From a shiny new kitchen gadget to the latest piece of television equipment, technology can be an exciting blessing to any household. After all, technology has been designed to help save us time and make our lives easier, but have you considered how it can be used to save you money too? At
Vivo Property Buyers, we look what appliances are out there to make your home more cost-effective and practical.
We start our exploration in the lounge area, where TVs, computers and other power-hungry accessories often reside, all of which are prone to using electricity even when not in use. Over a year or two, this wasteful practice can really start to cost you a lot of money in utility bills. Our solution to this issue is Wi-Fi-enabled sockets and power strips. These are a modern take on the 20th century’s timer sockets, allowing you to control and schedule when a switch is turned on and off through a mobile app. By choosing what happens when your devices are likely to be on ‘standby’, you can save a lot of money. This is because you can switch off your sockets when you don’t need to use them – e.g. when you’re asleep, or out of the house for work – and end your standby power problems!
Furthermore, when it comes to saving money at home, knowing exactly which appliances are hogging your power can be half the battle. Fortunately, there’s some affordable tech that can help to do this. Enter: Smart Energy Monitors. Simply plug one of these into a wall outlet to see exactly how much power your house is using. These devices also record how much power you use every day and turn it into a cost, so you can see exactly how much you’re spending. Use one of these handy meters to identify energy hogs and show you the real cost of using that space heater or leaving your TV on in the background and you can start making cost-effective changes right away!
You would be forgiven for thinking that there isn’t much opportunity for money-saving bathroom technology; gallons of water and electrical outlets rarely go well together. However, wasted water can be one of the biggest drains on your wallet that you might not realise, plus excess water consumption is particularly harmful to the environment; so those extra minutes in the shower really do add up! Thankfully, an innovative approach from French company Hydrao looks set to disrupt the market with their water-bill-saving smart shower head.
This gadget lights up with different colours based on the amount of water that passes through it, easily showing you how much you’re regularly using and giving you a reference for how to cut back. It even sends this information to a corresponding app so you can measure how to improve your water consumption. The best part? All of this, from the lights to the app integration, is powered by the water passing through the shower head! Not only will you save water and money, but you’ll have your own water-powered lights in your bathroom!
If the main light switch in your bedroom is beside the door, seldom is there a more frustrating feeling than getting into bed and realising you haven’t turned out the lights. Enter: smart LED bulbs and smart light switches. Smart bulbs from the likes of Philips HUE and now IKEA let you control the brightness and even tone of the lighting in your room from your phone, Amazon Alexa or Google Home.
Right now, you may be asking: “but how does this save me money?”
Put simply, LED bulbs are up to 7x more energy-efficient than standard incandescent lights, meaning that your energy bill will reap the rewards over the lifetime of the bulb. What’s more, when using the app, you can easily create different lighting patterns and colours for different conditions. Perhaps you prefer a dimmer room for pre-sleep reading and a brighter light in the morning to help you wake up. With smart lights, there’s much more to choose between just ‘on’ and ‘off’.
Furthermore, smart and timer light switches are another excellent way to help you save money. Have you (or, more likely, your young child) ever got up in the middle of the night, been to another room and then forgotten to switch off the lights in your bleary-eyed state? With a smart light switch, you can set how long you want to keep your room lit, based on the time of day. Say goodbye to that wasted energy!
Kitchen gadgetry is all the rage, but how many of these things can actually have a positive effect on your bank account? Our favourite is a tried and true classic, with a twist: the slow cooker. Popularised in the ’70s, slow cookers pride themselves on making tasty food with minimum effort. This means you could put the ingredients into the cooker, switch on the machine before you go out and come home to a ready-made meal. Perfect for beating the temptation (and cost) of ordering take out after a long day of work or looking after your children.
Over the decades these have seen some innovation; variable cooking temperatures, ‘keep warm’ settings and timers to stop cooking. These are all well and good, but if you forget to switch on your cooker at the right time, your meal will be back to square one. The latest iterations, however, bring the slow cooker into the 21st century by adding Wi-Fi connectivity. For example, the WeMo CrockPot Wi-Fi-enabled Slow Cooker allows you to turn the cooker on and off or adjust the temperature from anywhere that you have an internet connection.
You could feasibly prepare your meal the night before, head out the next day and start your meal cooking at lunchtime from your phone! And what if you’re going to be an hour late? Jump back into the app and set the cooker to keep your food warm until you arrive!
So, there you have it, a few new ways of adding technology to your home that can help you save money, all with very little effort at all! Invest in some smart sockets, LED lighting and a slow cooker and watch those utility bills shrink! Do you have any other tips for money-saving home tech? Share your own experience in the comments section and let us know how you save.