Smart Appliances to Save Energy and Conserve Water Email Conserving energy does not mean you have to eat dinner with the lights off or turn the heat all the way down in the winter. Thanks to a few advances in technology, conserving energy is so easy you might even forget you are doing it. Save on Your Heating and Cooling Bills There is no need to stay too chilly in winter or too hot in summer anymore. Smart thermostats can easily control a heating and cooling system based on your preferences. The system adjusts the temperature automatically based on who is home and what temperature they prefer. These devices are considered “learning systems” which means they can program themselves over time. A learning thermostat costs about $250 dollars up front but can pay itself back in energy savings in just two to three years. Curtail Power-Hungry Appliances Many appliances use energy when turned off — and can even use as much energy as when turned on. However, with the use of smart outlets, you can automatically shut off power to connected devices and appliances not in use, such as at night or when nobody is home. Though a smart outlet will not generally save you a noticeable amount on your electric bill, the savings can add up when used to strategically turn off unused appliances that draw a significant amount of power. Conserve Water Water-saving devices such as smart sprinkler controllers can respond to local weather patterns and shut themselves off if an incoming storm is likely to provide the water your plants need. This can reduce your water bill and prevent lawns or garden beds from flooding. Keep in mind that not all smart gadgets will save you money. It is important to do the math and consider other energy saving alternatives that may offer a better return on investment. For instance, using energy efficient light bulbs and being diligent about turning off the lights in unoccupied rooms will likely save more energy and money than installing smart light switches.