Saving money on your energy bills through home automation is regularly touted as a major advantage of owning a smart home. While the savings are unlikely to be realised immediately, it will become apparent in the long term; similar to the savings gained by replacing halogen light bulbs with LED’s, but on a much larger scale. By the way, if you’ve not done this yet, you really should!
When someone enters a room, and it’s dark, a motion sensor will detect movement and trigger the lights to turn on. Here’s the best bit though. When motion is no longer detected (after 10 mins) the lights automatically turn off. The trick is to target the high traffic areas of your home - anywhere lights are frequently turned on and off (or left on, as the case may be). Spaces like hallways and bathrooms are logical choices.
Triggering certain lights at low brightness levels can also help to reduce power consumption. For example, we use a Z-Wave in-wall dimmer in our ensuite to automatically set the main lights to a comfortable 50%. This not only saves energy but it also means we’re never blinded in the middle of the night when nature calls!
Intelligent climate control is another way to save. Our home has a mix of electric split system A/C's and gas central heating and we use individual Z-Wave thermostats to control them as a single logical device (very convenient!).
The first thing we did was to ensure the heating/cooling system is only ever enabled when there are people detected at home (thanks to the same motion sensors employed for our lights). In addition, through the use of contact sensors mounted on our main external doors and windows, the system is disabled automatically if any of these are left open for an extended period. Last, but not least, automated window shutters are drawn when the ambient temperature reaches a certain point, keeping the whole house cooler for longer naturally, which is especially important as we start approaching the summer months.
We’ve obviously only just scratched the surface here but hopefully this gives you a feel for how smart homes are helping people to save money. Thanks to home automation, your home will automatically react to things like occupancy and climate conditions without you ever needing to think about it. It’s not only good for your pocket but the planet will thank you too!