Eco Tip #7 Smart appliances: How many are 'smart enough'?


You want your house to run like a Swiss watch.

As we get busier, technology aids a hand in helping us run smoother, more manageable lives. Thanks to it, we can reduce a lot of our decision-making process to the flip of a switch and be happier and more productive.

However, there is (understandably so) a valid concern about how many smart devices you should have in your house before they become counter-productive. In this article, we'll explore the most popular options out there to help you distil the essential performers that you should consider adding to your house.

#1 The robo-assistants: Google, Alexa, and the like.

Thousands of people everywhere swear by their assistant devices, and it's easy to see why: They provide a friendly, voice-directed interface to run as many things as you can connect to them, from TVs to your Spotify account and living room's lights.

The main problem with these devices (and the reason why we'll leave it up to you to make this choice) is that any device that listens to you raises valid privacy concerns. There has been controversy over Amazon's use of the information they collect through Alexa devices, and, frankly, it's hard to assure you that this can't be the case with other companies.

#2 The air perfecters: Smart thermostats.

As we said in our article on smart thermostats, the only risk is becoming addicted to them. A smart thermostat is a no brainer that can dramatically increase your comfort level, improving the experience of both living in and arriving at your home, particularly under extreme weather.

A smart thermostat can be pre-programmed to follow a specific routine of heating/cooling, learn from your habits and patterns and program itself, be managed remotely, and a lot more options. In this case, going smart is definitely a smart choice.

#3 The cost savers: Energy meters.

While not completely necessary (you won't die without one), smart energy meters are likely just as lovely to have as a smart thermostat. They allow you to understand your energy consumption, handle it in a better way, and if you're trying to go green, can be a powerful way to bring your energy consumption to zero-waste or even net-positive efficiency levels.

Smart energy meters are already mandatory in some jurisdictions and, while not the most glamorous devices, will save you and your wallet more than enough to justify themselves, particularly if combined with smart thermostats.

#4 The little helpers: Kitchen devices.

The old joke about smart kitchen devices was that they were just new ways for companies to sell you things from which you could tweet. Technology has changed a lot ever since, but unless you are a connectivity addict, the chances are that having a grill that lets you know when your steak is ready through a smartphone notification will not dramatically improve your quality of life.

Kitchen devices are one place where we might even recommend you to try and cut down on your 'smart' exposure.

At the end of the day, some s spaces are meant to be where we interact with others, unplug from the frenzy of daily life, and let go of our stresses and worries.

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