Once the holidays get underway, you’ll be pretty busy. There are plenty of meals to cook, visitors to entertain, and lights to turn on. Keeping your household utility bills under wraps during this time can be a challenge, but with a few changes to your smart home, you can save a few extra dollar bills for your gift shopping.
Update your smart thermostat’s schedule
You might be home more often around the holidays, so it’s worth going into your smart thermostat’s settings to manually set times based on when you plan to be home. Doing this allows the algorithm to maintain an efficient heating plan for the home even though it is changing the routine that is expected. Conversely, if you’re leaving town for the holidays, it’s helpful to keep your smart thermostat informed so your furnace doesn’t blow up while you’re away. Take a look at some of the settings you’ll want to change.
Switch to LED bulbs
If your Christmas tree lights are old incandescent bulbs, you can save a bit of energy by switching to LEDs. Yes, you may be plugged into the set you’ve been using since you were a kid, but LEDs use about a tenth of the power of incandescent bulbs. It’s worth the upgrade. While you’re at it, turn them into smart bulbs. That way you can make sure the tree only lights up once it’s completely dark and everyone is up to enjoy them.
Go the extra mile and include your holiday lights in your Google Home or Apple HomeKit bedtime routine so they turn off along with your other smart lights. As a bonus, the smart lights can be enlivened with some pretty flashy festive colors and can often sync up with holiday music in real time. Trust us, smart lights will put the twinkle mode of your old bulbs to shame. There are plenty of artificial Christmas trees with built-in smart lights if you want a fully integrated experience. The same conveniences and electrical savings can be applied to exterior lights if you have a large installation out front.
Find new pressure cooker recipes
Leaving the oven on for hours for big family meals will be a big part of your next energy bill. A little research and investment in an Instant Pot can help you cook delicious meals using much less energy. These are great for dense foods, and the multiple cooking modes give you plenty of versatility. The slow cook mode is useful for roasts. Some models have built-in deep fryers that can produce excellent cakes. The main thing is to make sure you have a model with a large enough capacity to feed everyone who comes to Christmas dinner. If you don’t already have one, here’s a roundup of the best instant jackpots available. Even beyond the holidays, it’s worth having one around.
Improve your hot water supply
If you have more guests over the holidays, you will most likely use a lot more hot water. The efficiency and type of water heater will determine your utility bills here, but a smart management system can help maximize those savings. These can generate predictions of how much hot water you need throughout the day so that your tank only gets as hot as it needs to be. Even tankless water heaters can benefit from some extra smarts.
Hopefully, these smart home tips will help you keep your budget in check during the holidays, and maybe even for the rest of the year.