We love HomeKit for its convenient controls, automation potential, and ease of use, but did you know that you can also use HomeKit to save energy? With the right combination of HomeKit accessories and a little knowledge of automation, you can be able to reduce the energy consumption of your home in minutes. Here are some HomeKit energy saving tips and ideas that can help you get started.
Connect and save
The fastest and easiest way to reduce energy consumption in your home is with a smart HomeKit plug. These little accessories make instantly connected devices smart and are incredibly simple to set up, with most cases involving connecting one and scanning its HomeKit pairing code.
How to configure HomeKit accessories
HomeKit smart plugs are great for those cases where you left something on while going out to work. You can turn off smart sockets remotely with the Home app or even with a Siri via-CarPlay command. Even if you are still at home, the simple convenience of remote controls can help you reduce wasteful habits. Is it no longer in an upstairs room where a fan or lamp is still on? Switch it from the comfort of your couch without having to get up.
For maximum impact, try pairing a smart HomeKit outlet with indoor space heaters, appliances, electronics, or home lamps. For the outdoors, use a smart HomeKit outdoor plug with battery chargers for power tools, decorative lighting or even pool pumps. Of course, smart plugs also consume power, so be sure to check for labels on your devices and plugs that have power or volts to make sure you’re saving.
Sometimes it takes a little awareness to promote energy saving and there are plenty of HomeKit accessories that can provide relevant data to help you. Some smart HomeKit plugs and wall outlets include on-board power monitoring capabilities that can show energy trends over time, real-time consumption data, charts, and even real costs by introducing utility tariffs.
If you have a monitored HomeKit plug, don’t just limit it to devices you think are power consuming – use its portable nature to your advantage! Try moving your smart plug to all devices – especially older ones, in your home to help identify potential problems and replace or reconfigure as needed.
In addition to smart plugs, there are several HomeKit sensors available that measure temperature, humidity, light, window and door condition. Most HomeKit sensors are completely wireless, battery-powered, and use Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to transmit data, making them handy enough to monitor multiple rooms and make it easy to keep track of.
HomeKit temperature sensors, in particular, are one of the best ways to save energy, as they can help determine the exact time when you need to turn on your heater or air conditioner. Most thermostats in the house react only to the temperature in the room or area where they are, which may or may not be where you spend most of your time.
These scenarios lead to cases where your heating and air are working, even if it is comfortable on one side of the house, so with a temperature sensor, you can make adjustments to prevent this. The same is true for HomeKit humidity sensors, although adjusting humidity levels may not be fully feasible.
Another great sensor option is the HomeKit door and window sensors – otherwise known as contact sensors. Contact sensors are another quick and easy way to keep tabs at home because they attach directly to doors and windows using tape. Simply pull on a contact sensor and you will always know if the doors or windows are open and affect the climate of your home.
Heating and cooling your home is more than likely the biggest energy consumer you have, so if you want to see a significant impact on your use, you need a HomeKit thermostat. Installing a HomeKit thermostat is easier than you might think, with most following the same steps and requiring only basic tools and electrical knowledge. If you are still a little scared of this thought, take a look at our ecobee thermostat installation guide, it will give you a good overview of the process.
Installation and configuration of ecobee4 wifi thermostat
While features may vary between thermostats, HomeKit offers some pretty useful standards, such as Siri controls, stage support, and the potential to make adjustments through automation. Some of the latest generation HomeKit thermostats also offer automatic comfort adjustments, which take into account the occupancy and use trends of the rooms.
If you have a smaller house or really only use a few rooms each day, then a HomeKit air conditioner may be appropriate. Window air conditioning units focus on cooling only the area in which they are arranged and are perfect for bedrooms, offices or anywhere else where you spend a lot of time.
As with smart thermostats, HomeKit air conditioners offer the same remote controls, stage support and potential for automation, only on a smaller scale. Although none of the current HomeKit window options have learning capabilities, you can still combine one with a HomeKit temperature sensor to create automatic adjustments.
Another energy-saving air conditioning option is a HomeKit ceiling fan. Ceiling fans are already great for circulating air in a room or for easy ventilation, but with HomeKit you can use other accessories to do magical things. HomeKit fan features include speed adjustment via Siri or the Home app, integrated lighting control, and even fan rotation change.
By automating, you can set the fan to turn on automatically if the temperature or humidity in a room becomes too hot or clogged. Creating this type of automation will save energy, allowing you to set your home’s thermostat to a higher temperature during the day, while still maintaining comfort. Setting up this type of automation is a bit difficult, so see the guide below if you need help.
How to create a temperature-based automation in HomeKit
The lights are off
Our final energy-saving tips are about lighting your home. Switching to LED lighting over the years has significantly reduced energy consumption for most of us, but there are certainly a few opportunities to reduce it even further. HomeKit bulbs are a way to approach it, making your home lighting handy, adding dimming controls and, of course, support for automation.
A simple but effective way to save energy is to create an automation that turns off the light bulbs when you leave for a day. This automation will use the location data on your iPhone to determine when to run, and another automation can reactivate it on arrival.
How to create automations in the Home application
Another energy-saving automation is to have the outside lights turned off at sunrise every morning or at a time of your choice, so you don’t have to worry about leaving them on all day.
Do you have a lot of luminaires with multiple bulbs? Then a HomeKit light switch or a HomeKit adjustment switch may be a better option. HomeKit switches are installed directly in the walls much like traditional switches, making all light bulbs attached to a smart device and available for automation and shortcuts.
How to install a HomeKit compatible light switch
If you go with a HomeKit lighting switch, you can save money in advance by not having to replace every light bulb and, in the long run, consuming less energy overall than more smart light bulbs.
If you want to take your lighting savings to the next level, add a HomeKit motion sensor. With HomeKit automation, you can set the lights to come on when you get home, without ever leaving yourself in the dark while looking for the keys. More importantly, however, HomeKit motion sensors can be set to turn off the lights automatically after a certain time or after motion is no longer detected.
However, the best part of the motion sensor capabilities is that you may already have one in your home. Most HomeKit cameras expose their motion sensors built into the Home application, so you can use them as a dedicated accessory. If you can’t track your camera’s sensor, see our guide below.
How to unearth HomeKit accessories in the Home app
Philips Hue White & Color Ambiance Spout
The Philips Hue line of smart bulbs can be famous for their bright and colorful lighting, but they are also a great choice to reduce energy costs in the home. LED technology, energy-efficient programs and remote controls make it easy to manage your home’s lighting.
Set Starter Lutron Cassette Wireless Smart Lighting Dimmer Switch
Save energy and money
Lutron Wireless Cassette products bring smart convenience and energy savings to all existing light bulbs and luminaires. HomeKit controls and dimming capabilities reduce power consumption and can prevent lighting from staying on all day.
Do you have any tips for saving HomeKit energy?
What are some of your favorite ways to use HomeKit to save energy? How much impact has HomeKit had on energy consumption? Tell us in the comments below!
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