We all want our homes to be safe, comfortable, and energy-efficient. With so many of us spending more time at home these days, now is a great time to take a look at our home systems and how we can make them more efficient. Utilizing technology to automate various functions just makes sense. Out of this simple idea an entire industry –  the “smart home” industry – was born.  

But did you know that the smart technology your home uses to control lights, temperature, and even media may also shrink your carbon footprint? Automating these areas of your home and setting them to run on set programs and even communicate with each other means less energy consumption. 

With a device called a smart plug, you can control the appliances in your home and program them to run even more efficiently when not in use. A smart plug also allows you to monitor energy use so you can make replacements if needed. 

Similarly, an enormous amount of energy is consumed when lights are unnecessarily left on while no one is home. With smart technology, you can control the lights in your home over wifi from any connected device. This same technology can often tell you which lights are consuming the most energy and which ones you should consider replacing. 

Automating your window shades is another way technology helps you live greener. Shade controls are effective throughout the year, enabling you to set them to take various factors – including sunrise, sunset and outdoor air temperature – into account and then lowering or raising shades for greater efficiency. 

But perhaps the smartest use of these automation technologies is related to the temperature in your home. Heating and cooling make up the bulk of any home’s energy use. Given that, they’re also the source of some of its greatest energy waste. Smart thermostats are an inexpensive and effective way to reduce both cost and waste associated with controlling your home’s climate. A smart thermostat can actually save hundreds of dollars a year in energy costs. 

If going green is high on your priority list, enabling automation of lights, temperature and appliances just makes good sense. And the beauty of setting up smart technology isn’t just a smaller carbon footprint. It also means a shorter to-do list. That’s just plain smart.