Have you ever considered that a smart home can save you money? It may seem counterintuitive: spending money on technology to save money. But it really works.

Today’s technology is constantly changing, and one of the areas where there’s been tremendous advances is in smart home technology.  A smart home is a home that is equipped with lighting, heating, and other devices that can be controlled remotely by a smart phone or computer. You may have heard of the Amazon Echo, which can answer simple questions, or the Philips Hue light bulbs that can be triggered through an app on your smart phone. Whether you choose to adopt one or many smart home technologies, they will save you both time and money.

1. Save Energy Expenses

If you’re anything like me, you occasionally forget to turn down the temperature on the furnace before going to bed. Or perhaps you leave the outside lights on all night. By using smart home technology, you can tell your furnace to lower the temperature at bedtime, and raise it again a little while before you get up. You can also program your outdoor light to flip on before dark, and then turn off at bedtime. A few of my favorite smart technologies include the Nest Learning Thermostat and the Philips Hue lighting options.

2. Control Your Water Usage

Water is a precious resource and we all should try to conserve it. Instead of leaving the sprinkler on all day while you’re away, you can use a smart system like the Rachio to turn on the sprinkler system in certain areas of your lawn for a specified amount of time. Rachio even receives weather updates for your area and adjusts your watering schedule based on that information. If you have Amazon Echo, you can turn on the sprinkler by simply asking Alexa to do it.

3. Smart Appliances

Did you forget to set the coffee pot to brew last night? Or to turn the oven off after you finished cooking dinner? Maybe you left the refrigerator door slightly ajar? Any of these problems can be solved with new smart appliances, which send notifications to your phone to remind you. There are also programmable slow cookers and smart pressure cookers that you can set in advance so dinner will be ready by the time you get home.

4. Protect Your Home

Vandalism and robbery can be expensive (not to mention scary) to deal with. With today’s technology, you can easily set up security cameras, window and door sensors, motion detectors, and a variety of other smart security options to monitor your home and notify you if there is an attempted break in.

5. Smart Meters

One of the first steps in saving money is understanding where your money is being spent. Smart meters can help monitor your electricity, gas, and water usage. By analyzing this information, you’ll see what areas of your home are costing you the most. Once you know that, you can take steps to control these costs.

Have you started using any of the new smart home technologies?