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CONVERGE | Technology

5 Ways Automation Makes Your Home More Energy Efficient

January 10, 2019

Find out how motion sensors, data and smart power strips help save energy. 

Did you know the average American household spends $2,050 annually on utility bills and the U.S. is the world leader in energy wasteAccording to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, our country’s collective energy usage accounts for 17% of the world’s overall energy usage.  


So, what is being done to stop this gravy train of energy usage? Home automation.  


The smart home revolution is here, and not only is it making our lives a little simpler, it’s also saving time, money and energy.  


Here are 5 ways automation creates a more energy-efficient home 


1. Gives You Remote Control  


Did you forget to turn your TV box off? How about the heater when you rushed out the door to work? We all forget these things, but that’s not a problem when you have technology at your fingertipsIf you woke up in the middle of the night and realized the TV was still on, but can’t muster up the energy to find the remote, you can now simply tell a connected home device hub like Cox Homelife to turn it off. Or, if you’re not at the house but want to turn down the heat when no one’s home, smart thermostats come with connected apps that allow you to adjust the temperature from your smartphone. With remote control centers, there’s no excuse but to turn off electronics.  


2. Detects If People Are in the Room  


The integration of motion sensor technology has made a huge impact on saving energy. While some smart thermostats offer remote control through apps, others are taking control into their own hands by automatically turning the heat on or off depending on if there are people in the room. This same occupancy sensor technology is being incorporated with lighting controls as well. Motion sensors can connect with smart lights to turn the lights on or off when someone enters or exits a room.  


3. Reduces Phantom Loading   


What about all those appliances and devices that you have plugged in that are slowly but surely tapping into your energy tab? Think - your computer, your TV, that floor lamp you haven’t turned on in 3 months, the toaster or a coffee maker. All of these household items are using standby power, also known as phantom load 


It’s like when you don’t turn off the faucet all the way and that slight drip can accumulate into a large puddle over time. That puddle is wasted energy you could be saving. Phantom loading can account for more than 10% of your electricity bill, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.  


Things like smart outlets can put a plug in this energy leakage. When you disconnect a device like an iPhone from for instance, a plugged-in charger, the power strip senses this action and shuts off the power to that charger block, saving you money. This small, but smart change can make a big difference in reducing energy usage.  


4. Tracks Your Energy Usage   


Leveraging data is a big theme for many home automation appliances. A smart home energy monitor works by connecting to appliances and outlets throughout your house and collecting the data on how much energy is being used. You’ll be able to see what’s using the greatest amount of energy and at what times 


Knowledge is power (and in this case money), and understanding energy usage trends can help you decide when to shut appliances off. Furthermore, some smart energy monitors take efficiency a step further by automatically turning household items off or on during more ideal times.  


5. Conserves Water  


Excessive home water usage can also be a concern for homeowners. To make your water use more efficient, smart shower heads and touchless faucets along with smart irrigation systems have become a fitting answer. According the EPA, one-third of water usage occurs outdoors and even more shockingly, about half of this is wasted.  


Smart watering systems can gauge real-time weather and when your grass actually needs to be watered or not. Smart shower heads can track how much water is being used during each shower session, and touchless faucets turn water on and off as needed, so not a drop goes to waste.   


Home automation is increasingly making homes across the nation more energy efficient. From smart power strips that turn off unused devices, to motion sensors that inform when the lights should be on, technology can (and should!) be used towards the greater good of your home.  


Saving energy and ultimately money is something that anyone can agree with, and thanks to home automation, the possibility of doing so has never been more real

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