Save Energy with Home Automation Technology

Another big problem that vacation home renters and Airbnb hosts can address with home automation is wasteful energy usage. Average homeowners can save enough in a relatively short period of time to make the investment worthwhile, but in a vacation rental – the savings can be huge!

Consider the case from our intro post for example.

With an array of door/window sensors on your home automation network, you could easily set up alerts to prevent such a wasteful nightmare. Tree-hugging motivations aside, this scenario could be worth hundreds of dollars per incident!

By having your thermostat work in harmony with magnetic door and window sensors (such as the Ecolink Door/Window Sensor), you can save yourself some money. If you already have a centralized controller such as the VeraEdge or HomeSeer HomeTroller Zee S2, it’s really quite simple and with minimal added cost to set this up.

If you haven’t already, check out our previous post for more on centralized controllers vs stand-alone devices.

We equip all our homes with these sensors on every outwardly facing window and door. Each sensor takes about 10 minutes to add to your network, and the event logic may take you another hour or so along with some trial and error to get it working just how you like. But take it from us, it’s time and money well spent.


It’s a really nice touch to have the lights turn on for those late night check-ins. For guests entering an unknown place, automatic lighting provides an added sense of security.

We recommend using z-wave enabled light switches to control your lighting directly from the switch, rather than using individual “smart bulbs”. Individual bulbs can be more expensive when doing an entire room and will eventually burn out, rendering them useless. Whereas a switch will outlast many lightbulbs.

Fair warning: It can be quite a hassle (read: dangerous) to replace light switches if you don’t have previous electrical experience – especially if you have an old house or one that is poorly wired.

We recommend avoiding lighting projects if you’re a DIY lightweight. However if you want to really wow your guests and don’t mind hiring someone or consider yourself a DIY wizard, we recommend GE Z-Wave Switches.

This is just the tip of the iceberg of possibilities for using a home automation system to simplify your rental experience. The sky’s the limit with a centralized home controller. You can really get creative with solutions that make hosting travelers in your home much less stressful.