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Smart home gadgets and technology can help make homes more energy efficient than ever before. From thermostats and lightbulbs to plugs and sprinklers, there is almost no aspect of the home that can't be integrated with a smart home system. But which devices can help you save the most energy?

A smart home system is built around home automation. Smart devices have the capability of connecting to a smart home hub like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant through your Wi-Fi network, Bluetooth, or Z-wave technology. You can then control and monitor these devices through a smartphone app, usually on iOS or Android devices, or through voice commands with a smart speaker.

Smart home gadgets and technology can help make homes more energy efficient than ever before. From thermostats and lightbulbs to plugs and sprinklers, there is almost no aspect of the home that can’t be integrated with a smart home system. But which devices can help you save the most energy?

What is a smart home system?

A smart home system is built around home automation. Smart devices have the capability of connecting to a smart home hub like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant through your Wi-Fi network, Bluetooth, or Z-wave technology. You can then control and monitor these devices through a smartphone app, usually on iOS or Android devices, or through voice commands with a smart speaker.

One of the biggest uses of smart home functionality is in the smart home security system. Smart locks, video doorbells, wireless security cameras, and even garage doors can be managed through voice control or a mobile app.

Energy efficiency is another important factor in the choice of smart home devices. Through the use of a smart sprinkler, smart plug, smart lighting, or smart thermostat like the Google Nest or ecobee SmartThermostat, homeowners can see major improvements in their energy and water consumption.

And that is just the tip of the iceberg. More and more devices are being integrated into smart home setups. Even appliances like stoves, dishwashers, and refrigerators are now connected to the internet.

What are the best smart home devices for saving energy?

As mentioned, one of the biggest advantages of smart home devices is in saving energy. One thing to consider before adding new devices or appliances is getting a home energy audit for an accurate picture of where your home is less energy-efficient. Once you know that, here are some of the best smart home devices to help you become more energy efficient.

Each product featured here has been independently selected by the writer. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

Smart thermostats

Smart thermostats help regulate and automate your heating and cooling, cutting down on the total energy consumption and reducing those costs. Smart thermostats work by connecting to your current HVAC system. The vast majority of them feature a smart device app, meaning users can control all of the settings and features remotely.

On average, they can save you around 8% on heating and cooling costs, or $50 annually. The age of your current HVAC system, however, can affect this. If you have an old and outdated system, there are limits on the effectiveness of a smart thermostat.

Emerson Sensi Touch Smart Thermostat

Emerson Sensi Touch Smart Thermostat

Emerson

Why buy: The Emerson Sensi smart thermostat was our pick for best overall smart thermostat. It can save you up to 23% on your energy usage, and you can find it at a very affordable price of 0 on Amazon. The Emerson thermostat is also compatible with Alexa, Google Home, Apple HomeKit, and Samsung SmartThings.

Buy

ecobee SmartThermostat

ecobee SmartThermostat

ecobee

Why buy: Despite its relatively high price tag of 9, the ecobee SmartThermostat offers a ton of energy-saving features. The best part is that with its new eco+ software, the SmartThermostat can help you save up to 23% on your annual energy costs. Plus it has built-in Amazon Alexa functionality so there’s no need to purchase an Amazon Echo.

Buy

Nest Learning Thermostat

Nest Learning Thermostat

Nest

Why buy: The Nest Learning Thermostat is both Google Assistant- and Alexa-enabled. It can potentially save you as much as 10% to 12% on your heating bill and up to 15% on your cooling bill. This thermostat also has voice commands for even greater convenience, and it automatically learns your heating and cooling preferences to optimize your energy usage.

Buy

Smart lighting

Smart lightbulbs and smart lighting systems can connect to your home’s smart system, so you can set schedules for when they are on and off. Combined with the greater efficiency of LED bulbs, it isn’t out of the question to save between 25% and 80% on the energy used by your lights when you make the switch to smart lights.

Philips Hue Starter Kit

Phillips Hue Lighting System

Philips Hue

Why buy: The Philips Hue lighting system offers everything from starter kits and light strips to table lamps and bulbs. Though the system can be a bit pricey, there’s a lot that comes with it. They can be paired easily through a rather intuitive app, offer integrations with third-party devices, and even display a wide array of colors.

Buy

Wyze Bulb

Wyze Bulb

Wyze

Why buy: If you’re looking for a far more cost-effective option, look no further than the Wyze Bulb. These smart Wi-Fi light bulbs will last up to 25,000 hours, and you can get 4 for under . Though it doesn’t have the color option that the Hue does, it can pair with voice assistants like Google Assistant and Alexa to make for a convenient smart bulb setup.

