Growing up, most people were told by an elder to close the door after coming inside or turn off the lights when leaving a room.
Those simple steps used to be the first line of defense against overpriced energy bills, but today, new technology offers more convenient ways to keep your energy costs as low as possible.
Here are seven purchases you can make to help lower your energy bills over time:
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During the summer months, the sun can be the greatest obstacle when you're trying to keep the temperature inside within a comfortable range. Closing the blinds is one option for blocking out strong rays, but sometimes it can be hard to remember to add another task to your daily routine.
One solution for this problem is to purchase smart blinds. There are tons of different manufactures that can create custom-fit blinds based on your specific window sizes, but a much cheaper option would be SOMA Smart Shades. For $99, these blinds let you turn most regular blinds into smart blinds using a connection unit and a Wi-Fi signal. Pair the device to a smart phone app, Amazon Alexa device or Apple HomeKit to put your blinds on a schedule and keep out the heat.
Another way to regulate the temperature inside is with a smart thermostat like the Ecobee4. With this technology, you can set a schedule for your thermostat to avoid wasting money on unnecessary cooling. Also, not only is it compatible with Amazon Alexa, but for $249, the Ecobee4 actually includes a built-in Amazon Alexa speaker. It can also be used with Apple HomeKit and Samsung SmartThings.
And, if you're worried about keeping all areas of your house around the same temperature, Ecobee4 has companion room sensors that can help monitor different rooms to make sure the unit isn't overcooling your home.
If you've got an electronic gadget that you constantly forget to turn off, a smart plug can help you get a handle on it. For $21.99, Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug will let you put your devices on a timer or control them with a smart phone app, Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. If you're known to fall asleep with the TV on every night, this plug could be one way to make sure the TV goes off after a certain time.
If you have multiple electronics in your entertainment center that also need to be powered down after you fall asleep, the Tonbux Plug-In Smart Power Surge could be another energy-save you might want to consider. Coming in at $29.99, this plug gives you the ability to cut down on standby power usage and control the power to each of your device separately. Like other smart devices, you can also use it with Amazon and Google's virtual assistants.
To tackle the issue of leaving the lights on, there are several tools you can use depending on your price range and tech savvy. The Philips Hue White Smart LED Bulb lets you add timers to your lights, dim, brighten, or turn them off using the app or a voice-controlled device. That means no more burning lights when nobody is using them.
Philips Hue bulbs can be used with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit and Google Assistant.
If you're not interested in swapping out your light bulbs, a motion sensor, like the GE Z-Wave Smart Motion Sensor, can help you save energy just by shutting off your lights when nobody is around. At $49.99, this might be cheaper than replacing all of your bulbs depending on how many bulbs you have throughout the house.
On the flip side, you can also use this gadget to turn on the lights when the sensor is triggered.
If smart light bulbs or motion detectors sound like too much of an investment, a smart dimmer switch might be a more affordable way to start saving small amounts of energy. The Lutron Toggler C.L. Dimmer Switch costs $21.97 and can be used to dim your lights to avoid using the maximum energy.
Make sure you check device compatibility and other technical requirements before you purchase any of these energy-saving devices.