No matter what the season, our Dead River Company customers are always eager for information on how to save energy. While we’re always ready to share the basics, such as proper insulation, weatherization, and energy efficient appliances, we know that there are also other products out there that can be a big help.
You’ve heard the phrase many times, “there’s an app for that!” And so there is. We can do everything from order pizza to learn the piano on our smart phones and tablets, so why not save energy and also make the house a little safer?
- Palo Alto, California-based Nest is a tech company that takes “the unloved products in your home and makes simple, beautiful, thoughtful things.” Well, they are simple and beautifully designed, but we can’t attest to the ability of inanimate objects to think! But this one comes darn close. The Nest Learning Thermostat earns above average reviews for its simplicity and its ability to save you up to 20% on heating and cooling costs. Easy to install, it works with your home Wi-Fi system. You need to program some basic data that it will walk you through. The Nest then needs about a week or so to figure out your habits and preferences. If you normally turn the heat down at night, Nest will learn that. If you put the AC on at three in the afternoon, Nest will learn that. You can operate the thermostat remotely from you tablet or smartphone (iOS or Android only) by downloading the app, or visiting the Nest website. You can read more about Nest on their website.
- If you’re looking to save on your electricity bill, the WeMo Insight Switch is another WiFi enabled product that lets you turn home appliances and electronics on or off via an app on your smartphone or tablet. Simply plug the unit into an outlet and plug whatever device you want to monitor into the unit. Download the app and connect! WeMo will send you information on energy usage as well, giving you a heads up when it might be smart to turn down the AC or shut off some lights.
- The Philips Hue family of smart, wireless light bulbs is controlled via app. Again allowing for shutting off or turning on when you’re not even home. It also allows you to experiment with different shades of color personalized by you depending on your mood or even time of day. This system may not be for everyone. But the company claims that Hue “will change the way you use light. Forever.” A pretty heady claim, but who knows? It could be bigger than The Clapper!