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6 Smart Gadgets that can Lower Your Energy Bill

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The "Internet of Things" has come a long way in a short amount of time. You can easily connect nearly any electronic device and control them with your smartphone from anywhere. And you can also use these smart gadgets to manage energy costs. Here's how: 

1) Smart Lights

No one wants to run the halls reaching into every doorway to switch off the lights before heading home.

Smart lights change all that. Screwing into normal light sockets, smart lights can be turned on and off from a mobile app, web hub, or using Amazon Echo or Google Home voice commands. You can group lights by floor or department to switch off huge swaths of lights together, rather than one by one. Solving the hassle of managing your lights - even in a small building - can save you a surprising amount of time and energy. Then watch your electricity bills go down.

2) Motion Detectors

Many businesses with large facilities or many rooms pay to light, heat and cool empty rooms - they just don't realize it. But you stand to save more than you might think if you can gain a new level of control. Supply closets, utility areas, and conference rooms need light and heat sometimes, but don't need to soak up energy all day.

Motion detectors can sense whether a room is or is not occupied, and automatically engage "comfort" procedures turning lights, heat and cooling on and off.

3) Smart Vents

During the winter and summer when heating and cooling costs are highest, you can save energy and money by only heating and cooling certain areas of the building. With smart technology, you don't have to worry about manually opening and closing vents or installing separate thermostats for different zones.

Smart vents open and close at your command and can be controlled individually or in groups. You may even be able to coordinate them with motion sensors and automatically close vents when rooms are unoccupied.

4) Window and Door Sensors 

Window and door sensors are a common component of smart security technology. Many models are battery operated and can be self-installed, yet still transmit signals and alerts based on a business' predetermined schedule. 

But that's not all they do. When it comes to saving power, these sensors have a clever secondary benefit. They'll let you know when a door or window has been left open, letting your heating or cooling escape. They're especially helpful for self-locking doors (which tend to get propped open and forgotten) and doors that stick and get left ajar.

5) Smart Thermostats 

Programmable thermostats have been available for some time, but they're often unfriendly to users and can only accommodate a single seven-day schedule. Smart thermostats are a big improvement.

They not only have more advanced, customizable scheduling features, but you can control them with your smartphone from anywhere. That's a big advantage for business owners who travel or manage with multiple locations.

6) Smart Outlets & Power Strips

Did you know that electronics and appliances that are plugged in often use power, even when they are turned off? It's called phantom load. This small amount of energy may not be much on its own, but can really add up over the course of a month. And that means your paying an inflated energy bill.

While it may be doable to manually unplug devices while they're not being used at home, this is much more difficult to control in most businesses. Smart outlets and power strips help you solve this problem. These handy devices connect plugs to the wall and turn many regular appliances and electronics into smart ones. In addition to helping you get phantom load under control, you'll be able to remotely turn on and off appliances and electronics, such as coffee makers, fans and copy machines.

Keep your eyes open for more innovative opportunities to improve flow, function and efficiency in your business with the next "internet of things" invention.


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Posted: March 22, 2018