1. Smart Thermostats
Heating and cooling make up about half of your entire energy consumption at home, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
In 2016, the average monthly electricity consumption for the average American household was 897 kilowatt-hours, and those households shelled out an average of $122.59 a month for their electrical bills, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
It’s pretty easy to see that if you’re looking to make the biggest splash in energy savings, heating and cooling will do the trick. Check out Nest Learning thermostats, which are Energy-Star certified. Nest thermostats will learn what temperature you prefer at what times and will automatically adjust to fit your schedule. If your schedule gets off kilter, you can adjust temperatures from your smartphone, tablet or laptop. Other Energy-Star certified thermostats can also detect when no one is home and can automatically adjust temperatures.
2. Smart Water Treatments
The third biggest consumer of your home energy is water heating. What comes to mind first, of course, is your regular water usage, whether that’s your laundry loads or that warm shower. Believe it or not, there are now smart water heaters that can, among other things, detect leaks early and have built-in features, such as energy saver and high-demand modes that allow for hot water when needed while using less energy overall. Other energy-saving smart home devices to consider include sprinkler systems, pool pumps and pool heaters.
3. Smart Lighting
The U.S. Department of Energy says the average household dedicates 5 percent of its energy budget to lighting. Try Philips Hue lights, which you can control through your smartphone, tablet or laptop, along with voice apps, such as Amazon’s Alexa or Google Assistant, should you need to turn off your lights remotely. You can also gain energy savings by dimming these lights without any other installation or setting them on a timer. The lights are also color-customizable as one Fortune editor programmed her Hue lights to turn red when she received a text from her boss. Other Hue lighting products can mimic the daytime or nighttime and have motion-sensor capabilities.
4. Smart Plugs
Smart plugs, like this one from Belkin, fit right into the outlet in your home’s walls. Plug your appliances, beauty products or even your lights into this smart device to control them from wherever you are. If you desperately need a cup of coffee by the time you get home from work, connect your coffee maker with the smart plug and — provided you have the ground beans and water already in there — it’ll be waiting for you. Or, if your daughter has left her hair straightener on in the rush to get her to school, turn it off from work. Some of these devices can also be paired with Nest Home-Away controls and voice apps.
5. Smart Appliances
Refrigerators, washing machines and vacuum cleaners, oh my! Many of these appliances already have touch-screens. Some come equipped with Wi-Fi capabilities, so there’s no need to buy more parts. Take, for example, smart refrigerators. Capabilities differ by product and brand, but some now allow you to create a grocery list on the appliance and have that uploaded to the same list accessible by your smartphone. Other fridges include a camera so you can see what you already have and what you might have missed. They’re now able to connect to your television shows or music for the ultimate cooking experience.