Z-Wave Smart Home Blog

How the Integration of Smart Home Devices can Save Homeowners Money

How the Integration of Smart Home Devices can Save Homeowners Money

By Bryn Huntpalmer


Looking to save money? Before you think about cutting back on dinners out or skimping on your next family vacation, you may want to look right inside your own home to discover where you may be wasting resources—and consequently, money. For instance, electricity powers dozens of machines in our homes, including our HVAC systems, cooking appliances, refrigerators, dishwashers, and an ever-growing number of home entertainment and rechargeable devices. Although many new appliances are covered by federal efficiency standards or voluntary programs like ENERGY STAR, increases in both the percentage of homes with those devices and, in the case of electronics like televisions and computers, the number of devices per household have offset efficiency gains in residential electricity use.

Making a conscious effort to decrease your monthly utility bills use won't just save you money, it will also help decrease your home's environmental impact. Additionally, with energy costs on the rise, energy efficient upgrades to your home will also make your home more attractive to future buyers.

Assess Your Energy Usage with a Home Energy Meter

To reduce your overall energy consumption you need to do two things. First, inspect areas like attics, ceilings, floors, and crawl spaces to make sure they are properly insulated. According to the Department of Energy, 30% of your heating and air can escape your home through leaky windows and poor insulation. Next, you'll want to make sure that your HVAC and lighting systems are working efficiently, while also monitoring which appliances are using the most energy. One of the best ways to do this is by purchasing a home energy meter like Aeotec's Z-Wave Home Energy Meter. Installed in an electricity box, the energy meter will monitor the total consumption of electricity used throughout your home. It reports energy use back to you in real time so you can see how much electricity you really use and when you use it. The data that you collect from your home energy meter can help you plan smart purchases and home improvements that will maximize your energy efficiency and save you the most money.

Decrease Your Heating and Cooling Costs with a Programmable Thermostat

You can save as much as 10% a year on heating and cooling costs by simply turning your thermostat back 7°-10°F for 8 hours a day from its normal setting. You can do this automatically by using a programmable thermostat that enables you to schedule when you turn on the heating or air conditioning. As a result, your HVAC system doesn't work as hard when you are asleep or not at home. Programmable thermostats, like the VisionPro Z-Wave, can store multiple daily settings (six or more temperature settings a day) that you can manually override without affecting the rest of the daily or weekly program.

Turn on the Lights Only When You Need Them with Indoor Motion Sensor Lighting

While you have probably seen motion sensors used for outdoor lighting, they are also great for reducing energy waste and enhancing safety inside your home. Motion sensor lighting provides an automated, hands-free way to turn on lights when you need them, and off when you don't. Illuminate your way through the hallway when you—and perhaps more importantly, out-of-town guests who may be unfamiliar with your home—get up in the middle of the night and turn on lamps when entering a room. In addition to preventing bumps and bruises, motion sensor lighting will also help reduce your monthly energy costs due to lighting. You no longer have to worry about hitting the light switch every time you leave the room. Instead, motion sensor lights reliably turn themselves off after you've left a room. Additionally, light-sensing diodes prevent them from switching on during daylight hours.

Don't Forget About Water Conservation—Smart Home Devices Can Help With that, Too!

If you're concerned about your water consumption, the FortrezZ Water Shut-Off Valve is a fantastic tool for you. Combined with a flow meter plumbed on the water main and integrated into a Z-Wave compatible network, it allows homeowners to monitor their water consumption in the same way that they manage electrical usage, providing detailed information about when they are using the most water and how much exactly. Additionally, homeowners can create automation scenarios to turn their water supply on and off according to usage parameters. This new integration fills a much-needed gap in smart metering technology that consumers have been asking for, especially in the drought-ridden west. As homeowners grow more aware of their water consumption habits, behavior changes toward conservation are inevitable.

An energy-efficient home will keep your family comfortable while saving you money. Whether you take simple steps or make larger investments (like solar technology) to make your home more efficient, you'll see lower utility bills. Over time, those savings will typically pay for the cost of improvements and put money back in your pocket. You can also feel good that you're doing your part to live a more eco-friendly, sustainable lifestyle. For more information on how smart home technology (like Z-Wave) can benefit you, your family and your home, visit www.Z-Wave.com.

Bryn Huntpalmer is a mother of two young children living in Austin, Texas where she currently works as an Editor forModernize. In addition to regularly contributing to Home Remodeling and Design websites around the web, her writing can be found on Lifehacker and About.com.

