The Benefits of Smart Home Technology for a Cozy Winter

The colder temperature during the winter makes houses more prone to inefficient energy consumption and heating operations. Before you switch on your thermostats and other heating devices, it’s important to consider smart home technology alternatives to make your house energy-efficient.

A common concern with colder temperatures is that it leads to an increase in your power bill due to the intensive use of heating devices. EIA estimated that households will pay $1300 for electricity, with the Midwest power consumers forecasted to reach a $1,437 electric bill. An increase in your heating bill, however, can be prevented through smart home technologies. You will also have a safer way to feel cozy inside your home by using smart home devices.

With smart home technology, you won’t have to worry about an increase in your power bill. These devices are packed with smart features that optimize the way you consume electricity to provide heating and make your house comfortable during the cold months of the winter.

Optimizing your energy consumption during the winter is possible with smart home technology. Here are some of the smart home devices you can consider installing inside your home in time for the winter season:

1. Smart Thermostats: Mastering Temperature Control

Using smart thermostats during the winter makes it easy to control the temperature indoors. Instead of manually adjusting the temperature, a smart thermostat determines the optimal temperature to heat your room.

As you continue using the smart thermostat, the device can learn your heating preferences and habits over time. This will enable the smart thermostat to create personalized heating schedules, optimize energy usage, and reduce unnecessary heating when you’re away or asleep.

Popular smart products used:

  • Emerson Sensi Touch Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat
  • Nest Learning Thermostat
  • Ecobee SmartThermostat with Voice Control
  • Lennox iComfort S30 Ultra Smart Thermostat

2. Winter Comfort With Smart Blinds

Smart blinds often come with automation features, allowing you to set schedules for opening and closing. This is beneficial during the winter to maximize natural light and warmth during specific times of the day.

A smart blind can automatically open during the day to let the light and warmth of the sun enter your room. It reduces the use of heating devices inside your room by letting warmer temperatures during the daytime provide much-needed warmth inside.

Popular smart products used:

  • IKEA Fyrtur Smart Blinds
  • Soma Smart Shades 2
  • Lutron Serena Smart Shades
  • Graber Virtual Cord Motorized Blinds

3. Intelligent Lighting: Create a Warm Ambiance

Set warm and inviting colors during the winter evenings to create a cozy atmosphere in your living spaces. Having warm, cozy lighting creates a warm ambiance inside your room using smart home lighting fixtures that can adjust its color temperature.

Intelligent lighting systems can adjust the lighting based on the time of the day or your daily schedule. For example, have lights gradually dim in the evening to signal winding down. There are voice-command features as well for hands-free control of your lighting fixtures.

Popular smart products used:

  • Philips Hue
  • C by GE Smart Lighting
  • Hue White Ambiance Smart Bulbs
  • Hive Active Lights

4. Smart Insulation and Energy Efficiency

Use insulation materials with smart properties, such as phase change materials (PCMs), that absorb and release heat to regulate indoor temperatures. They absorb heat during the day and release it at night, contributing to energy efficiency in heating. You can also opt for smart insulating foams that respond to temperature changes. An added insulation tip is to install sensors that can detect if windows are open for efficient indoor heating.

For better home energy management, look for smart energy monitoring devices that track energy consumption in real-time and have integration features. These devices can help monitor energy usage and recommend how to optimize your appliances.

Popular smart products used:

  • SimpliSafe Entry Sensor
  • Wyze Contact Sensor
  • Efergy E2 Wireless Electricity Monitor
  • Wattio SmartHome Energy Control Kit
  • Ecoisme Energy Monitoring System

5. Combat Winter Dryness with Smart Humidifiers

Smart humidifiers maintain optimal humidity levels during the winter, preventing dryness that can irritate your skin or lead to dry nasal passages. Adequate humidity can soothe respiratory discomfort associated with colds, allergies, and winter-related illnesses, promoting easier breathing.

Humidified air feels warmer, allowing you to lower your thermostat slightly without sacrificing comfort. This can result in energy savings and reduced heating costs. If your smart home system includes temperature controls, consider pairing them with your smart humidifier. This makes it easy to coordinate adjustments to both temperature and humidity levels.

Popular smart products used:

  • Dyson Pure Humidify+Cool
  • Honeywell HCM-350 Germ-Free Cool Mist Humidifier
  • Venta LW25 Airwasher 2-in-1 Humidifier and Air Purifier
  • Aprilaire 600M Whole-House Humidifier

6. Smart Blankets and Heated Bedding

Adjustable settings in a smart blanket allow you to find the right level of warmth for your comfort. Using a smart blanket allows you to target warmth directly where it’s needed, potentially reducing overall heating costs. You can also set timers for automatic shut-off or integrate your smart blanket into your smart home system for automation.

With heated bedding, you no longer have to heat an entire room, making it a more energy-efficient option. Also, some smart blankets and heated bedding can integrate with smart home systems, allowing you to control them remotely or include them in automation routines.

Popular smart products used:

  • ChiliPad Cube 3.0
  • The Pod by Eight Sleep
  • Pure Warmth Heated Electric Blanket by Biddeford
  • Sleep Number 360 Smart Bed
  • Serta | Smart Heated Waterproof Mattress Pad

7. Home Security: Winter Safety and Peace of Mind

Smart home security systems ensure the safety and protection of your home, especially during the winter when certain security challenges may arise.

Smart cameras, for instance, are capable of high-resolution video recording, including night vision for low-light conditions during the winter. They could even have motion detection features with instant alerts to your smartphone. Consider smart door locks as well, but ensure that the lock’s components are winter-resistant and won’t freeze in extreme cold.

Popular smart products used:

  • SimpliSafe Winter Package
  • Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera
  • Netatmo Smart Outdoor Camera
  • Kwikset Halo Touchscreen Wi-Fi Smart Lock
  • Guardline Wireless Driveway Alarm

Creating a Seamless Smart Home Experience

Integrating various smart home devices will help make your home more automated, making it easier to optimize energy use. To do this, select a central platform or ecosystem for your smart home. Popular ones include Google Home, Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and Samsung SmartThings. This will be the hub that connects and controls your devices – but make sure to know whether they use Zigbee, Z-Wave, Wi-Fi, or Bluetooth for connectivity. Opt for devices that use common remote access support for better integration.

Organize your devices into groups based on rooms or functionality. This makes it easier to control multiple devices simultaneously. For example, you can group lights, thermostats, and smart plugs in each room. Most smart home ecosystems allow you to create automation rules. Use these to set up scenarios where certain actions trigger others. For instance, you can automate lights to turn on when motion is detected or adjust the thermostat based on the time of day.

If your chosen ecosystem supports voice control (e.g., Alexa or Google Assistant), set up voice commands to control your devices. This adds convenience to your smart home experience.

Pay attention to the security settings of your smart devices and the central hub. Change default passwords, enable two-factor authentication, and be mindful of privacy settings. It’s also recommended to test your smart home setup regularly and make adjustments as needed.

Embrace the Convenience of Smart Home Solutions

Making your home comfortable and convenient can be easier when you have smart home devices controlling the heating, lighting, and security systems. These smart home technologies provide a warm and cozy ambiance to your indoor living spaces.

To make the most out of these smart home technologies, consider hiring an electrician to do the installation and maintenance. A reliable electrician can help identify what smart home devices your house needs, make recommendations, and install them for your convenience.

Staying indoors during the winter can be more comfortable when you have smart home devices providing you with a warm ambiance inside your home. Power Partner MN has contractors who have the expert knowledge and skills to help you install and maintain these devices.