Energy efficiency is something people take very seriously nowadays. From individual point of view, people look to make their homes more energy efficient as a solution to their high electricity bills. But there is a bigger picture – not only people feel the positive effects of energy efficiency individually, entire countries, and therefore, the world also benefits from energy efficient products and devices.

There are two institutions in the United States established to help people save on electricity bills and also ensure that the country will have the necessary electricity resources for the future.

Energy Star and Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Institutions

Founded in 1992, Energy Star is an institution that aims to help people in purchasing energy efficient appliances. The Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) focuses on the bigger picture, and finds ways to ensure that the country will have enough energy available in the future.

The role of the Energy Star is to influence customers, while the EERE steers its influence towards making manufacturers build more energy efficient products. Between the two, the result of conserved energy is enormous.

When shopping for cooling or heating appliances, you should always opt for products incorporating the Energy Star logo, with increase in energy efficiency of 10% at the very least. Apart from the US, the Energy Star evaluation system has also been adapted to other countries in all parts of the world. There are dishwashers which provide up to 41% energy efficiency, while some fluorescent lights can go up to 75% energy efficiency.

Keeping Your Electricity Bill on the Low Site with Programmable Thermostats

In all likelihood you have heard about programmable thermostats and know what their role is in terms of energy efficiency of your heating and cooling devices. Some of you may already use them, but merely installing them doesn’t mean that you get the most of them already.


Here are some guidelines on how to ensure your programmable thermostats are configured optimally:

  • Place of Installation – You shouldn’t just install your thermostat wherever you want. They should be positioned away from heating or cooling sources. If you aren’t certain, consult a professional to place your thermostat in the best spot.
  • Set a Different Temperature While not at Home If you want your thermostat to keep a certain temperature range in your home while you are at work, set it to a more energy saving temperature. For example, you don’t need your home to be as warm as when you are at home. So set the thermostat to a slightly lower setting to keep your house from cooling down completely, and increase the temperature once you are home.
  • Don’t Make Drastic Temperature Changes – By doing so you are inadvertently destroying your heating and cooling appliances.
  • Give a Couple of Degrees Up – In winter lower the temperature by two degrees, or increase it by two degrees in summer, even when you are at home to maximize energy efficiency. That difference of just a couple of degrees may seem obsolete for you, but it will lower your electricity bill by a lot in the long run, and you will not be able to tell the difference in those two degrees.
  • Regular Battery Change – Regardless of the quality of the batteries, never keep the same batteries powering the thermostat for more than a year. Better yet, get a programmable thermostat with a battery monitor feature.
  • Manual Thermostats Can Save a You a lot as well – Although digital thermostats are recommended for optimal energy efficiency, you can achieve similar results with manual ones too. You just need to make sure you adjust the temperature whenever you leave your home.
  • Don’t Save on Thermostats for Your Business – If you are also running a business, install as many programmable thermostats as needed. Being able to make the assessment on your own is rarely possible, so it’s crucial that you hire a professional.

At this point you should not have a single doubt about the efficiency of programmable thermostats. Digital or manual, they will make sure that your electricity bills are lower while making your home feel as comfortable as ever. Do not forget that you also help the well-being of the environment as well.

home perfect: a smart home

Normally, and this especially goes for the time of winter, you get home from work to a cold, dark home. Without a doubt most of you would like for their homes to be warm, cozy and bright without having to leave the thermostat and lights active while you are at work. And thanks to all the major technological advances made in recent years, it is now all completely possible.

Now coming back to a warm, well-lit home is perfectly possible. You can configure your home any way you like. You can set your lights and thermostat to turn on 30 minutes before you arrive home. The garage door will open just as you approach it.

home perfect: a smart home

Nowadays everything is possible thanks to the appearance of smart homes. You can make your home smart by installing a home automation system. Some time ago prices of such systems were fairly high and only a select few could afford them, and manufacturers were also rare. However, now all of that has changed. Many more manufacturers appeared on the market, and competition makes wonders in terms of prices. Furthermore, what was previously regarded as luxury, is now mere necessity. You are probably wondering, what is so special about home automation. Let’s review the following features.

Transforming your home into a smart one will make it safer, cheaper to maintain and extremely convenient to live in.

Smart Homes Offer Convenience

By installing a home automation system in your home you inadvertently make it more energy efficient. But also you won’t have to worry about many other things. For example, your home will be perfectly able to water the garden on its own with the automated sprinkles; the thermostat will be able to tell whether it should increase or decrease the temperature on its own; the lights will know when to turn on or off; the garage door will know when to open itself and so much more. By automating most of these features you also end up with a lower electricity bill every month. No electricity will be consumed in vain as your home will keep itself in the optimal conditions. Thanks to today’s technology, all of this is just a button away from you. You can even set the toilet to flush automatically.

