Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, March 4, 2022

Smart home devices are flush with creative uses

Smart home devices offer much more than the convenience of being able to turn off the lights without getting out of bed. With the increase in both smart technology and demand, you can automate everything from your coffee maker to your toilet.

Clever homeowners have realized that beyond asking Alexa about the weather, smart technology provides savings on everything from energy bills to high-cost repairs.

One of the first smart home products homeowners should consider is a home security system. With a one in 15 chance of Chattanooga residents being a victim of property crime, a smart alarm system equipped with motion-sensor lighting and cameras is necessary.

Studies have shown that a surveillance system will deter as many as 60% of burglars. Not only do you have peace of mind knowing your home is more secure, but you can also reap up to 15% savings on home insurance.

Smart thermostats are another wise investment in home automation. The U.S. Department of Energy reports these thermostats offer savings of as much as 10% on heating and cooling costs annually and often qualify for tax credits or rebate programs.

For example, local Georgia Power customers can receive a 50% rebate on Wi-Fi enabled thermostats. This small investment also helps protect your HVAC system from costly repairs.

Ashley and Rico Loprinzo, owners of Rivertech Heating and Air share, “Our smart thermostats save customers money by learning when they come and go and adjusting the temperature accordingly. They also monitor usage, send customers suggestions and can notify both the customer and us when there’s a potential issue, allowing us to fix a problem before it becomes larger and more expensive.”

With lighting being the second highest category in energy, installing smart sensors throughout your home can decrease utility costs significantly. In fact, ENERGY STAR certified smart light fixtures and light bulbs use 90% less energy than traditional incandescent light bulbs.

Homeowners can take those energy savings even further by squashing vampire energy with smart appliances and power strips throughout their homes.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimates that smart strips can save an average of $200 per year by turning off devices that draw power when not in use.

Additionally, smart appliances offer increased energy-efficiency and can save consumers by offering real-time alerts such as a refrigerator door left open or suggesting the most cost-efficient time to run the washer or dryer.

Smart technology has also made its way into your water system. Smart showerheads and automatic faucets can decrease water usage; however, the real savings can add up through smart sensors to detect water leaks throughout the home and on outdoor faucets and sprinkler systems.

The EPA estimates nearly one-third of water consumption is outdoors and up to 50% of this is wasted. Automated leak detectors can send instant notifications and shut off leaks, protecting the home and saving homeowners potentially thousands in water damages.

To learn more about the smart home technology and find a list of local, professionals to help with your home automation, visit the Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga’s member directory at www.HBAGC.net.