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.


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

Cool Ways to Use Motion Sensors in Your Smart Home

Cool Ways to Use Motion Sensors in Your Smart Home

We often talk about smart home in terms of devices: how flood sensors can save you from soggy disaster; what makes one Z-Wave hub different from another. But when you get right down to it, it's the programming that makes a smart home smart, not to mention uniquely yours.

5 Every Day Problems Your Smart Home Can Solve

5 Every Day Problems Your Smart Home Can Solve

A smart home can help ease your worries and provide you the peace of mind you need to keep yourself on track with the rest of your day. Here are a few problems that keeping your home connected can solve.

GE Z-Wave Quick Overview by Jasco

FIBARO Home Automation System

Tips for Staying Safe by Getting Smart for Hurricane Season

Tips for Staying Safe by Getting Smart for Hurricane Season

Though the North Atlantic hurricane season officially kicks off on June 1 every year, the threat of tropical weather really starts to kick into high gear in August and September. So if you live anywhere near the coastal regions likely to be struck by a severe weather, it pays to be extra prepared this time of year.

3 Ways Home Automation Can Help Your Family

3 Ways Home Automation Can Help Your Family

How can home automation actually make life better for you and your family? It's a question we hear all the time. There's no denying the enhanced convenience of being able to turn on a light from the palm of your hand, or adjusting the thermostat from the comfort of your favorite spot on the sofa.

Samsung's 2016 smart TVs control your gear

CNN features Schlage & Nexia

Z-Wave vs. Wi-Fi vs Bluetooth: A Breakdown

Z-Wave vs. Wi-Fi vs Bluetooth: A Breakdown

One of the easiest ways of explaining an unfamiliar technology is to compare it with something people already understand. That's why you might hear things like: "It's like Wi-Fi, but…" or "It's similar to Bluetooth, but…" when talking about Z-Wave

Deck the Halls with a Z-Wave Smart Home!

Deck the Halls with a Z-Wave Smart Home!

Holiday decorating – whether you have a small set up or a full blown light show in your front yard – is part of getting in the holiday spirit. But it doesn't have to be hard – some quick smart home gear can be you started!

Get Smart With Stacey: When Gadgets, Voice Commands Don't Play Nice

PC Mag

But you could also do Z-Wave. I recommend you steer clear of ZigBee for this because I haven't yet found a ZigBee switch I love. Aeontec and Fibaro offer these $40 modules that fit inside your electrical box that will allow you to keep your switch, if you happen to like your switches.

3 Practical Benefits of Turning Your Ordinary Home into a Smart Home

Realty Today

It is good to realize that a smart home is not just mere product of a person whims and caprices. Like your smart phones and watches, a smart home may also serve you beyond convenience. And here below are some of the benefits of turning your home into a smart home.

The Frictionless Home: The Next Wave of Home Technology

Realty Biz News

Exploring not only how a connected home can add convenience and safety to your life, but how it might add value to your home in the future.

How to Have the Smartest Door on the Block

DIY Network

Yale Real Living Assure Locks – "Unlike other models, the products feature Z-Wave and ZigBee connectivity, not Bluetooth or Wi-Fi."

What's New

It may look retro, but this Airstream is probably smarter than your house

Digital Trends

One benefit of a connected home is that it should (asuming the system is working) let you know when there's a problem, even if you're not there. It's one reason those with vacation homes are installing smart leak detectors, Wi-Fi-enabled cameras, and so on. And just because your second home is on wheels, it doesn't mean having devices that keep an eye on things is any less helpful.

Open Sesame: Smart Locks to Keep Your Home Secure

Digital Trends

Yale Real Living Key Free Touchscreen Deadbolt With Z-Wave ($165) - We put the Yale's touchscreen lock at the top of this list because it checks all the basic requirements for a good smart lock. It's easy to install, works with smart home systems such as SmartThings and Honeywell, and the backlit digital keypad eliminates the need to carry around house keys.

Get Smart With Stacey: How Do I Set Up Automatic Blinds?

PC Mag

I have Somfy motorized blinds, and I ended up buying a Z-wave controller that translates Somfy's proprietary protocol to Z-wave so I could control it with the Echo, $179.99 at Amazon using a hub like SmartThings or Wink, $60.28 at Amazon for voice control.

Lennar Community Goes Standard with Z-Wave-based Controls


The homes come standard with home automation that includes locks, lights and a wireless alarm system. Among the products are: Schlage Z-Wave lock, Trane Z-Wave digital thermostat, and Nortek Z-Wave lighting control