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Save money on your utility bills with these smart home gadgets

Smart home gadgets can do more than respond to voice commands or automate your household — they can also save you money. It might require a hefty initial investment, but once your smart home is up and running, it’s not uncommon to see big reductions across most of your utility bills. If you’re looking to save a few extra bucks every month, here are some easy ways to save money with smart home devices.

Upgrade to a smart thermostat

The Nest Learning Thermostat mounted on the wall.

Arguably the best way to save money on your energy bills is by switching to a smart thermostat. These come in all shapes and sizes, but your best bet is to spring for a premium model that offers advanced learning capabilities — such as the Nest Learning Thermostat. Products in this category give you the best control of your HVAC system, as they’ll actively monitor your usage and suggest ways to be more efficient.

If you don’t want to spring for a smart learning thermostat, you can still save a bit of cash with a budget smart thermostat. Almost all of these offer more features than a traditional thermostat, allowing you to easily set schedules, sync with other smart devices, and monitor how much energy you’re using on daily basis.

Reduce your water consumption with a smart sprinkler controller

Rachio 3 sprinkler controller mounted on wall.
Rachio / Rachio

Chasing after a perfectly manicured lawn isn’t easy, and it often comes at a price. Whether you have a professionally installed sprinkler system or a DIY system built off your outdoor water faucet, adding a smart sprinkler controller to your setup is a great way to cut down on your water bill. If you have an in-ground system, adding a smart sprinkler controller that comes with a WaterSense verification is all but guaranteed to reduce your monthly expenses. These gadgets actively monitor your local weather patterns and will skip a scheduled watering session if it’s recently rained. You can also track a bunch of useful statistics to help optimize your watering system, making it easy to reduce your water bill without much effort.

If you’re running a DIY system built around your outdoor water spigot, then a smart hose timer can help automate your schedule and reduce your water consumption.

Monitor your energy usage with smart plugs

Four Emporia Smart Plugs displayed on a wooden table.
Jon Bitner / Digital Trends

Smart plugs aren’t the most glamorous of smart home gadgets, but they serve an important purpose. Not only can they be used to give any electronic device a bit of “smarts,” but they give you an easy way to monitor how much electricity you’re using. Some will even offer suggestions on how to cut down on your energy needs. At the very least, they’ll let you quickly turn devices on or off before heading out on vacation, and give you a tangible way to see what appliances are costing you the most on your bill.

Install smart lights

GE Smart Bulbs installed in a game room.

All LED lights will save you money compared to regular bulbs, but consider going the extra mile and adding smart LED lights to all your lamps. Beyond giving you access to thousands of different colors, you can create lighting schedules to reduce their overall energy consumption. This could be anything from setting them up to turn off at a certain time of day to syncing them with a motion sensor. There’s a wide variety of smart bulbs on the market, so be sure to shop around and see which ones are the best fit for your smart home.

Stay safe (and save money) with a home security system

Arlo Indoor-Outdoor Smart Home Security Light
Arlo Indoor-Outdoor Smart Home Security Light Image used with permission by copyright holder

Your mileage may vary with this option (and we’d recommend consulting your insurance company), but many homeowners can save money when installing a security system. Many insurers offer up to 20% off your monthly bill when a proper smart home security system is installed — although the specifics vary by provider. At a minimum, you’ll typically need to add security cameras, motion sensors, and an audible alarm that can notify you of any intruders.

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Jon Bitner
Jon Bitner is a writer covering consumer electronics, technology, and gaming. His work has been published on various websites…
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