A lot of companies want to tell you that their products will save you money. But can they back the statement up?
Home automation can.
Home automation is usually installed as way to make life more convenient and enjoyable, but it is also a way to cut your monthly expenses, and we can prove it. Let’s look at a few of the ways we can do this.
Some of the savings are really obvious. Talk to your insurance company, and you will find that there are discounts available for homes that have complete security systems.
If you are currently paying for monthly monitoring of a security system, you may find that the alerts available through home automation are all that you need, and that can save hundreds of dollars a year.
How about the home theatre? To go a movie theatre, the cost of tickets, snacks and transportation now totals around $80 for a family of four. Doing that once a month is almost $1,000 a year. A user-friendly big screen home theatre with cinema quality sound will allow you the full experience for a small fraction of that price per film.
What about the appliances and electronics that are shut off? Well, they are also using power all the time, even when they aren’t turned on. An average home is using 83 watts of power when everything is shut off. That’s like running a light bulb 24 hours a day 365 days a year for no reason. You could go around and unplug everything, but that isn’t practical. A home automation system can shut the power off to devices that aren’t in use, and that means environmentally friendly savings for you.
Then there’s heating and cooling. Did you know that most families now only need their heating or air conditioning on full for for 8-10 hours a day? Home automation can adjust temperature, automatically close drapes to insulate rooms or keep out the sun, reset heating and cooling during the day and overnight, activate skylight covers and many other energy saving functions. A home automation system can even monitor weather forecasts and adjust the home comfort system accordingly.
It’s all about the “energy triangle,” the balance of heating/cooling, artificial and natural light and coordinating them perfectly for maximum savings. When a home automation system adjusts the temperature down for 8 hours a day, you will save ten percent on your heating costs, and most people can expect greater savings than that. Have a look at your heating bill and see how quickly that will add up.
Lighting control is also a large part of this. We use 19% of all the power we generate for lights. Cutting this down is not only good for your monthly expenses, it’s good for the environment.
How much money can you save? Let’s look at a real world example:
Imagine you have a 100 watt light bub that runs for 10 hours a day. At 10 cents a kilowatt hour, that lamp cost 10 cents a day to run.
Do you really need that much light, especially during the day? How about a system that will leave that light at full for the three hours a day you need it, then cut it to 60 percent the rest of the time?
That saves 3 cents a day, $.90 a month or $10.80 a year. And that’s only one bulb. If you have ten lamps like that, your annual savings are now over $100 a year.
It may be an exaggeration to say that home automation will pay for itself, but if you start to add up all the different ways you can save (insurance, monitoring, movies, air conditioning, heating, lighting) you start to see that in the long run, the comfort and convenience of a complete home automation system is much more affordable than you may have imagined.