Heating and cooling account for as much as 50 per cent of the average Australian household’s energy bills. This is where a smart thermostat can be a game changer. These nifty devices optimise your home’s heating and cooling, allowing you to remotely control your systems or even customise temperature settings by room. This is a great way of making sure your home is only heated or cooled when you’re there to enjoy it.
Leaving work? Turn on your heater via the smartphone app so that you arrive home to a cosy house, or program it to come on automatically. Smart thermostats can even learn precisely how long it takes for a room to reach your preferred temperature, therefore, maximising the amount of time they can spend in energy-saving modes.
Smart leak sensors
According to the Australian government's YourHome website, a dripping tap can waste more than 12,000 litres of water a year, while a badly leaking toilet can waste around 96,000 litres. Installing a smart leak sensor is an easy way to pre-emptively monitor sinks, toilets, taps, or even washing machines for potential water wastage.
If the sensor detects a water leak, it will send a smartphone alert so that you can plug it before it becomes a major problem. Some smart meters will even shut off your home’s water supply to prevent further damage. While it may not save you money on your bills every month, if a leak does occur, it could pay dividends.
Smart sprinkler or irrigation systems
We’ve all been guilty of leaving the water sprinkler or hose running too long and ending up with a muddy backyard mess. Smart sprinkler systems help save you money by adjusting the amount of water used on your lawns or garden based on the soil type you have or even your specific plants’ thirst requirements. They can also check the weather forecast to make sure they don’t give your garden a good drink right before it rains.
Smart light bulbs
Lighting accounts for 10 per cent of the average Australian household electricity budget according to energy.gov.au. One of the easiest energy-saving smart home solutions is to convert your regular light globes to smart globes. Smart bulbs can be motion activated, remotely controlled, automated, or even scheduled, meaning you won’t have to worry about forgetting to turn them off when you exit a room. Sensors also mean they’ll automatically dim or swith off when there is sufficient daylight. Smart bulbs are also LEDs, which use 75 to 85 per cent less energy than incandescent globes and last five times longer, greatly reducing replacement costs and the number of light bulbs ending up in landfill.
If you also get a smart dimmer switch, you can reduce energy usage even further by restricting the flow of power to the bulb.