Add to Your Security

A smart house is a safe house. Regardless of where you are, whether home or out, thanks to your smart house alarm you will get a security alert the second your home is under threat. It doesn’t mean that no one will ever attempt to break in, but it does mean that they will not think of doing it again.

Safety doesn’t refer to protection from burglars only. That being said, your smart house will also alert you in the event of a fire. And if you are in the house while that happens, a certain chain of event will occur to help you get out of it as soon as possible, while it also sends a notification to the local fire department.

Smart Homes save You Money

Granted, you have to invest in it first, but in the long run you are definitely going to feel the benefits of it in terms of money savings. Having everything automated means that your house will take perfect care of itself, ensuring the highest levels of energy efficiency.

Energy Efficiency

By now, it should me crystal clear to you that there is so much to gain by installing a home automation system. But just to make sure, here are some additional tips and possibilities:

  • You can add voice commands which turn your lights on or off
  • You can install a pool alert system. This can make your home safer for your children, as you will get an alert the moment they approach the pool area.
  • You can install motion sensor cameras. They will start recording the moment someone enters a designated area.
  • You can install a door camera. That way there will never be any surprises when you open the front door once the doorbell rings.
  • You can install a light randomizer. What this means is that you can set your lights to go on and off at random times during the day with a random duration. This is extremely convenient when you are going on holiday. Having the lights turn on and off occasionally will keep burglars away.
Hand holding mobile phone controls smart home

Many people have an elderly parent or grandparent counting on their care and help. There is a statistic out there saying that for the next 15 years, around 10,000 people will turn 65 every day. So if you don’t have to care for an elderly person right now, you probably will have to soon.

It should be mentioned that installing a home automation system will not set you free of all the responsibilities, or that an elderly person will not require a nurse or special medical care. It will however make all those things considerably easier and more convenient for everyone included.

Hand holding mobile phone controls smart home

Hand holding mobile phone tablet controls smart home temperature water light security technology flat concept vector illustration

Home automation systems are not a finite set of possibilities. And that is what makes them great, you can add features whenever you like and your budget allows. Most features do require you being able to operate a simple remote controller or an app on your smartphone. Once you install it, there should be no additional costs connected to it, unless it requires internet for you to remotely operate it.

The majority of the home automation features range from $50-$75. Naturally, there are some more expensive than others and the most expensive one will not surpass the $250 mark. Compared to other maintenance costs, such as plumbing or HVAC repairs, those prices are relatively cheap.

  • Where the Elderly Come into the Picture 

Older people are usually fully capable of embracing their age and require no special assistance regardless of the occasion. Others however, lose the ability to perform certain tasks that they were able to do once. This is how home automation systems can help them.

  • They Tend to Forget Things Easier 

It happens to the all of us really, but as people get older it happens quite a lot more often. For example, you may forget to turn the stove off once you are done heating something once in a blue moon, but older people make a habit out of it. Thanks to advances in technology, it is now available to install a system that will break any electrical circuit after a previously set period of time. Some can also send special alerts when a device is left on for a longer period of time.

Other things older people tend to forget is taking their meds on time. There are devices you can set up to send an alert when it is time for a person to take their medication. Sensors can be installed on doors and windows which will send notifications if something is left open or unlocked after performing regular check-ups.

doors and windows

  • Senses Fade with Age 

Provided the appropriate home automation components are installed, notifications will be sent out if the sensors detect carbon monoxide / dioxide presence in the home. Notifications can be sent out in different ways such as text messages, normal messages on the home hub, but the lights can also be set to flash once such an occurrence is detected.

  • They are more likely to fall and not be Able to Stand Up 

Bones get more fragile with age, and that is a matter of fact. More often than not older people can’t stand up once they have fallen. There are systems that can sound an alarm in the house once it happens, provided the person is living with someone else. Also, having motion sensor triggered lights installed will ensure that they will never wander through the halls in the dark.

  • Temperature Control 

It is also known that the elderly are more susceptible to radical temperature changes or extreme hot and cold. Programmable thermostats are extremely convenient since they can be set to turn the heat up, or trigger the AC to cool the room down to a previously set temperature. Once the thermostat sensor detects a temperature limit has been reached it will automatically turn on the appropriate appliance to remedy the situation.

  • Cameras Increase Safety 

Old people living alone are the perfect prey for burglars. Installing a camera system around the exterior of the house is highly recommended. Internal camera system can be also beneficial.

Once again, installing a home automation system for your elderly parent or grandparent does not relieve you of all your duties. But it does make life both for you and them infinitely easier.