Tech that monitors your water use, air quality, and more

Inspector gadgets.

home inspection gadgets
Inspector GadgetsJosh Dickinson

Your monthly utility bills give a big-picture look at the resources your home drinks up. They won’t tell you, though, that a leaky toilet is hemorrhaging water or your “sleeping” cable box is still sucking up electricity. Obsessive monitoring types can install app-connected smart devices to check on precisely how their homes are doing in real time.

1. Water

After a plumber installs Buoy on your water main, H2O travels through it. Based largely on that flow rate, the system can determine how your household is using its ­precious hydration—from showers to ­dishwashing—and shut off the line if it senses a leak.

2. Electricity

From your electrical panel, Sense samples your home's power usage 1 million times a second. AI helps the 5.3-inch box parse how much power each of your appliances draws, so you can adjust usage or, perhaps, upgrade to more-efficient models.

3. Temperature

Even tiny gaps in insulation and weather­stripping can overwork your HVAC system, and escalate your utility bills. The Flir C3 camera spies both visible light and heat to show spots you need to fill in. Dark blues reveal chilly breezes, and whites identify hot air.

4. Air

An 0.8-​inch fan circulates air through the Awair so a cadre of internal sensors can measure variables like fine dust particles, chemicals, and carbon dioxide. The app suggests methods, such as opening a window, to improve your house's atmosphere.

This article was originally published in the Summer 2019 Make It Last issue of Popular Science.