3 Energy-Efficient Upgrades

Home Tool Kit

Smart homes are no longer a thing of the future. From thermostats that adjust to your lifestyle to lighting you can control with an app, there’s plenty of nifty technology available right now, to make your home more secure, energy-efficient, and intuitive. With Farmers Smart Home series, you’ll find simple, practical ways to turn your house into a smart home.

Remember when “turn off the lights when you leave,” was the only way to conserve energy at home? Well, houses have come a long way since then.

Nowadays, there are intelligent gadgets and products that let you better control everything from lighting to temperature and electricity, which in turn can minimize energy use and save you money in the long run.

With energy costs soaring, there’s really no better time to look into solutions that could shave a few dollars off your utility bills.

Consider these suggestions to turn your house into a smart, sustainable home:

1. Smart Thermostat

Thinking about replacing your old thermostat? Tired of wasting energy heating or cooling the house while you’re not home? Smart thermostats may be the game changer you’re looking for.

These futuristic devices learn your habits and self-adjust your home’s temperature based on your comings and goings. (For instance, smart thermostats detect when you’re away and automatically shut off the air conditioning, so there’s no waste.)

You can even monitor and control your heating and cooling with your smartphone, no matter where you are, letting you maximize your energy efficiency.

For the time being, this new technology comes with a hefty price tag, so it’s up to you to decide if it’s worth the long-term savings. If you’re not ready for a next-generation thermostat just yet, consider installing a programmable one. According to the EPA, upgrading to a programmable thermostat may help you trim up to $180 every year off your bills.

2. Skylights

Beyond just flooding a gloomy room with natural light, skylights are a green addition because they keep your home lit up, and the light bulbs off. Some smart skylights can also open up (either manually or by remote-control) to let in fresh air, lowering your cooling costs.

“Natural light is the perfect substitution for electrical lighting because it's free,” says Jack Thomasson, HGTV Smart Home 2015 House Planner. “It's smart to turn off the lights and use natural lighting when and where possible. Well placed skylights can balance the light in the room in such a way that the room actually feels better.”

3. Blackout Shades or Curtains

Did you know that a small step like adding blackout shades or curtains in your home can lead to substantial energy savings?

Blackout shades or curtains block out solar heat, protect your furniture from the damaging effects of sunlight, and save energy. If you’re a tech-savvy homeowner, there are even motorized shades available that you can control with a smartphone app.

Kicking off a top to bottom remodel to green your home? Considering energy-efficient enhancements? Building a brand new eco-friendly home? Keep in mind that Farmers offers homeowners insurance discounts for adding energy-efficient features to your home. Speak to your Farmers agent to see if you qualify and learn more.

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