Buy

Sengled Smart LED Light Bulbs

Sengled Smart LED Bulbs

Sengled

Why buy: These Sengled Smart LED bulbs are also an affordable smart light option to help automate your home’s lighting. Compatible with SmartThings, IFTTT, Google Assistant, and Alexa, it integrates smoothly with just about any smart home setup. The outdoor bulbs are weatherproof and come with a motion sensor for optimal usage.

Buy

Smart plugs

Like smart bulbs, smart plugs and smart power strips can help mitigate wasted energy use. They work with compatible devices to control when they are running – think lamps, fans, appliances, air purifiers, etc. Even better, they come with the capability of handling 4 to 8 devices at once, making it a comprehensive hub for your electronics.

Though the savings here are not quite as dramatic, it adds up when paired with other smart energy-efficient devices. Some of the best will come with mobile apps, providing remote functionality.

Kasa Smart Plug Mini

Kasa Smart Plug Mini

Kasa

Why buy: Though this Kasa Smart Plug Mini is meant to handle one or two devices at a time, it is perhaps the best on the market. It’s highly affordable and can work with voice assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant by connecting to your Wi-Fi network. It also features schedule customization, timers, and even away modes to maximize your energy savings.

Buy

WeMo Wi-Fi Smart Plug

WeMo Wi-Fi Smart Plug

Belkin

Why buy: This WeMo Wi-Fi smart plug remains affordable while still offering Alexa, Google Assistant, and even Apple HomeKit compatibility. The WeMo app allows you to control and schedule the plug from anywhere, and the plug itself comes in a compact, space-saving design that also allows for voice control.

Buy

iDevices Wall Outlet

iDevices Wall Outlet

iDevice

Why buy: In addition to a single plug, you can also install a smart outlet to connect multiple devices. The iDevices Wall Outlet is great for automating lights, lamps, switches, fans, and any other electronics. It is compatible with most smart home systems and can give you independent voice control of both the top and bottom outlets.

Buy

Smart sprinklers

With smart sprinkler systems, water waste is kept to a minimum thanks to scheduling functions and improved fixtures that use water more efficiently.

Generally speaking, most EPA WaterSense-certified smart-controlled sprinklers can save up to 15% of the water applied versus a standard sprinkler system. In some areas, this can be huge, as 70% of outdoor water use can come from outdoor sprinklers.

Rachio 3

Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller

Rachio

Why buy: One of the best smart sprinklers available on the market, the Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller gives you wireless connectivity and 8-zone functionality, which makes it easier than ever to properly manage outdoor water usage. It is on the expensive side, but includes a feature that predicts weather changes to adjust your water use accordingly.

Buy

Orbit B-Hyve XR

Orbit B-Hyve XR

Orbit

Why buy: A slightly more cost-effective option, the Orbit B-Hyve XR comes with great features, like an LED screen that shows live, real-time status updates. It uses WeatherSense technology to automatically adjust to the weather so you don’t waste water. It also meets EPA WaterSense standards, and the B-Hyve app is available for free on iOS and Android devices.

Buy

Smart home energy monitors

There are now smart home energy monitors that attach directly to your home’s electrical box. They work by monitoring your energy consumption in real-time and can show patterns of electrical usage over a day, week, or month.

Continuous monitoring, right down to the appliance level, can help you save on energy costs and acts as the baseline for energy conservation. These monitors can also show which appliances are falling behind in energy efficiency.

Sense Home Energy Monitor

Sense Home Energy Monitor

Sense

Why buy: This is a top-of-the-line energy monitor, and comes in both standard and solar variations. They plug into just about any existing electrical panel and then connect to a smart phone application that provides real-time data whenever you want it. Sense is a bit pricey, but comes with far more features and functionality than any of the others.

Buy

Efergy Elite 4.0 Wireless Energy Monitor

Efergy Elite Wireless Energy Monitor

Efergy

Why buy: This Efergy system provides a cost-effective means of monitoring your home’s electrical usage. The device connects easily to any home electrical box for fast and easy installation that does not require an electrician. The downside to this particular system is that there is no smartphone application for live tracking, instead using a compact, portable display.

Buy

Gen 2 Emporia Vue Smart Home Energy Monitor

Emporia Vue Smart Home System

Emporia

Why buy: Emporia’s Vue monitoring system offers device detection that can show you the performance of individual appliances in your home. You can even set schedules for select appliances where applicable, providing a greater level of detail about your electric bill. With this system, you can lower your energy costs and your emissions at the same time.

