Let’s Break it Down: Home Improvement for Geeks

While there is always the fear that advancements in technology can potentially cause a “Terminator 2” crisis where computers eventually take over, one simply cannot deny the perks of living “smartly.”

Improving your home by investing in smart home tech can make your life incredibly comfortable and help leave some change in your wallet. Look at the numbers: According to Energy Star, the average household spends around $2,000 every year on energy costs alone. Smart home tech can help you save up to 30% of those costs.

Ready to make some improvements? Let’s see what you need:

1. Solar Panels

When looking to reduce your energy bill, you could start by trying to have no bill at all. Enter solar panels. Since they harness the sun’s energy and convert it into electricity, you are essentially getting free energy. However, you have to account for the nighttime–not to mention cloudy days–when there is little to no sunlight reaching the panels, meaning that you cannot rely on them entirely.

Nonetheless, they are still extremely effective, as reports indicate that, on average, solar panels help you save over $1,100 annually on electricity bills.

Additionally, the government awards solar system installations with a federal income tax credit of up to 30% when you file your taxes.

2. Thermostats

Given that nearly half of the average home’s energy bill goes towards heating and cooling, it is necessary to find smart solutions to bring down those costs. One of those solutions is installing a thermostat. 

According to the U.S Department of Energy, a smart thermostat can help you cut 10% of that bill every year. Thermostats manage HVAC systems by adjusting them accordingly. Some allow you to control them remotely, while others can be set to follow a schedule. Advanced thermostats can even adjust your HVAC system based on the weather forecast. 

3. Smart Lights

Considering that up to 25% of the entire energy bill goes towards lighting, it is no wonder that parents throw a fit whenever lights are left on. 

If you have a tendency to leave lights on, investing in smart bulbs is a good idea since you can program them to switch off the lights at certain times. Additionally, they allow for remote access, thereby enabling you to control them while away. The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy conducted a study where they discovered that smart lights could reduce a home’s lighting bill by up to 27%. 

4. Energy Monitoring Systems

If you are having trouble identifying the cause of your unusually high energy bill, consider investing in an energy monitoring system. This system scans all the appliances in your home to determine how much energy they are consuming unnecessarily. With that information, you should be able to make the necessary adjustments.

5. Smart Speaker

If your home is already a tech hub, you need a central system that controls all your devices. This is where the smart speaker comes in. This device can connect with Siri, Alexa, or Google Assistant to control all the devices connected to your home’s Wi-Fi. This means that you can use the smart speaker to control your smart thermostat, smart light bulbs, energy monitoring system, etc.

The convenience that this technology allows you to make it a worthy investment.

How to Finance Your Investments

These home improvement technologies will lead to exponential savings. Therefore, they are worth financing. The following are some of the ways you can use to finance these investments:

Personal Loans: These are unsecured loans that are excellent for mid-sized home projects. You can apply for one from a bank or credit union. Since they are unsecured, you do not need collateral to get one. However, your credit score must be good to get one with reasonable rates. If you have a poor credit score, institutions may charge you higher interest rates.

Home Equity Loan: A credit union home equity loan is an excellent source of financing since it comes with a fixed interest rate. This means that regardless of market fluctuations, your monthly payments remain the same. That predictability is what makes it excellent for home improvement projects.

Living in a smart home can be incredibly rewarding; you get things done without moving an inch. What’s more, it rewards you by reducing your overall costs of living. If you are still living in the Stone Age, it is about time you joined the posse.

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