Do Smart Homes Save Money?

smart homes

I was thinking about adding some smart technology to my home. I had been visiting a friend who had Alexa set up to control all sorts of different things in the house. I got a kick out of saying, “Alexa, turn on …” and choosing the lights I wanted on and off, the music I wanted playing, and so forth. I’ve seen those commercials with the refrigerators and ovens that practically do everything themselves with just the sound of a voice. We’re all moving towards having some version of smart homes. However, when I looked into the costs of just a few of those things, I wasn’t so sure anymore.

Do Smart Homes Save Money?

I’ve always figured that smart homes generally cost money to set up but have the potential to save money in the long run. However, I think that type of thinking primarily comes from the type of smart technology that makes a home more energy-efficient. When it comes to all of the technology available today to make a home more convenient, it may not actually save money. In fact, setting up a smart home can probably cost a lot of money that you don’t recoup. So, I’m trying to figure it out; do smart homes save money? Or do they at least have the potential to pay for themselves?

Energy-Saving Technology Can Save Money

Doing my research confirmed what I expected. It is possible for smart homes to save money if you’re talking about smart technology that saves energy. In other words, if you update your house to reduce energy waste then over time you can save a lot of money on energy bills. I found a helpful infographic that showed how some of this technology pays for itself then saves you money over the long run.

In fact, that research reminded me that I can make small investments that could make a difference. For example, I never thought about getting smart power strips. I use tons of power strips in my home already. Smart power strips monitor energy usage and turn the power off when it’s not in use. That could be really convenient. It could save energy. I like the green aspect of saving energy in addition to the fact that it helps me save money.

A smart thermostat is another really popular device in smart homes. It seems to also pay for itself in terms of quickly offering cost-effective energy savings. Of course, one could argue that simply setting your own thermostat to appropriate temperatures would achieve the same effect. So it’s not that we need the technology to save energy, necessarily, but it might be a small investment to make doing so more convenient.

Convenient Technology Doesn’t Necessarily Save Money

Some of the other technology in smart homes doesn’t seem like it pays off, though. For example, that same infographic shows details about smart refrigerators. A smart refrigerator can actually show you when items are about to go bad. Arguably, you might then use more of your food in time, and not wasting it could save you money. But it doesn’t save you that much. According to the infographic, it takes thirty years for a smart refrigerator to pay for itself. That’s before you would even start saving money thanks to it. Technology often needs frequent updates and repairs so it’s unlikely you’d keep that refrigerator much longer than thirty years (if you even make it that long).

Will I Invest In Smart Home Technology?

So, here’s what it boils down to … it doesn’t make financial sense for me to buy most types of smart technology for my home. The things that are most fun and add convenience generally cost more than they save. However, there might be a few small changes (smart power strips, smarter lighting) that could actually save me money in the long run. I don’t need them. It’s not something I’m going to get at this time. But as the technology keeps changing, I’ll keep reviewing the costs and benefits. It may make sense for me to look at smart homes again in the future.

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Dyson V7 vs V8: Which is the Better Buy?

dyson v7 vs v8

If you want to get a new vacuum cleaner, then Dyson may be the way to go. In fact, you might have narrowed it down to the Dyson V7 or V8. Which one is the better buy? Obviously, the Dyson V8 is newer. Therefore, it might have some better features, but it also might be more expensive. Is it worth the extra cost?

Dyson V7 vs V8: First, the Similarities

These are both cordless vacuums. They’re both made by Dyson. Moreover, they are both designed to be an improvement over the earlier Dyson V6. Therefore, there are a lot of similarities between Dyson V7 vs V8. If you’re just looking for a basic cordless vacuum that has excellent power, then you could do well to get either one of them.

Both vacuums are similar in terms of body design. Each has a suction trigger as well as a max mode for more power. Both can be used as a stick vacuum or in a handheld mode. They can both clean hardwood floors as well as carpets. While the Dyson V7 has significantly improved battery life when compared to the V6, it’s not significantly different than the V8 battery life.

If you aren’t that particular, then there is no significant reason to spend the extra money to get the Dyson V8. They’re similar enough to one another that the lower price of the V7 is a good reason to go for that one.

Don’t Compare Apples to Oranges

One of the most important things to understand when comparing Dyson V7 vs V8 is that there are different versions of each of these vacuums. For example, you can get the Dyson D7 Motorhead, which is the basic version, or you can get the Dyson V7 Total Clean, which has a soft roller for hardwood floors (among other advanced features). Make sure that when you compare Dyson V7 vs V8 that you’re comparing the same versions of them. In other words, you can’t comprae the Dyson D7 Motorhead to the Dyson V8 Total Clean. You have to compare “apples to apples.”

Dyson V7 Animal vs Dyson V8 Absolute

One of the most common comparisons that people make when determining which of these vacuums to buy is the Dyson V7 Animal vs. the Dyson V8 Absolute. These have more features than the basic V7 Motorhead version described above. They are fairly comparable to one another and give you a good sense if one is better than the other for your needs.

The Dyson V8 Absolute:

  • Is more powerful
  • Has slightly longer battery power but also takes longer to recharge
  • Is a slightly heavier vacuum
  • Has a better filtration system
  • Costs more

The Dyson V7 can meet the average household’s needs. However, if you require more power than normal from your vacuum’s suction, then you might find it worth it to invest in the V8. Moreover, the filtration system on the V8 is better so if you struggle with significant allergies then you might find it worth it to pay more for the V8.

Dyson V8 vs V10

You can also take a look at the Dyson V10. It’s got slightly more suction power than the Dyson V8. It also has a larger dustbin. However, it’s not noticeably better in other ways. It’s also significantly more expensive. Nevertheless, it’s worth a look if you’re doing a comparison.

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How Do I Split Bills in a Blended Family?

split bills in a blended family

When two families come together to form one, there’s more to manage than just the wedding and living arrangement. Both parents likely have their own financial obligations, and you’ll need to split mutual expenses.

Often, figuring out how to split bills in a blended family requires some thought. Not every situation makes a 50/50 arrangement appropriate, so you need to examine yours to find a plan that works. Continue reading