Buy

Other smart home products to consider

As comprehensive as this list is, it doesn’t cover all of the smart devices out there. Home security systems, garage doors, and other appliances are now able to connect to your smart home system.

Smart fridges

Refrigerators are becoming smarter, too. Not only can they cut down on energy usage, they can even create shopping lists based on the contents inside. Smart fridges have evolved to feature LED touch-screens and even web browsing.

Home security

Smart locks, doorbells, and security systems have made it easy to find peace-of-mind. Users can view cameras in real-time remotely and even use video doorbells to see who is at the door.

Smart TVs

Smart TVs allow users to access their favorite apps, surf the web, and so much more, all through their remote. They also use much less energy than older models, and most are ENERGY STAR certified for efficiency.

Upgrade to a smart home to save energy

Upgrading your home to a smart setup has never been more beneficial. Whether you are looking to gain improved convenience and connectivity, cut down on energy costs, or both, smart home setups are the way to go. Combine any number of smart home devices to create the right setup for a more energy-efficient home.

Ryan Womeldorf is a freelance writer who covers technology and consumer goods, including smart home tech. He is a husband and father of two (five if you count his pups).

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Energy efficiency is more important than ever. Getting a home energy audit can be crucial for identifying any potential air leaks and other issues that could be keeping your energy use (and energy bills) high. Learn how a home energy audit can help you with energy efficiency upgrades to reduce your energy consumption.

A home energy audit, also referred to as a home energy assessment, helps you get a better idea of the amount of energy that your home uses. This audit provides you with a summary of your energy costs, how to save energy, and what renewable, energy-saving upgrades or repairs can help.

Energy efficiency is more important than ever. Getting a home energy audit can be crucial for identifying any potential air leaks and other issues that could be keeping your energy use (and energy bills) high. Learn how a home energy audit can help you with energy efficiency upgrades to reduce your energy consumption.


What is a home energy audit?

A home energy audit, also referred to as a home energy assessment, helps you get a better idea of the amount of energy that your home uses. This audit provides you with a summary of your energy costs, how to save energy, and what renewable, energy-saving upgrades or repairs can help.

Scheduling a home energy audit should be the first step you take before making any sort of energy-saving improvements to your home. Renewable energy systems and energy-efficient appliances are more and more popular with homeowners, thanks to their limited energy consumption and the rebates offered for installing them. But before you install solar panels or a smart thermostat, make sure you get a home energy audit.

There are two types of home energy audits: do-it-yourself and professional.

Do-it-yourself home energy audit

simpson33 / Getty Images

Once you know what to look for, a preliminary home energy audit can be performed on a DIY basis. It is important, however, to know not only where to look but also the signs of energy inefficiency and how to test for them. Here are some of the main areas of the home and types of energy waste that you should examine.

Air leaks

Start by checking your windows, doors, outlets, and fixtures. These are external items on the perimeter of the house and the barriers between the temperature in your home and the outside environment. Get close and feel for any air leaks, and look for any damaged or missing weatherstripping.

Air leaks can result in elevated heating and cooling bills. The leaks can make it more difficult for your HVAC system to regulate temperature, requiring it to work much harder and expend much more energy to keep your home at a desired setting.

Insulation

Insulation is crucial to energy efficiency. The proper insulation can keep heat out in the summer while retaining it in the winter. When insulation is old or begins to wear down, it does not do its job as effectively, leading to elevated energy usage.

Take a look at the insulation in your attic. If it looks old, degraded, or worn down, it may be time to swap it out for something more current and efficient.

Ventilation

Like anything else, your ventilation system can become dirty and damaged over time. Preventative cleaning should be done each year to ensure that the system does not become clogged with dirt and debris.

Cracks or holes, meanwhile, allow air to escape instead of being distributed throughout the home. Look your vents and registers over thoroughly. Clean where necessary to ensure more thorough airflow, and for any that are damaged and need replacing.

Heating and cooling systems and thermostats

This is one of the most crucial aspects behind energy consumption. Inefficient and outdated heating and cooling systems can elevate heating and cooling costs substantially. While each of these factors comes into play, the HVAC system may be the most important one.

Old and outdated systems need to run more often to keep your home warm or cool. They also are typically less efficient at using the energy or fuel they consume. The more work required, the more energy used. That is why it is important the check the efficiency of your HVAC system and upgrade if necessary. Specifically, look for the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER) to help determine the efficiency of the system. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends looking for central air conditioners with a SEER of at least 15. New systems, specifically ones that are ENERGY STAR certified, are built to optimize energy usage and use less energy to achieve better results than older systems.