Tags

Aeotec, Home Energy Meter, thermostats, Water Conservation, FortrezZ Water Shut-Off Valve, Z-Wave, Home Control, Smart Home





Getting started with Echo + smart home

Getting started with Echo + smart home

If you're reading this blog, my bet is that you have both an Amazon Echo product – either an Echo or it's smaller sister, the Echo Dot – and some smart home gear you'd like to connect and control via Alexa. We'll go through the setup

The Renter's Guide to a Z-Wave Smart Home

The Renter's Guide to a Z-Wave Smart Home

With renting comes a lot of different considerations – you're generally restricted to what you can install or add to walls, and switching out installed items like a thermostat is usually frowned upon. So how do renters install a Z-Wave smart home with tech that they can bring with them after they move? We have a few solutions.

FIBARO Home Automation System

Piece of Cake - AT&T Digital Life




Fighting Fires with Z-Wave

Fighting Fires with Z-Wave

A smart home can protect you from an unwanted intrusion, but how else can it protect your home? According to the most recent full-year statistics from the National Fire Protection Association, 365,000 home fires caused 12,875 injuries and 2,380 casualties in 2012, leading to $5.7 billion in damages.

Smart Home and Home Automation: What's The Difference?

Smart Home and Home Automation: What's The Difference?

Oftentimes you'll see the terms "smart home" and "home automation" used interchangeably, which may lead you to wonder why there are so many terms for the same concept

CES 2016 LG – Smart Home

GE Z-Wave Plug-in Outdoor Smart Switch




How Smart Home Tech Has Changed Home Security

How Smart Home Tech Has Changed Home Security

In recent years, smart home technology has radically transformed the home security landscape, with numerous changes and developments over the years. To understand the impact of smart home on the security space, it helps to take a closer look at what security systems looked like before and after the onset of smart home tech.

The Ultimate in Garage Tech

The Ultimate in Garage Tech

Garages, along with the cars inside them, used to be a status symbol, but these days, if all you've got are 3 walls, a door and a place to house your car, it's not that impressive. To make it more than merely an Airbnb for your Prius—it needs to be smart! Of course, adding smart home control to your garage can be as simple or as sophisticated as you want it to be.

Best Smart Locks of 2016

Tom's Guide

Of all the different types of smart home products — lights, thermostats and cameras, to name a few — smart door locks are among the most popular. Going beyond the simple key, these locks can be operated using your smartphone, and can be connected to a larger smart home system to make your life easier.

TWICE VIP Award Nominations: Wireless Door Locks

TWICE

The new motorized deadbolts utilize the Z-Wave wireless protocol to enable true remote locking and unlocking. This allows homeowners to remotely access and control the lock from anywhere in the world, using a smartphone, tablet or Internet connected device.

7 Inexpensive Gadgets to Make Your Home Feel Futuristic

MakeUseOf

What will really set you apart from your neighbors is installing a system that comes complete with an accompanying mobile app. The GE Z-Wave Wireless Lighting Control Outdoor Module does exactly that. When guests are leaving, you can wow them with a simple tap on your smart device.

Decorate Your Home With These 7 Stylish Security Cameras

MakeUseOf

With live and recorded video, instant mobile alerts, Z-Wave home automation and an extensive list of environmental sensors, Piper nv is an excellent choice for a home or office.

What's New

The best smart home hub of 2016

BGR

Connection to all of your smart devices shouldn't be an issue whatsoever, given that the SmartThings hub offers many of the well-known wireless protocols, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Z-Wave, and ZigBee.

Three Smart Security Features for Your Front Porch

Alarm.com

The traditional American front porch isn't just a timeless scene. It's also a functional part of your home, where safety, security and convenience are paramount. A few subtle 21st century additions can really enhance your porch, making it an even more enjoyable area to use.

Become an Awesome Neighbor with Smart Home Technology

House-o-Matic

Instead, just use smart locks to give them a virtual key, and to give a virtual key to baby sitters, dog walkers, and temporary guests. You don't need to ask your neighbor to water your lawn while you're out of town, or to check to see if you closed the garage door and turned off the lights. You can monitor your lawn watering, and the status of your doors and lights, with your smartphone or tablet.

The Almond 3 Router Wants To Be Your Smart Home Hub and Range Extender

ChipChick

Smart home devices can be connected using the Wi-Fi network, but Almond 3 also works with ZigBee and with Z-Wave and Bluetooth through the use of Bluetooth dongles. As a result, Almond 3 works directly with most major smart home products on the market — including Amazon Echo.