Save Money and Protect Your Home With Smart Home Technology

The right smart home products can help you make the most of your home investment

Smart thermostat

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Smart home technology can make life easier for today’s busy homeowners and, unsurprisingly, is growing in popularity.

According to one survey, the market for “smart” home products—that is, electronics that connect to Wi-Fi and can be controlled with a mobile or voice-activated device—will reach $80 billion by 2022

Not only do these tools offer convenience and comfort, but they also eliminate tedious manual work and can even keep your home cleaner, safer, and more efficient.

They can also save you cash. Many of the most popular smart technologies are designed to reduce home energy use and energy-related bills. In fact, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, smart power strips alone can save you around $200 a year .

Plus, adding smart products to your home can make it more appealing to buyers down the line. Remodeling website Houzz found that about a third of younger consumers are now including these technologies in their home renovations. A survey commissioned by Coldwell Banker shows that more than three-quarters of home buyers would pay a “smart home premium.”

Whether you’re looking to lower your energy bills or increase your security, below are some of the top products to consider.

If You Want To Reduce Energy Use

These products will reduce your home’s overall environmental footprint as well as its energy use and related costs.

Many energy companies will also provide rebates and discounts when these products are installed. Call your energy provider to find out more.

Smart Thermostats

Some smart thermostats are designed to learn your household’s temperature patterns, then build a custom, energy-saving schedule around it (like the Nest). Others use a sensor system to detect occupancy and set appropriate room-by-room temperatures (like the Ecobee). Either way, they save you money. The Nest claims to save homeowners 10% to 12% on heating costs and 15% on cooling costs annually, while the Ecobee says it can save up to 23% on annual costs .

Examples: Nest, Ecobee4, Lyric T6

Smart Shower Heads

Smart showerheads eliminate costly heat-up time and also adjust water flow based on where you are in the shower. Evadrop, for example, says it cuts water use in half . For a family of four, that would equal a savings of about $60 every month .

Examples: Evadrop, Kohler Moxie, WaterHawk

Smart Power Strips

These new-age power strips keep products from using energy when they’re not in active use. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, they can save you about $200 per year in energy costs .

Examples: Iron-M, BESTEK, Amtake

Smart Light Bulbs

Smart light bulbs are flexible LED bulbs that can be dimmed, often change color, and can be controlled using a mobile device. Many times, they can also be synchronized with music and entertainment. Cree, a popular option for these bulbs, has a calculator to help estimate your potential savings.

Examples: Cree, Philips Hue, Eufy

Smart Sprinkler Systems

Smart sprinklers are designed to optimize your watering schedule based on local weather conditions. They also detect leaks and monitor water flow to reduce overall costs. Most come with a mobile app that allows you to control your watering efforts on the go.

Examples: Rachio, RainMachine, Netro

Most major appliance brands offer smart washing machines, dryers, and dishwashers designed to reduce washing time, water volume, and overall energy use.

If You Want More Security

Smart home technology can also help improve the security and safety of your property, as well as make controlling those systems easier and more convenient.

Some of the more popular smart security products include:

  • Smart exterior lighting system: Uses motion-activated sensors to turn on floodlights and other devices when someone enters the property (Example: Defiant)
  • Video doorbell: Allows you to see who’s at your door before answering it (Example: Ring)
  • Smart garage door: Alerts owners when opened and can be controlled with a mobile device (Example: Chamberlain)
  • Connected video camera: Lets you monitor your property via mobile app (Example: Nest Cam)
  • Mobile-controlled locks and home alarm system: (Example: Latch)
  • Smart smoke alarms, carbon-monoxide detectors, and water-leak sensors: Alerts you when something is amiss (Example: Halo)

If you add a smart home device, you may qualify for a discount on your homeowner's insurance premium, so be sure to let your insurer know.