Spring is one of the best times of the year for energy consumers. The weather is mild, the days are longer and you can actually throw the windows open and let a fresh breeze blow through your house. But that doesn’t mean you can’t improve energy efficiency even more in the spring.
Here are 5 smart home devices that are cleaning up energy use during the spring season.
Smart Thermostat: Nest Learning Thermostat
Programmable thermostats are the old school way to improve the energy efficiency of your HVAC system. Today, smart thermostats do an even better job of reducing energy use, and they are even easier to use.
The Nest Learning Thermostat is by far the most popular smart thermostat on the market. When it was released by Google in 2011 it introduced the idea of using a smart device to control the temperature inside. With the Nest Learning Thermostat, you don’t have to program a schedule for your thermostat. Using an array of sensors, this thermostat can figure out when people are in the home and learns your schedule on its own. It also automatically adjusts for the seasons. In other words, Nest programs itself.
Google says that the Nest is proven to save enough energy to pay for itself within two years. You can save up to 15% on cooling and 12% on heating – which may both be needed during early spring. As of February 27, 2020 Nest thermostats have collectively helped users save over 51.35 billion kilowatt-hours.
Energy Monitor: Belkin WeMo Insight Smart Plug
Information is power when you’re trying to lower energy consumption. The smart home device industry has not only given us more energy-efficient devices it’s also given us a simple tool for determining how much energy appliances and gadgets use.
The Belkin WeMo Insight Smart Plug turns your outlets into data centers where you can capture energy use information and track it over time. The smart plug can also tell you if there’s an opportunity to reduce energy use.
All you have to do is plug it into an outlet then plug your appliance/device/gadget into the Belkin WeMo Insight. From there you can use the Belkin app to track energy use. You’ll even get an estimate of how much money it costs you to power the device. You can also use the app to turn devices off when you’re not at home so they don’t suck vampire power. Other cool features include being able to pair the smart plug with a Nest thermostat and creating automatic on/off schedules.
The Belkin Wemo Insight Smart Plug is compatible with all major smart home platforms either right out of the box or by using the WeMo bridge. The one hang-up with the Belkin WeMo Insight Smart Plug is its size. You have to plug it in the top receptacle. The device blocks the top receptacle if you plug it in the bottom.
Smart Light Switch: Meross Smart Wi-Fi Wall Switch
It’s easy to control the lights in your home using Phillips Hue smart bulbs, but what about exterior lights? What if your porch light has a built-in LED light or you don’t want to use expensive Hue bulbs outdoors?
Enter the Meross Smart Wi-Fi Wall Light Switch. It takes a little work to install in place of the traditional switch, but once you do and connect to the WiFi you have complete control over your porch lights. The best part about this smart home device is no hub is required. Less expense up front and less energy use over time – win, win! The one thing to watch out for is some models won’t work with a three-way switch.
Meross’ smart light switches can save you money during the spring by setting a schedule for lights to turn on at sunset and off at sunrise. This time of year the sunset and sunrise are constantly changing, but with this device, you don’t have to track the times daily because it’s done automatically for you.
Products from Meross are compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and IFTTT.
Wi-Fi Connected Window Coverings: Lutron Serena
Another way to control the fluctuating temperatures of spring is with window coverings. But not just any window coverings. Wi-Fi connected window coverings give you the ability to control natural lighting from anywhere
Lutron Serena smart blinds are one of the top-rated products in this smart home device category. They are compatible with Amazon Alexa, HomeKit and Google Assistant so that the window coverings become part of the smart home system. With the smart bridge, Lutron Serena window coverings can be paired with Nest, Wink, Sonos, Nest, Logitech Harmony and SmartThings.
Something that’s really nice able these shades is they are 100% customizable. You can choose the size, roll-up style, materials, color and more.
Intelligent Power Strip: 7-Outlet Tier 2 APS by TrickleStar
The 7-Outlet Tier 2 APS by TrickleStar does more than prevent vampire energy waste. It has an activity monitoring feature that allows the smart power strip to completely shut down power to a device that hasn’t been used for a certain amount of time.
It works through the use of motion sensors. If devices are turned off and the power strip doesn’t detect any movement in the room or remote activity then it will shut off electronics.
TrickleStar’s Tier 2 power strip is actually smarter than other options. It uses a variety of sensors rather than relying on infrared only. This allows the power strip to connect with remotes that use WiFi, Bluetooth and radiofrequency.
Start comparing energy plans at SparkEnergy.com to get ready for the new spring season!