Smart homes are increasingly becoming the decisive factor when it comes to buying or building a new house, for example. And in fact it is also worthwhile for simple apartments.
I got my utility bill in August and was able to find out that I was living free of charge in September because I got over 900€ back and all thanks to my smart home.
How did I save so much money?
The whole thing is then controlled using HomeKit in connection with Homebridge (running in a Docker container in my Homelab).
Light (Brief Insight)
For example, I have different automations for the light, for example when I go to the bathroom at night.
In the hallway above the bathroom door I have a motion detector from Philips, which switches on the light after sunset so that I can always see something in the hallway.
At night, on the other hand, the light is only dimmed to 15 percent. In both cases, the light goes out again when the motion detector no longer detects any movement.
This means that the light does not run continuously at certain times and switches itself off again.
For the heating, I packed a combination of temperature sensors, delays via Homebridge and my Eve thermostats into a few automations that run the same for every room (with one exception, but more on that in a moment).
I heat for a maximum of 30 minutes at a time. And that fully automatically and only when I'm at home.
If, for example, the temperature sensor in the living room detects that the temperature is below a certain value, the automation takes action so that a kind of timer starts for 30 minutes together with the heating and starts again after the time has elapsed (in this case it is 30 minutes). turns off.
The said exception relates to the children's room.
Since my son is only with me every two weeks over the weekend, the automation for the heating in the children's room does not have to run continuously (it just makes little or no sense to heat a room that is not actively used).
So I regulated the whole thing with a contact sensor on the door. If the door opens, a virtual switch is set for one day and the heating can start. But only if the door is open for more than 5 minutes. Otherwise the virtual switch will not be activated and the heater will not start.
I also have an automation that ensures that I don't produce any heat for the outside area (or that I don't heat for the outside!).
I installed Eve contact sensors on each window, which immediately turn off the heating in the respective room as soon as the contact opens. If this closes again, the heating continues.
I also only heat at certain times (and when I'm at home, of course).
During the day, for example, I only heat at a low temperature in order to maintain a basic temperature (I work 100% remotely and don't want to freeze). In the evening, the temperature rises a bit because you want it to be cozy and warm when you're sitting on the couch.
Measure the right temperature in the room
Almost every thermostat from a wide variety of manufacturers has an integrated thermometer and regulates the target temperature based on its own data. However, since one measures the radiator directly, this data is not necessarily reliable.
This is where an external temperature sensor comes into play.
I use the sensors from Aqara in every room, which can measure other values such as humidity or air pressure in addition to the temperature. (I integrated the sensors via Zigbee2MQTT and not via the bridge from Aqara).
Now you create an automation that takes the current temperature value, checks for a certain value and then decides whether it is too cold. You can then control and heat the respective thermostats.
Of course, you could also do the whole thing the other way around. So that you check whether it is warm enough and then turn off the heating again. I do this with a timer of 30 minutes to be able to keep the temperature better and then after 30 minutes I either switch off the heating or heat at a lower temperature.
A smart home can also help you save a lot of money when it comes to electricity.
I don't drink coffee at night. So I have the coffee machine switched off at night with a socket from Eve.
When I get up in the morning, this socket turns on again and I can enjoy my morning coffee.
This can be adapted to various areas (desk, kitchen, bathroom, TV, etc.).
A smart home can help you save money. Of course, you shouldn’t ignore the investment in advance, since all the sensors and switches also cost a lot of money, but you can now get them even at discounters like ALDI on a Zigbee basis for little money.
My smart home has cost around a little over €2000 over the years (And of course there is still potential upside..) but so far it has been worth every penny!
Small request at the end
I have included some affiliate links in this post. I would be happy if you would order the right product via this link, because I use the (albeit small) income from it to run this blog, among other things :)