How to Give Your Home a “Smart” Financial Stress Test

Do you ever feel like your money is literally flying out the window? Parents have ribbed their kids about turning off the lights and closing the door for as long as there have been homes, but there’s quite a bit of truth behind one of the most common household pet peeves. Wasted utilities can be a monetary black hole in the budget of any family, and in many cases, the ways we’re wasteful aren’t always immediately obvious.

Thankfully, today’s smart home technology can enable every family to do some smart snooping for inefficient habits, and set up intelligent scheduling to keep a home comfortable while minimizing costs. Here’s some helpful advice to consider:

Keep an Eye on Your HVAC

Nothing can wreck an electric bill quite like an unusually warm summer or a brutally cold winter. No matter how you adjust your thermostat, it’s hard to find the right balance between a comfortable home and an affordable one.

Installing a smart thermostat can be a huge help to manage the cost of running the heat or air conditioner. Wi-Fi thermostats are affordable, simple to install, and they provide homeowners with valuable data and powerful tools to manage their home’s heating and cooling from anywhere.

If you’re facing colder weather, these thermostat systems can help you take an in-depth look at your heat pump’s runtime history to find the exact outdoor temperatures where expensive auxiliary heating kicks in. Some products even feature self-adjusting temperature settings that can cool down or heat up your home an hour or two before extreme weather rolls in, sparing your units from running in less than optimal conditions. Additionally, with remote access, it’s easy to lower the temperature or turn off the system if no one is home.

A few smart tweaks to your home’s heating and cooling settings can help you to better manage your electric bill.

Read Your Home’s Diary with a Smart Home Hub

A smart home hub is a great tool for a variety of reasons; it ties all of your smart home gadgets together in one interface, enables some really fun features through automation, and can even let you control your home with your voice. If you’re looking into your home’s financial efficiency, you’ll also find that their detailed daily logs can be a huge help in tracking down energy hogs and bad habits such as leaving lights or having an open window when the AC is blasting.

When you look over daily usage logs, keep an eye out for data on door/window sensors and smart lighting. Door and window sensors can clue you into who might leave doors open when they head off to school, or what windows have been left open at night. Your lighting system can give you a history on which lamps are left running for hours on end, and which fixtures are still active when the family is gone for the day.

Smart home hubs can be set up as part of a whole home security system through a security company or even your local internet service provider. The capabilities to manage your smart home devices remotely offer the ease and convenience to have better control on your home.  Keeping a finger on the pulse of your home can help you better optimize your daily habits and routines for more financial savings.

Check Your Mobile Connectivity

This applies to those who do not have an unlimited mobile plan. If your mobile connectivity is limited, make sure your device automatically connects to your home Wi-Fi whenever you are home. Also, make sure your device is streaming on your home Wi-Fi, especially if you are just within the perimeter, as your device may hop onto the wireless network which will eat into your limited plan.

Live Smarter on a Schedule

Once you get acquainted with your smart gadgets, take some time to set up schedules for different aspects of your home, which can save you some money.

Is your family typically gone during the middle of the day? Have your thermostat automatically  adjust the temperature (or turn off your HVAC) and your lights automatically shut off. Do you like to fall asleep with the lights on? Set up your bedrooms to dim automatically after bedtime. Have some forgetful roommates? Set your smart home app up to receive notifications when doors and windows are left open for more than 15 minutes or at unusual hours.

All it takes to save some money is a combination of the right gadgets and the right home automation. Having a smart home at your fingertips  offers conveniences and it’ll help you have a healthier bank account every month if you take some time to set things up .

This post is intended for informational purposes only and should not be taken as professional advice. The point of view and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of Realty Executives International.

This post was written by Eric Murrell. Eric is a software developer and technology contributor to XFINITY Home. He enjoys sharing tips on how people can benefit from incorporating smart home automation and security in their homes on his blog At Home in the Future.  

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