Additionally, upgrading to a smart thermostat can help you make your home more energy efficient. Read the EcoWatch review of the best smart thermostats for more details.

Lighting

The lighting in your home can play a multi-faceted role in energy consumption. In addition to the energy it uses to provide light, there is also the heat given off during use. Older bulbs not only require more energy to burn, but they give off much more heat. Both of these contribute towards elevated energy consumption.

New bulbs require less energy to provide brighter light and reduce the amount of heat given off at the same time. All of this equates to energy savings over those old, cheap, outdated lightbulbs. Plus, energy efficient LED bulbs last a lot longer, meaning you won’t have to replace them as often.

Appliances

Even your appliances can result in energy inefficiency. Like the other items on this list, older models tend to use more energy for the same tasks that a newer appliance could perform with a lot less energy.

Outdated refrigerators, dishwashers, and washing machines can use far more cold and hot water than is necessary, while old dryers can raise your energy costs significantly. Knowing your current usage levels versus what efficient appliances can offer today is key.

Professional Home Energy Audit

Visoot Uthairam / Getty Images

While DIY home energy audits are fairly effective and cost less, there are benefits to a professional energy audit. Professionals have a trained eye for the details to spot and are likely to find smaller issues that you may miss. They also do a more thorough inspection, covering the entirety of the home, and have access to specialized equipment. To schedule a professional audit, you can contact your local service provider or a certified HVAC specialist. Here are some of the steps you can expect from a professional assessment.

Room-by-room inspection

A professional energy audit will start with a room-by-room inspection. Each room has its own set of vents, windows, etc. that can present different energy consumption challenges. Simply checking one room or your home’s central systems is not enough to identify potential issues in the home. This inspection will help your professional narrow down the list of possible problems.

Exterior window and door inspection

Windows and doors can be a prime culprit for air leaks and flow issues. A home energy audit will inspect each of these points to ensure that they are properly sealed and are not letting out any warmed or cooled air. Improperly sealed windows, for instance, could be dragging down your home’s energy efficiency and can be remedied at a much lower cost than something like an HVAC system.

Blower door test

The blower door test helps to identify air leaks through the use of a special fan that depressurizes the house. The blower door test is performed both before and after the process of air sealing to ensure that the process is effective.

Thermographic scan

A professional has the tools that most DIYers do not. The thermographic scan is a perfect example. Thermography uses an infrared camera to detect certain heat patterns in the home. That means identifying areas where heat escapes as well as pockets where airflow is restricted.

Combustion appliance inspection

Those with natural gas appliances – water heaters, furnaces, stoves, etc. – require a check to ensure that there is no loss of gas during use. Not only can those gas leaks lead to elevated energy costs, but they can be potentially dangerous. Having those appliances inspected is a good idea for saving on costs and ensuring that your home is safe from carbon monoxide.

Analysis of past energy bills

Another helpful tool is looking closely at past energy bills. This is good for not only identifying base levels of energy consumption but can also give insight as to periods where energy usage may be higher. This gives your auditor a better idea of what usage looks like for the home on a month-to-month basis, and where any inefficiencies may be.

What are the benefits of a home energy audit?

There are two primary benefits of home energy audits: improved energy efficiency and lower energy bills. By performing the necessary upgrades, your home can reduce the amount of energy you use and save you money on your monthly energy bills.

Use less energy

Energy savings can vary on the changes made. According to the Department of Energy, a new HVAC system can save you anywhere from 20-40% on heating and cooling costs annually. Lightbulbs in particular can be quite efficient. New LED bulbs, depending on the type, can use anywhere from 25-80% less energy than standard incandescent lightbulbs.

Even if your overall energy consumption is reduced by 10% per month, the total amount of energy saved annually is nothing to scoff at. Newer appliances and systems can keep your home comfortable while reducing your footprint at the same time. Plus, many smart products allow you to control and monitor your home remotely with mobile apps.

Save more money

Energy-efficient windows can provide a savings of $101-$583 per year when replacing single-pane windows. A new heating and cooling system can save you hundreds of dollars. Lightbulbs will have a much more long-term impact, but shouldn’t be overlooked.

No matter how you cut it, there are massive savings to be had both monthly and annually from a more energy-conscious home. Certain upgrades have larger impacts than others, but there is no doubt that upgrading to energy-efficient lightbulbs, HVAC systems, windows, etc. can play a major role in your finances and energy conservation.

