You already do your part to reduce, reuse and recycle, but perhaps you feel like you should be doing more to protect and save Mother Earth. Well, now you can — that is, with a few smart gadgets and your smartphone. Truthfully, it’s as simple as downloading an app or two and pressing a few buttons. Here are a handful of ways in which you can be a better steward of the environment through smart home technology.
Heating and Cooling
Your thermostat controls half your energy bill, but it may also be wasting energy. To make your HVAC system more energy-efficient, use a smart thermostat, like Nest, to reduce your home energy usage. Nest learns your energy needs and patterns to determine what temperature you find comfortable, as well as when you’re home or away.
Instead of manually setting your thermostat when you leave for work and upon your return home, Nest is constantly analyzing and learning your energy habits and needs. When you’re at work, for example, Nest will adjust your thermostat accordingly so that your home uses less energy. It can then optimize your thermostat to a preferred setting when you return home.
Pretty nifty, huh? Plus, not only does Nest provide a unique opportunity for energy efficiency automation, it can also help save you money on your monthly utility bill. According to two independent studies, Nest saves, on average, 10 percent to 12 percent on heating and 15 percent on cooling costs per month, which, in turn, could save you $131 to $145 annually.
Taking quick showers can certainly help decrease your monthly water bill. But do you honestly know how much water you use on a daily or monthly basis? Hydrao is a showerhead that displays bright colors to indicate your water usage during any given period of time. More specifically, you’ll see the following colors displayed based on your water usage:
• Red when you utilize 10.9 gallons
This is an easy way for your family — even your kids — to realize how much water they use daily or monthly and how they can adjust their habits accordingly. Not only can you save up to 7,700 gallons of water annually, but you also can save more than 85 kilograms of carbon dioxide if you heat your water with electricity, or 816 kilograms if you use gas.
Additionally, the Hydrao showerhead can link to your iPhone 7, allowing you to customize the color displays, chart your progress and track your savings, all literally from the palm of your hand. With a phone like the iPhone 7, you now have a large, convenient display to analyze your water usage.
Appliances and Electronics
Don’t let standby power and/or forgetfulness ruin your hard work saving the earth. Through Wemo, you can control all the appliances and electronics in your home from your smartphone. Additionally, Wemoworks with Amazon Alexa and Nest, allowing you to use voice commands to adjust your thermostat and turn off any lights or appliances. It also operates off both Android and iOS platforms, providing you an easy means to turn on or off your appliances and electronics from any location.
Your lawn, flowerbeds and landscaping use and require plenty of water. But despite growing native plants and using reclaimed water for everything but drinking, you want to do more to make your garden sustainable. In this case, Rachio may be the tech tool in which you have been searching.
With the help of your smartphone, Rachio tracks local weather patterns, sun exposure, the type of soil you use and the plants you have in your yard to develop a customized watering schedule. In other words, Rachio does the work for you. And that also means, if you received unexpected rain, you don’t have to worry about turning off your sprinklers.
To date, consumers who have purchased a Rachio system have saved more than 11 billion gallons of water, according to the company’s website. And, like many of the other featured products above, Rachioalso works in concert with Nest, Amazon Echo and other smart home devices.