One of the promises of smart home systems is greater convenience. You can monitor your security system via an app. You can control the vacuum cleaner sitting on your couch. You'll be notified when the refrigerator thinks it needs to be serviced. The other major promise of smart devices and the internet of things is the potential energy savings. And you can take advantage of these technologies though you don't own your residence.
Heating and Cooling
The best smart home tech for renters who want to save energy reduces their heating and cooling bills. The process starts with a smart thermostat. It can learn what temperature profile you prefer before determining the most energy efficient heating and cooling schedule to keep the home comfortable. Then you aren't running the air conditioner a minute longer than it needs to be. This energy saving smart home automation allows you to manage the energy usage, as well, such as reporting to the thermostat via an app that you won't be home from your vacation until tomorrow. Then it keeps the home close to ambient temperatures until you are home. You don't waste energy heating an empty house or apartment, but it is kept warm enough that the pipes don't freeze.
Depending on the home automation system you choose, you could turn on fans remotely as well. Then you can increase the air flow through a particular room rather than relying on the energy-intensive fan in the HVAC system.
Smart home tech allows you to control your lights. This can improve your convenience and safety as well as reduce energy usage. For example, turning on and off lights when you aren't home can create the illusion that you are present. The ability to turn on lights when you hear a suspicious sound may scare off an intruder or at least prevent you from walking in blind. Turning off lights when you're on the couch or in bed saves you from having to walk over and do it manually. The ability to do it remotely also allows you to avoid wasting energy. You could turn on the lights in the living room long enough to keep the pets or potted plants happy but no more.
You can use smart home tech to create a network that improves both your security and your energy efficiency. For example, motion detectors can be connected to the home automation network so that lights are turned on as soon as someone enters a room. This saves you the hassle of having to hunt for a light switch, and it alerts residents to an intruder. Home automation connected to smart locks allows you to unlock the door for a friend or child who forgot their key.
One of the interest smart home technologies to appear is the smart outlet. These outlets turn on and off access to the power grid for any appliance plugged into them. You can use an app or central console to tell these devices to not provide power until you're ready to use appliances. This prevents your coffee maker and other kitchen appliances from drawing a steady trickle of power when they're off while ensuring that they are able to work when required.
Then there's the classic use of smart home consoles, and that's using the smart home system to control other appliances with your voice. Whether it is changing TV channels by voice command or disabling your child's gaming console is your decision.
Smart home technology is available to everyone, even if you rent rather than own. Explore the technologies available, because they can improve your quality of life and security in addition to saving electricity.