How to use your home energy audit

So, what do you do with the findings of your home energy audit? The primary takeaway is what appliances or areas of the home need to be upgraded. Any leaks will need to be addressed and any worn out insulation, roofing, or siding replaced.

Another focus should be upgrading to ENERGY STAR certified appliances, installing renewable or high-efficiency HVAC systems or water heaters, smart light fixtures, smart thermostats, and more. The number of energy-efficient products available today is very extensive, making it easy to find affordable ways to reduce your energy consumption.

What to look for when upgrading your home

When making energy-efficient upgrades to the home, it is important to not use just any old replacement materials. Look for products and appliances that have the following certifications: ENERGY STAR, LEED Certified, Green Seal, Rainforest Alliance, or FSC-Certified. Each of these gives you the promise that you are getting the most energy-efficient and environmentally responsible materials available. When it comes to water usage, check for the EPA WaterSense seal.

Ryan Womeldorf is a freelance writer who covers technology and consumer goods, including smart home tech. He is a husband and father of two (five if you count his pups).

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onurdongel / Getty Images

More and more homes are making energy efficiency a priority. Not only is it a responsible way to reduce your environmental impact, but it can equate to serious savings on energy bills every month. But what can be done to make your home more efficient? Alongside a home energy audit, a smart home energy monitor is an energy-saving tool that can make a big difference.

A smart home energy monitor is a gadget that fits onto your home's electrical panel. The unit then monitors energy consumption throughout your home, showing you energy use patterns and even real-time data.

More and more homes are making energy efficiency a priority. Not only is it a responsible way to reduce your environmental impact, but it can equate to serious savings on energy bills every month. But what can be done to make your home more efficient? Alongside a home energy audit, a smart home energy monitor is an energy-saving tool that can make a big difference.


What is a smart home energy monitor?

A smart home energy monitor is a gadget that fits onto your home’s electrical panel. The unit then monitors energy consumption throughout your home, showing you energy use patterns and even real-time data.

It gives you an accurate picture of the amount of energy that your home uses to help you break down your electric bill. A smart home energy monitor can even give you a baseline of electricity consumption when appliances are not in use, as well as data on how much energy individual appliances use. That can give you the type of specific data on your electricity usage needed to make the proper changes and upgrades within your home.

How does a smart home energy monitor work?

A smart home energy monitoring system is relatively simple. Start by attaching it to your home’s breaker box. The device then works by not only monitoring the energy usage throughout the home, but by also identifying the unique energy signature of individual devices and appliances.

Depending on the type of monitor you choose, you can monitor energy levels when those appliances are on, how often they get used, what they cost per month to operate, and more. This gives you a comprehensive look into your electrical usage to help identify ways you can be more energy-efficient. Pairing a smart home energy monitor with other products like smart thermostats and smart plugs can help you take control of your home’s day-to-day energy use.

Popular home energy monitor brands

Kitchen monitorMartinPrescott / Getty Images

Some of the most popular brands of home energy monitors include Sense, Eeydro, Efergy, Neurio, Smappee, and Emporia Energy. There are other brands out there too, but these are the biggest names. Below are more details on each one and the systems they offer.

Sense

The Sense Energy Monitor offers a simple way to keep track of your power usage. The brand offers both solar and standard variations that plug into just about any existing breaker panel with ease. The cool thing about this system is that it connects to a Sense app that provides real-time energy data whenever you want it.

The Sense will break down energy usage in ways that the average electric bill will not. This allows for a greater, more in-depth look at energy usage like never before. At $299.99, it is a bit on the pricey side, but it is one of the best options out there for detailed, real-time breakdowns of your home’s power consumption and even includes goal-setting features and alerts.

Eyedro

Eyedro offers four different home energy monitoring options, including two that can monitor your home’s solar production. They range in price from $99 to $299, depending on which one you choose.

The non-solar Eyedro sensors are a bit more cost-effective, but there are limitations when compared to Sense. For one, connecting to your Wi-Fi is a lot more challenging as it will require ethernet connectivity or a wireless mesh setup. Additionally, it will not connect to any smart home devices or systems.

Still, Eyedro provides the same simple interface that shows a breakdown in energy output by device for real-time data and energy insights. You can set up daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly monitoring reports for a more controlled monitoring experience.

Efergy

Efergy offers a wide selection of smart home energy monitors. These include online energy monitoring options that allow you to track your energy use online and through an app, or systems that include a wireless home display. Efergy systems provide a cost-effective means of monitoring your home’s electrical output.

