Getting your home to hum and run more smoothly pays off in more than one way. Homeowners who make their homes more energy efficient can reduce their utility costs and also help protect the planet.

Easy-to-use home technology makes it possible to conveniently cut back on energy consumption and put a few extra dollars back into the bank.

Power strip or unplug

With so many devices around the home, some electrical outlets can turn into a bundled mess – which can also cost money. When left plugged in, all the small appliances and power chargers that are not in use will drain electricity.

So whenever possible, flick off your power strips or unplug your chargers and smaller devices. A smart power cord can detect when nothing is plugged in and will not use any unnecessary electricity.

Reduce use of hot water

The simple step of adjusting the hot water setting on the washing machine can help save on energy costs.

If you can help it, cut back on the use of hot water when washing clothes or even taking a shower. When you cut back on the need to heat water, you’ll put less stress on the water-heating system in your home and save money.

Adjust thermostat

While it can get quite warm this time of year, it’s important to lower the thermostat just a tad. The optimal setting during the warmer months is around 78 degrees. At this temperature, you can both keep cool and help save money on the energy bill.

As temperatures rise, there are other ways to help keep your home cool. Opening windows, shutting curtains, turning on fans and precooling the home are some strategies to keep things comfortable and efficient.

If your home is equipped with a smart thermostat, it’s easy to set and save with just a few swipes on your smartphone.

Swap out older lights

Consider changing old light bulbs with LED lighting, which are brighter, last longer and use less energy.

In fact, LED lights use about 90 percent less energy and will last about 15 times longer than traditional lights. You will also notice they emit less heat and are a safer option.

Turn off lights

Now that you have more efficient lighting, you can add on the savings by turning off any unused lights around the house. Leaving the lights turned on is an easy habit to build. But do your best to never leave a room without first turning off the lights. If you have a home smart system, you don’t even have to get off the couch or leave the room to power down.

With a few simple steps, and the use of your smartphone and other smart home technology, you can begin to build energy-saving habits. Before long, you will see the savings translated on your utility bill.