Smart house video text

A smart house can help you minimize inconvenience and maximize energy savings.

What makes a house smart? It’s a combination of Wi-Fi-connected remote controls, automation and monitoring that lets you manage energy use in your home using a smartphone or tablet, while the house reports back to you.

One of the first things we think of in a smart house is a smart thermostat. A smart thermostat lets you control your home temperature remotely from a phone or computer. It can also make adjustments automatically by knowing when you are away or at home, learning your daily schedule. The house is comfortable when you’re there, and saving energy when you’re not. You just go about your day.

If you’re on a time-of-use electric rate, your smart thermostat can be programmed to save you additional money on home cooling.

Next, think about lighting. Smart bulbs fit into your existing lamps and fixtures. These LED replacements put you in control of the brightness and schedule of when they are on or off. Lights can be set to turn on in the evening, dim at bed time, or even act as night lights. And some lights offer options to change the color. It’s fun, functional energy savings.

Outside, you can have lights that go on after dark or when sensing motion.

A smart power strip can make your TV, cable box, gaming systems, stereo and computer more energy efficient. When you turn the TV on or off, the smart power strip automatically turns everything that’s connected to it on or off.

There are also smart plugs that connect to just one device — like a coffee maker or a lamp. You can monitor energy use, or turn it on or off with your phone or smart speaker. There are outdoor smart plugs, so you can turn your holiday decorations on and off from anywhere.

One smart house item you might not expect, but will really appreciate, is a garage door opener. New openers can connect to your Wi-Fi, so you can control your garage door from your phone. Heading out on vacation and not sure if you closed the door? No need to turn around — just check your phone.

And it’s not just the garage door that’s smart. Smart devices like locks, doorbell and security cameras, speakers, and even smoke detectors all give you greater control managing your home’s energy use and safety.

All of these innovations work together so you have more control, convenience and understanding of how your house uses energy.

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