Efergy sensors connect easily to any home electrical box for fast and easy installation that does not require an electrician. The sensor then transmits your energy data to a wireless display or Wi-Fi-enabled hub.

The Efergy wireless displays offer a portable, compact interface to help you track your energy use. It can be placed anywhere in the home and uses its large memory to store data that can be observed monthly, weekly, or daily. It even has an audible alert that notifies in the event of excessive electrical usage.

Neurio

The Neurio smart home energy monitor is another smart device that can monitor energy usage in real-time. At $199.99, it is priced similarly to other top-of-the-line devices out there.

The Neurio W1 HEM home energy monitor provides 24/7 access and updates so that you can see the live impact of energy consumption in your home. It also features a simple installation process that takes only 15-20 minutes. The Neurio system could help you identify ways to save up to 20% of your energy use each month.

Smappee

Smappee offers a top-of-the-line energy monitoring system on par with the Sense home energy monitor. The Smappee Infinity home energy monitor has some very impressive features that make it a great option. In addition to just monitoring your home’s power meter, this system can also monitor your gas and water usage. It features smart control with dynamic load balancing.

The system features a modular design so you can add individual components to customize your system to your home. Plus, with the Smappee Switch and Smappee Output Module, you can control your appliances remotely and set up schedules to help lower energy use.

Emporia Energy

One of the most cost-efficient options, Emporia Energy monitoring systems can provide much of the same functionality and insights at a fraction of the price. The Gen 2 Emporia Vue Smart Home Energy Monitor delivers real-time data, alerts, goals, and more through a smart phone app available on iOS and Android devices. Available for $70 on Amazon, this is one of the most affordable whole-home systems out there.

The Emporia Vue app will even provide energy-saving recommendations to help homeowners reduce their energy usage and their carbon emissions each month. The company also offers a wireless Vue Utility Connect monitor, though this system is only available in certain states.

What to look for in a smart home energy monitor

Energy monitorMartinPrescott / Getty Images

There are a few crucial aspects when it comes to choosing the right smart home energy monitor. After all, you are trying to track the energy usage effectively and efficiently in your home. The better the tool, the more effectively that can happen, and the lower your electricity bill and energy consumption.

The most important factors to consider are appliance recognition, real-time cost tracking, mobile apps, solar energy capabilities, and the installation process.

Appliance recognition

Energy monitoring is great but if you don’t know where the issues are it can be difficult to know where to make changes. With appliance recognition, you can track the energy usage in real-time of each individual appliance. This provides a better indication as to which appliances are lagging behind and may need replacing in the near or immediate future.

Real-time cost tracking

Each monitoring system will offer comprehensive tracking reports ranging from daily all the way up to yearly. But the best way to see the energy use impacts of your appliances and devices is through real-time cost tracking.

Understand in clear terms what each device costs to run and which ones may not be doing the most effective job. The great thing about this feature is you can start to see major spikes during the day, which can help you set better energy schedules. This is a highly effective tool for reducing your energy usage through these monitors.

Mobile apps

Access to our appliances and devices through our smartphones is crucial — and easier than ever. When using smart phone applications, users can monitor their home’s energy usage live, make adjustments to settings, set alarms, and so much more. Those without apps work can still help you save energy, but don’t provide the level of convenience and detail that you can get from those with mobile apps.

Solar energy capable

If you have upgraded your home with solar energy, be sure that you select smart home energy monitors that are capable of tracking how much energy your panels generate. This allows you to better understand the breakdown of your home’s energy sources, specifically the ratio of solar vs. electric energy you are consuming.

Using a solar monitoring system can help you use less electricity to reduce your emissions and save you money.

Installation (professional or DIY)

Ease of installation matters as well. The more difficult the installation, the more likely it will require an electrician to do the job. While it is always better to have an electrician handle installation if you are not comfortable working with your electric panel, that is an additional cost. Keep that in mind when making your choice. Ease-of-installation is also important in case you ever want to add additional monitors, or features like smart plugs, to your system.

Benefits of Home Energy Monitoring

There are a few primary benefits to home energy monitoring. The chief among them is identifying areas or appliances that may be trouble spots so you can improve your home’s energy efficiency.

This can help you save money on your bills and reduce your home’s overall energy consumption. The right changes can equate to a few hundred dollars saved annually, and a smaller carbon footprint.

Ryan Womeldorf is a freelance writer who covers technology and consumer goods, including smart home tech. He is a husband and father of two (five if you count his pups).

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