Smart technology is a fun and savvy way to monitor and improve your apartment’s energy efficiency. And as they become more common in the marketplace, their price tags also decrease, making them more affordable and convenient to use!
With smart home products, you can bring machine-like precision, up-to-the-minute information and anytime control, all in your back pocket. That means you have control over your home’s energy usage even when you’re not home – all thanks to apps on your smart phone!
However, as a renter, it may be difficult to know which smart home products are worth the investments and which ones aren’t. To help out, we’ve rounded up some of the most useful smart home products for apartments that are both energy efficient and landlord friendly!
1. Smart Thermostat
Keeping your thermostat locked on the same temperature is a big energy waster. If your place comes with central air conditioning and a manual thermostat, you could be missing out on big savings from automating your cooling controls. That’s where a smart thermostat comes in. These devices can be programmed to learn your preferences and respond to your routine: so your AC turns off when you leave home and turns back on right before you come back home. According to the Department of Energy, people can save around 10% on cooling costs when they switch to a programmable device. Just keep the old thermostat handy so you can easily reinstall it when your lease is up!
2. Smart Controls for a Portable AC Unit
If your apartment is cooled by a window or portable AC unit, there are smart devices like Tado and Sensibo that turn any air conditioning unit into a smart one! Grab this smart home product and start earning back your investment with energy savings. All you have to do is mount the device in the same room as your unit and automate your cooling controls. This device will teach your air conditioning unit to automatically stop cooling the room when you’re not home, and start cooling it when you’re on your way home.
3) Motion Sensors
If you often forget to turn off your lights before you leave the house, then motion sensors are a great investment to help you reduce your Texas electricity bill! According to the Department of Energy, when you install motion sensors for key lights and devices, you could save 30% on lighting costs! To capitalize on those savings, make sure you swap out all your incandescent light bulbs for energy-saving LED bulbs – so when your lights are on they are still helping you use less electricity.
4) Smart Thermometer
If you’re looking for ways to reduce your energy usage in the kitchen, then a smart thermometer would be a good investment! These handy devices remove the guesswork from roasting, grilling and baking by allowing you to monitor the progress of your food on your smartphone screen. All you have to do is insert the thermometer and set the desired temperature, and the device will alert you when your food is finished cooking! This means you no longer have to open the oven door to check if your food has thoroughly cooked – which in turn helps to keep your home cool and your AC off.
5) Smart Plugs
Turn any device in your apartment into a smart device with a smart plug that connects right into your wall socket! This means no more rushing back home to make sure you turned off the coffee maker, or coming home to a dark house. You can check whether your coffee maker is on or not or turn on the lights right before you come home all from your smart phone! In addition, if you already have Google Assistant or Amazon Echo in your home, many of these smart plugs also work with voice activation through these devices!
6) Smart Blinds
If your apartment faces the west or south, strategically using your blinds can block the heat of the sun and keep your home cool. Highly reflective blinds, when completely closed, can reduce heat gain by as much as 45% . Sadly, many smart blinds are custom built and wouldn’t be worthwhile for the average renter. Luckily, there are kits on the market to help you turn your apartment-issued blinds into smart devices that will help save you on your Texas electricity bill! Once installed, you can quickly and easily program the blinds to close and open at certain times of the day and keep unwanted heat from entering your apartment.
As a renter, you still have control over your home’s energy usage and smart home products can help! A little bit of investment in smart technology can help automate key functions in your apartment, make managing your energy usage easier and help lower your Texas electricity bill!