Smart Home and using a Smart Hub to Save Energy

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Saving energy is one of the key usages of smart home devices and many smart devices like thermostats and lights have features to do just that. Thermostats learn about your heating and cooling habits for your home and smart light bulbs are made from LED and can be adjusted to many differing levels of brightness.  These devices are effective standalone, but a good smart hub connected up with these devices can also help save even more energy through home automation.

Why add a smart hub?

Smart hubs connect up your smart devices and enable them to talk to each other and tell each other what to do. They have a home automation engine that allows you to define what they say to each other. For example, you might want your lights and radio to go on when you open your smart lock. You can create rules and automations to not only save energy but also help prevent accidents in the home, protect against flooding, and set up DIY home security.  

Link Heating to Distance from Home

You can set a time for your heating or air conditioning to come on, but then if you get home late or accept a last minute invitation to go out, you will waste your heating. Almond’s integration with IFTTT means you can use Google Maps to set distance from home as the trigger to switch on. If you set half a mile from home as your trigger it will mean heat or cooling won’t be wasted and your home is just right when you get there and you will save energy.

Link Heating with the Weather

If it is an unexpectedly good day there is no need to put the thermostat at such a high temperature. Similarly, if you go away on vacation and set a certain temperature to protect your pipes for that time of year, but it is unseasonably mild.  

With Almond smart hub you can link the weather outside to your thermostat setting. For example, if it is 70 degrees outside then set the temperature in the home to 65.

Personalize Depending on the Person in the House

Your children prefer to have a cooler temperature than you, then no problem. No need to waste energy. With Almond smart hub you can create different temperatures for each person in your home. Almond is able to detect devices joining the WiFi network so all you have to do then is create an automation rule for each smartphone or device.  Finally, create a rule that includes everyone’s phone.

Turn on the Thermostat Just as you Arrive Home

Prefer to turn the heating on just as you arrive home? You can use your smartphone, a door sensor, or a door unlocking as a trigger to turn on your heating.

Minimizing cost from Lighting Security

You may choose to leave lights on at night in order for it to appear that someone is home. With Almond connected to some smart lights, you can create a set of automation rules to turn your lights on at different times for short bursts. This will minimize costs but still achieve your objective.

Forget to Turn Something Off

You may have forgotten to turn off your air conditioner, or lights, or sprinkler or a tap. You can, of course, look in the Almond app to check, but then if you are forgetful or busy you understandably won’t remember to do that either. It doesn’t matter. To save energy you can just set up a home automation rule to switch off lights, sprinkler, and set the thermostat to X temperature when you leave the home.  It is also flexible for you to decide how you define leaving the home. You can do it based on Away Mode (disarm), the time, or even your smartphone leaving your home network.

Using a Smart Plug

Not all your devices are smart, but you can make them smart and save energy with a smart plug. A smart plug sits between your device and the wall socket giving you at least On/Off control over the dumb device. You might want to use one for a sprinkler or old lamp to include them in a rule to switch off things when you leave. As with any rule, you are flexible to decide how you define leaving your smart home.

Getting Alerts if a Window is Open

On occasions, someone in your house forgets to close a window or even maybe your kids like to open their bedroom window. You don’t want to have to go upstairs to check that you have shut every window and when the children are home they don’t want you in their bedroom. No problem. In the Almond app, you can see if someone has activated a window sensor and even opt to get a notification to your smartphone. If you don’t keep your smartphone with you at all times in the house, then create a different kind of notification warning. For example, create a rule that your smart lights are flashed to warn you if the sensor is activated and the lights are on. This way you avoid money going out the window.

Summary

A smart hub can definitely help to save energy – and your money – around your smart home. But all smart hubs are not created equal so you need to check their home automation features: can you create rules with the time or based on web services, can you set multiple conditions for an event to happen, can you personalize by smartphone, and how many smart devices does the hub connect to? How big is its smart home product ecosystem? Almond smart hub and WiFi router has a number of versions. It has a huge ecosystem of partners including Amazon Alexa, Philips Hue and Nest. And, it also has an extremely sophisticated home automation engine.

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