by Gwen Lewis
For a new generation of energy-conscious homeowners, efficiency matters. However, comfort and luxury are still essential parts of feeling at home in your domicile. Smart home technology can help you cover all three of those bases, as long as you choose your options carefully. The proliferance of different smart home products can make picking your upgrades seem difficult, but don’t worry—we at Homeselfe are here to help.
Below are seven strategies we recommend for turning your existing dwelling into a state-of-the-art, eco-friendly smart home of the future. Check them out, and implement any (or all!) of them to create meaningful change where you live.
1) Choose an Assistant:
The IoT makes it easy to connect numerous automated devices, and an assistant will help you control them easily. The three most popular smart home assistants on the market today are Google’s Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa, and Apple’s Siri. Alexa boasts the greatest overall compatibility with more than 10,000 skills, but Assistant excels at voice queries thanks to Google’s search engine and Siri is the easiest to set up due to Apple’s HomeKit support.
2) Choose Your Controller:
Once you decide on the virtual assistant you want for your smart home, you’ll have to choose a compatible controller—or hub. Alexa comes with the Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Show, while Google Assistant comes on the Google Home speaker and many current generation Android devices. Siri, of course, is present on the iPhone, iPad, and the Apple Watch.
3) Acquire Smart Lighting:
Once you have the basic infrastructure of your smart home taken care of, you’ll want to think about the specific devices you use. Consider smart lighting as a convenient and eco-friendly strategy you can implement in practically no time. Phillips SmartHue bulbs are only 8.5 watts each, but can replace conventional 60-watt incandescent bulbs without sacrificing the quality of light they produce. Purchase a starter kit and you’ll also get a bridge that makes it easy to connect your new lights to your home.
4) Upgrade Your Climate Control:
Lighting is one area in which it’s easy to cut costs while improving comfort, but heating and cooling are another. In 2015, space heating and cooling together accounted for almost 40% of residential energy usage in the United States. Products like the Nest Learning Thermostat can save up to $145 a year on heating and cooling by learning your patterns of behavior and adjusting the temperature to save power while keeping you comfortable when you need it.
5) Buff Up Security:
Energy efficiency matters, but so does your safety and peace of mind. Smart locks help you achieve this, by integrating features like cameras, remote access, and touch-based user recognition. Schlage, August, and Kwikset make some of the industry’s current best offerings.
6) Control Water Waste
One of the easiest ways to make your home more sustainable is by controlling the amount of water you use. Numerous products can help you accomplish this, including steam washers for your clothing and low-flow showerheads or toilets. Our personal favourite water-saving device is the Waterpebble, which remembers how long each of your showers are, and gradually cuts them back by small increments. You’ll barely notice at first, but after a while, you’ll be conditioned to use less time—and water—whenever you go for a soak.
7) Conduct an Energy Audit:
Purchasing a lot of new technology can certainly transform your home, but to find out which gadgets can make the biggest difference you’ll want to do some research. Make it simple when you conduct a five-minute DIY energy audit using the Homeselfe app, which asks questions about your home and habits in order to determine how best to improve them.
Smart home technology can make your home cleaner, greener, and leaner when it comes to the resources it consumes. Refer to our guide when shopping for new smart home products, and remember to match your upgrades to the areas in your home that currently have room for improvement.
Gwen Lewis is a writer who lives in California. She has been in the fashion and health industry for years and loves writing on the topic to give tips from experience. In her free time, she loves to stay active and has just taken on learning how to surf.