Smart ideas: Use the latest tech to help reduce your energy use
Whether you’re using a smart phone, checking your smart watch or getting a voice-activated assistant to start your playlist in the mornings, we’re already living the sci-fi future that past generations might have dreamed about.
Now, it’s time to take your love of tech to the next level and put it to work to help you reduce your energy use at home. This can make your home more energy efficient and could help you to save on future electricity bills.
Get smarter lighting
Don’t waste power leaving the lights on when you don’t need to – get smart lighting! Whether you use sensors to switch lights off when a room is empty or would like to have your front lights come on at night before you get home, smart lighting could make a difference.
Lighting can account for up to 11% of your electricity costs, so any ways you can find to be more efficient could be an investment worth making. If you’re building or renovating, speak to your licensed electrician to find out how to optimise your home for smart lights.
Hunt down energy leaks
Have you heard of a thermal leak detector? This is an appliance you can use to find where energy could be leaking out of your home. This could be cool air escaping your fridge or freezer, which you could fix by improving your seals – or warm air escaping through draughts, windows or other areas of your home. By using thermal tech to find the leaks, you could improve your home’s overall energy efficiency.
Switch on to smart outlets
Here’s another new bit of tech which has emerged in the world of sensors: motion sensor switches.
These can be configured to switch off your devices or appliances if there’s no human movement detected after a certain time in an area of your home. You can even set certain outlets to be on all the time – so your fridge keeps running but your coffee machine can have the afternoon off.
Cool idea: Consider a smart fridge
Next time you’re in the market for a new fridge, consider a wifi-enabled touchscreen model. Depending on the type you choose, a smart fridge could help you keep track of what’s inside, add items to your grocery list through an app and help you manage your fridge contents better so you don’t waste time and electricity standing in front of the open fridge door.
Now, if that’s not cool in every sense of the word…
Make time for a smart clock
If your microwave is also your kitchen clock, you might reduce your energy use by switching it off unless you need it. Instead, you might like to consider a multi-functional smart clock which can not only tell the time but could help to run other smart appliances, act as your home assistant and let you know the weather forecast so you can prepare your home for the conditions ahead.
Use your timers
Here’s a simple one to round out this list: if your appliances have timers, put that tech to work for you!
This one might involve digging out your appliance manuals or searching for the info online through the manufacturer’s website to work out how to set the timer – but the effort could be well worth it. By setting a timer, you can take better control of your energy use.
Let’s take heating as an example. Instead of cranking the heating up to tropical temperatures when you get out of bed on a chilly morning, you could set your heating to come on at 19C about an hour before you get out of bed. Your home could gradually warm up to a comfortable temperature while you sleep.
Check out some more energy-saving tips.