real value to consumers. Yes, we can now video chat with our pets. But there are more practical benefits to be had. And one of them is saving energy.

But there’s a right and a wrong way to go about adopting smart home tech. Simply loading your Amazon cart with the latest gadgets and installing them around your home won’t get you the return on investment you expect. Here are several tips for using smart home tech to save the most money on your energy bills.

Start with Big Energy Users

Your heating and air conditioning systems are the biggest energy users in your home. So, even small changes translate into significant savings. Regular filter changes and furnace maintenance will make your system more efficient.  

Unlike programmable thermostats — which turn on and off when you set them — smart thermostats use artificial intelligence (AI) to “learn” your daily routines. These brainy temperature monitors note when you’re at home and away, adjusting things temps up or down accordingly. It’s this personalized control that makes the difference that saves you money. Over the entire year, these small tweaks add up to hundreds of dollars in saved kilowatts. Plus, you can turn off your home’s heating and cooling system remotely with a mobile device.

Your appliances are also big energy users. Modern washers and dryers, ovens, and refrigerators are more energy-efficient than older models — smart appliances even more so. That’s because these upgraded household devices learn your daily routines. For example, some smart hot water heaters adjust their heating schedules to match your water use. If you like doing laundry at night, for example, the heater will anticipate the extra water need and adjust its schedule to match yours.

Save Energy By Avoiding Disasters

Smart sensors help you save energy by alerting you to energy waste before it becomes a costly disaster. One basic sensor every home needs is a leak detector. Install these simple sensors around major sources of water (e.g., hot water tanks) or areas prone to flooding (e.g., basements). If your hot water tank springs a leak or a water supply line freezes, a leak sensor will sound the alarm via a text message or email to your mobile device.

A leak sensor is your dam against home flooding, which results in costly repairs and sky-high utility bills. Plus, leak sensors are also great for locating small drips from leaking pipes in your home. A single home with only three drips can leak 104 gallons of water per year!

Door and window sensors also save you energy by alerting you if either is left open. If you’ve accidentally left a window open, you’ll get a notice on your mobile device. Then you run home and batten down the hatches before an arctic blast turns your home into a walk-in freezer. If that’s the case, you’ll spend massive amounts of energy reheating your home, not to mention the heat energy that went out the window.

Connect All Your Gadgets

You can increase the energy-saving power of your smart home tech devices by connecting them together into an integrated system. Not only do you get more control, but you can also get creative options and redundancy. For example, you can program your smart thermostat to work with your window sensors. If a sensor detects an open window, it will tell your thermostat to shut the system down. You won’t be wasting valuable hot or cold air. 

Smart blinds can raise and lower themselves. This lets them take advantage of natural lighting or protect your home during the hottest part of the day. Connect them to your smart thermostat so they work to keep your home comfortable and well lit.

There are hundreds of ways to connect your smart home tech devices. But to get started, you’ll need a centralized hub. If you’ve already purchased smart devices, you can invest in a central hub that communicates with many different brands and device types. But if you haven’t taken the plunge yet, consider getting a pre-integrated smart home system. They’re more expensive, but they’re easier to set up and generally offer more control.

Secure Your Smart Home Devices from Hackers

After you’ve installed your smart home system, you’ll need to protect it from cyberthieves. Smart devices are part of the Internet of Things (IoT). That means they’re connected to the internet and hackable. This poses obvious security concerns, like deactivating your alarm system or opening your smart locks.

But cyber thieves also hack devices so they can steal their electrical power. After taking command of your devices, hackers use the power to launch cyberattacks or mine cryptocurrencies. In short, they siphon off small amounts of electricity to power other nefarious activities. And you’re paying for this energy consumption and don’t even know it. So, look into a reputable cybersecurity company that can offer whole-house smart device protection. And invest some time securing your smart home and IoT devices against cyberattacks. 


More and more, smart home device manufacturers are incorporating AI into their products. And soon machines will make many domestic decisions for us, from the biggest (e.g., when to change our HVAC units) to the smallest (e.g., best times to water the lawn). But until then, there’s plenty of responsibility left for homeowners. Smart tech can warn us of open windows, but it can’t check for cracks around the sills. It can remind us to change our furnace filters, but it can’t do it for us. So, don’t rely on smart technology to be the steward of your home. It’s only a tool, use it as such.

About Author: Brandon Jarman is a freelance writer, paranoid homeowner, and self-proclaimed technology enthusiast. When he’s not writing, he enjoys watching sports and spending time with his family. You can keep up with his work by following him on Twitter @BrandonJarman4 or