Talking tech since 2003

A few weeks ago, I picked up a Belkin Wemo Insight switch to install in my home. The Insight was for my window air conditioning unit, so that I could command the unit to turn on once it reached a certain temperature outside and turn it off when I wouldn’t be home for an extended period of time.

wemo-acLast year, (in what I like to call the pre-Wemo era) I ran the A/C pretty much all day, because I didn’t want to come home to a sauna. My electric bills, which typically hovered in the $40-$50 range, were consistently over $100. With the Wemo installed and the air conditioner used much less frequently, this last electric bill was my lowest of the year. So that’s pretty good.

It got me thinking, though — what else could I use a Wemo switch on?

I first turned my attention to my entertainment center. I could set that up with a Wemo unit to eliminate some of the standby power draw that my living room appliances would be responsible for. But would it be worth it? I checked. Here’s the setup:

  • TV
  • Xbox One
  • Xbox 360
  • Wii U
  • Apple TV
  • Wii U Gamepad + Charger
  • Wii Remote + Charger
  • 3DS + Charger
  • Kindle Paperwhite + Charger

All of the above, with the Xbox One in standby mode and everything else off, only consumes about 27 watts of power. The Wemo Insight estimates that, if I were to leave everything in the entertainment setup as is, it would only add $2.20 to my electric bill. It would take about 27 months to make the money back on an additional Wemo Insight. Not sure that’s worth it.

Next, I tried the Wemo Insight out on my computer setup. This consists of a MacBook Air, a 23-inch LG LED monitor, and an HP printer. With the MacBook Air closed and the LED monitor off, the power draw is a mere 13 watts. The Wemo Insight tells me that, in this state, only $0.97 would be added to my electric bill. Buying an additional Wemo for this area doesn’t seem very cost effective, either.

The above two scenarios take place in a perfect world, though. There have been plenty of instances where I’ve accidentally left the house with my Xbox One powered on completely, or my MacBook Air open with the LED monitor on. It’s tough to say how much electricity I used on those days, but it was likely a decent amount. Would the additional Wemo units be worthwhile just to prevent that accidental waste? Possibly. That’s something I’ll need to think about.

It seems the Wemo Insight works really well for the air conditioner, and it would probably work well for appliances like fans, space heaters, coffee makers, and so on. I imagine that I’ll move the Wemo Insight switch to some other power-hungry device during the winter, but for now, it’s doing a pretty good job helping me cut down my A/C usage and, in the process, cut down my electric bill.

I’ll keep trying to find new uses for the Wemo, but in the meantime, do you have any you’d like to share? Leave them down below.

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