Eco Thermostats are saving energy and money.

Installing a smart eco thermostat is becoming a standard in New homes. It’s an easy way to keep track of how much you’re spending to heat and cool your house, and also a simple way to change your habits to save some money.

Some of the popular brands for smart thermostats are the Nest, the Ecobee or the Honeywell Lyric. They come at varying prices and have varying degrees of features. Most can even be ordered on Amazon or other online places.

Some features that different models include that can be helpful:
  • “Away” setting. You can program your thermostat so that when you leave the house, you can hit “away” on your smart phone. Then your house will go into energy savings modes. You can set limits on how hot or cold your house can be and the thermostat will keep your house at a pleasant temp but will do what it can to be as energy efficient as possible.
  • Energy usage reports. Different thermostats can give readings on how many hours your furnace or AC was pumping during certain days. It can even give educated guess as to why a day was higher or lower than normal. (Usually it has to do with weather but it could be because of your using the oven all day or lighting a fire if you have a fireplace.)
  • Some, like the Ecobee4, come with Amazon’s Alexa built in. With this feature you can ask your thermostat to do lots of different tasks. It can set a timer (handy if you’re in the kitchen and your hands are messy from cooking.) You can also ask your thermostat to read the news, or adjust the temperature in the house.
  • Most boast upwards of 20% energy savings in just one year after installing.
  • Most are easy to install and come with step-by-step instructions. Some you can have a professional come and install if you would like help. You can also always get help from your local hardware store.
As with any electronic purchase, it’s always good to read reviews and articles about a product before you buy it. You also want to make sure that you know what your goals are/what you want from your product and choose accordingly.

Check out CNET’s Smart Home

Don’t want to stop at just a thermostat?

There’s lots of different smart home appliances and gadgets that help save time, money and keep you safe. Here’s a list of some options. 

  • Smart Hubs: These devices can use bluetooth and wi-fi to connect multiple smart technology devices in your home. Some come with voice activation so you can control lights, speakers, thermostat and more with your voice.
  • Cameras/Surveillance: There are wireless bluetooth surveillance cameras that you can set up inside or outside your home. As technology evolves there are options with two way sound options and some even come with alarms or loud speakers. These things can be useful to help train dogs to stay off the couch. You can watch them from another room or away from the house and set off a loud noise if they’re doing something they’re not supposed to. This is also a great way to keep an eye on your house at all times.
  • Surround Sound: It’s easier than ever now to have music or the news play throughout your entire home. Multiple brands now sell bluetooth connectable speakers that you can place throughout your whole home that can be paired together. The more advanced ones will let you pick which rooms to play the sound in. Most are pretty small and are barely even noticeable.
  • Smart Locks: Smart locks to doors are a new way to improve security and minimize the amount of things you have to keep in your pocket. Most smart locks open when you tap your phone to them, some open when your phone is within a certain range of the lock and some have security access codes you can send to guests for them to enter the house. Technology is constantly improving and some of the latest models take photos of anyone who approaches the door so you can get a notification of who is coming and going at your house. There are also doorbell attachments that will take a photo or video of anyone who rings the doorbell to your house.
  • Smart Lights: You can now install lights in your home with lots of different smart capabilities. You can adjust how bright or whether they’re on or off right from your smart phone. Some LED bulbs you can even change the color. Not to mention that if you have a home hub you can turn things on and off with your voice. Some can even be programmed to follow your typical lighting patterns when you go on vacation so that your home won’t look empty while you’re gone.
  • Kitchen Technology: If you’d really like to go all out with the smart home you can buy smart ovens and smart pots that you can control right from your phone. Some can even sense what kind of food you put in and will cook it perfectly with no effort from your end. Although this seems incredibly futuristic, the idea of being able to turn on your oven or start boiling a pot from your couch or on your way home from work does sound appealing.
  • Cleaning Supplies: The robot vacuums have been around for a while, but they just keep getting better. Many have laser navigation now and will learn as it cleans your home which way is the most efficient. There are even ones now that will mop or shine your hardwood floors. Want your outside looking as nice as the inside? They also come in robot mowers to keep your lawn clipped short like a golf course without ever having to push a mower.
  • Smart Sprinklers: There are new gadgets now for your lawn that will sense when your lawn needs to be watered. You can control the water from your phone and turn zones on and off. Your phone will alert you if your lawn needs water, or if it’s rained enough that you can skip the sprinkler for the day. This can be handy for vacations so your yard doesn’t flood or dry up while you’re gone.
There are smoke detectors, smart plugs and remote controlled shades. If you upgrade little things at a time, eventually your whole house will be able to monitor itself and give you updates on your phone. It’s a little futuristic and sort over whelming to think that your entire house could be relatively self sufficient. Some of these little things could be incredibly helpful, and also the smarter your home, the easier it may be to sell in the future.

Check out these websites for prices and comparisons of different options.

PCMag.com : Best Home Gadgets of 2017

CNET: Best Smart Home Gadgets

Business Insider: 4 Smart Home Gadgets for under $100

You can also check Amazon or Best Buy for different prices and specs of products.