A smart home tool

What is home automation?

Controlling all aspects of your home with the click of a few buttons is no longer just for science fiction movies.

From lighting to security, smart technology can help make your home more comfortable, safe and energy efficient.

 

More of us are taking advantage of "smart," synchronized, WiFi-enabled devices and appliances to make our lives easier and more efficient.

You can use home automation to better manage your energy use. Home automation can help make life more convenient by letting you set devices to your schedule.


What makes a smart home, well, smart?

There are a variety of tech solutions on the market to make your home smarter, from home security cameras and smart locks to home assistants that can order groceries on demand. There are even smart light bulbs that you can control with your smartphone.

Home automation lets you bring all of these devices together. In simple terms, you can use connected tech to let different "smart" parts of your home "speak" to each other and control them centrally.

So, how does it work? Smart devices, like light bulbs or thermostats, have corresponding apps you can download to control them from your phone or tablet. But through a smart home hub, such as a home assistant, you can control a variety of smart devices and appliances made by different manufacturers through a single app or voice commands. It's important to stay on top of updates to ensure your smart devices are acting as they were designed.


Use a smart power bar to limit how much energy your devices use while in standby mode and to make unplugging simpler.


How can home automation help me save?

Home automation lets your tech work smarter, not harder. When it comes down to it, it's about using your home’s tech more efficiently and effectively.

Consider lighting, for example. Automating your lighting means you don't have to worry about forgetting to turn off your lights. You can do this through programmable dimmer switches, or smart light bulbs that you control using your smartphone.


Motion sensors are an easy way to limit your outdoor lighting use, while keeping your home safe.


What about temperature?

Smart thermostats are one of the most common ways to benefit from home automation. Not only can you set and control a smart thermostat remotely using your smartphone or tablet, but it will also learn your habits to adjust your home's temperature automatically. For example, if you tend to turn down the temperature before bed at 10 p.m. every night, the thermostat will automatically adjust the temperature to your preference.


You can also control your window shades using an app. Some manufacturers make motorized blinds that are already "smart," but there are also devices on the market that attach to your blinds' control mechanism and connect to an app, so you can open and close them remotely. That way, if the weather gets unexpectedly sunny, for example, you can close the blinds to keep the house cooler, even if you're not at home.


Did you know?

A smart thermostat can help lower your energy costs by 15 per cent.


Smart appliances can help you save

If you're looking to upgrade appliances around the house, it's important to look for energy-efficient models. There are also a variety of smart, WiFi-enabled appliances on the market that can help you manage your energy use around your schedule.

As with other products, smart appliances get their ENERGY STAR®-certification if they meet energy efficiency requirements. Like a smart thermostat, smart appliances can be programmed to match your lifestyle. If you want to do laundry or run your dishwasher during off-peak energy hours, you can schedule your smart appliances to start while you're away or sleeping.

Smart appliances can help to curb your energy use. Smart dryers, for example, have sensors for load size and know when clothes are already dry, so they won't keep running unnecessarily. Some smart fridges use internal cameras to allow you to see what's inside the fridge without opening it, while others alert you if the door is left open.

 

Take a look at your smart products' default settings to make sure you get the most out of what they can do. Your smart thermostat, for example, might have defaults that don't match your particular comfort needs.

There are more ways than you might think to make your home comfortable and energy efficient.

Read more energy-saving advice and tips.