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Do smart home devices actually save you money?

Usually, when you buy something, purchasing convenience costs extra. When you buy a fan, for instance, getting a model with a remote costs more than one without. If you wanted to buy a car with an automatic transmission, it would cost more than a similar model with a manual transmission.

However, the cost is not so cut and dried when you consider something like a smart home device. That is because they have the potential to lower your energy bills, so you may actually save money in the long run with a few smart home upgrades.

What is a smart home?

A smart home is simply a home where the appliances can be controlled remotely. When you are inside your house, this often means you control everything with your voice by using an assistant, such as Siri or Alexa. When you are not at home, you can control your appliances with your smartphone or some similar device.

What do I need to make my home smart?

For a smart home to operate, you need three things:

  1. A home Wi-Fi network: The more reliable your service is, the better everything will function.
  2. Smart home appliances: For anything you’d like to automate, whether it’s an outlet or a sous vide machine, you need a smart version of that item.
  3. A controller: This is what you will use to control or automate the appliances in your home. It could be your smartphone, your smart TV, a smart speaker or something else.

How can smart home devices save me money?

It’s no secret that smart devices cost more upfront. However, there are several ways those items can more than pay for themselves in the backend. Here are some of the top ways smart home devices can save you money.

  • Smart devices may lower your energy bill: It’s not that smart devices use less energy — though some may — it is the fact that you can set them to only be on when needed. This is especially true for your home’s thermostat. Additionally, with smart devices, you can monitor use and see exactly which appliances and devices are using the most energy, so you can make adjustments to save money.
  • You may get a government subsidy for going green: The government wants you to reduce your carbon footprint. This means you may be entitled to tax breaks and rebates for upgrading your home.
  • Smart devices may reduce your insurance premiums: Check with your insurance carrier to see if you can get a reduced premium for devices that guard against fire, smoke and water damage as well as burglar deterrent devices, such as floodlights and security cameras.
  • Smart devices may increase your home’s resale value: The more appealing your home is to a buyer, the more you can ask. A smart home offers a great deal of desirable convenience.
  • Smart devices may reduce injuries: With a smart home, many everyday tasks are (or can be) automated, so there is less chance of injury. This is especially true for older individuals or people with limited mobility. Fewer trips to the ER means more money in your pocket.


Q. Is it hard to make a home a smart home?

A. If you have the internet up and running in your home, creating a smart home is not hard at all. In fact, it can be fairly simple. Most items only require connecting them to your home Wi-Fi network and naming them. The more smart devices you add, the easier the process will become. Just make sure all the components you buy are compatible with your chosen controller (Alexa, Google Home or Siri). 

Q. I don’t want a fully automated home. Can I start small?

A. Certainly. There is no need to buy everything all at once. You can add smart devices gradually as you feel comfortable. Start with a smart plug to get a feel for how it all works. When you want more convenience in your life, just add another device.

Q. What happens to my smart home if I lose my internet?

A. Smart devices require the internet to work. If your internet connection is down, you will temporarily lose the ability to remotely control your devices. However, some cooking appliances and other smart devices also use Bluetooth connectivity. If that is the case, you may still have some functional smart devices if the internet goes down.

Money-saving smart home devices

Google Nest Thermostat

One smart device that can make the biggest impact on your budget is a Google Nest thermostat. This Energy-Star certified model helps you to only use heating and cooling when you need it, which can save you money on your monthly energy bill.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon, Home Depot, Kohl’s and Staples

Wyze Smart LED Color Light Bulb

Lights do not have the biggest impact on savings, but they can help train you to be more aware of what energy you are using. These affordable smart bulbs offer 16 million colors and a temperature control so you can have the perfect lighting at all times.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon (two-pack) and Home Depot (four-pack)

Amazon Smart Plug

The easiest upgrade is a smart plug. If you are hesitant about making your home smarter, this device offers stress-free installation. You can have your first smart home component installed in minutes. Once it is up and running, you can turn the outlet on and off whenever you want, no matter where you are. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon, Home Depot, Kohl’s and Staples

Ring Video Doorbell

With a video doorbell, you can reduce theft, protect your home, protect your family and possibly reduce your homeowner’s premiums. Instructions and mounting hardware and tools are included with the Ring doorbell.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon, Home Depot, Kohl’s and Wayfair

Echo Dot (4th Generation)

Once you have some money-saving devices installed, you’ll need a way to control them to experience the greatest amount of savings. This Amazon Echo device is one of the most efficient and affordable ways to do exactly that.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Allen Foster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.

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