Smart thermostats. Smart lights. Smart appliances. These may just seem like cool tech gadgets, but they’re so much more. These devices can help you save energy which in turn saves you money. Here are five tips to get you started.
1) Upgrade to a smart thermostat.
Heating and cooling your home uses a lot of energy. Take control of that with a smart thermostat. You’ll be able to schedule times you’re away so you don’t waste energy heating or cooling an empty home.
Some smart thermostat providers that have earned the ENERGY STAR label include:
2) Look for the ENERGY STAR label when buying smart appliances or office equipment.
From refrigerators and dishwashers to washing machines and dryers, appliances with the ENERGY STAR label use less energy. They can also do cool things like:
- Send you an alert if you leave the fridge door open.
- Show you what’s inside your fridge without opening the door.
- Let you schedule your laundry or dishwasher to run when electricity rates are lowest.
ENERGY STAR-labeled office equipment – laptops, monitors, printers and more – can dramatically save energy. On average, they use half the electricity of standard equipment.
Additional tip: If you have a computer with sleep mode or power management features, make sure they are enabled. They can save you an estimated $30 yearly.
3) Use smart lights.
Never accidentally leave the lights on again. Smart light bulbs can be scheduled to turn off and on during certain times or automatically when they sense motion. Some other great features include:
- They are LED, so they use at least 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs.
- LED bulbs also last 25 times longer.
- You can dim them for added energy savings.
- They can be controlled from anywhere via your smartphone.
Again, look for the ENERGY STAR label when shopping for smart lights.
4) Kill vampire power with smart power strips or plugs.
Many appliances and electronics continue to draw power when they are switched off. This is known as a vampire electric load, and it can add up over time. Smart power strips or plugs allow you to easily cut all power to equipment, saving energy and money.
Contact your local Touchstone Energy® Cooperative for more safety tips.