When talking about smart homes, the main focus is usually the functionality and convenience factor. However, investing in smart home automation technologies can also help you save energy and reduce your carbon footprint. There are myriad ways in which a smart home can help you go green, and here are a few of the best examples.
Heating and Cooling
Your heating and cooling systems are two of the main causes of energy consumption in the house, therefore they also offer the most potential for saving money. A smartly regulated heating and cooling system can drastically reduce energy consumption. Instead of having areas of the home that are too hot or too cold, you can have an automated system smartly regulate the temperature, ensuring that you use only as much energy as you need. These systems typically consist of one or more smart thermostats and a number of remote temperature sensors in various rooms.
People that work away from the home, or are for some other reason absent from home for an extended period of time, can set their smart thermostat to automatically adjust accordingly. In many cases, smart “home” and “away” modes and sensors working together can have your heating and cooling system turn itself down during the period that you are away and then automatically turn back on as you arrive. This can ensure a welcoming temperature when as you enter even though the system minimized energy usage while you were away.
Connecting your heating and cooling system through a smartphone app means that you can also regulate it even when you are not at home. So if you have to stay at work longer, or leave earlier, you can always turn the system on just about as you are making your way home.
The same thing applies to water heating. There is no need to keep your water heater on during the entire day if you are away. Turning it on remotely can save you a lot of energy, and there is even the possibility to connect your water heating system to the GPS of your phone through geofencing services. This can have the water heater automatically turn on when you are at a certain distance from home.
Monitor Energy Usage
If you want to detect the appliances and devices that use the most energy in your house, you can install a smart energy monitoring system that will help you keep track of your energy consumption. This way you can focus on saving energy where it really matters, and not have to worry about smaller devices that have minimal impact on energy consumption. Many of these monitors employ smart algorithms to identify patterns in energy usage throughout your home.
These smart energy watchdogs can also track periods of the day when you use the most electricity, giving you valuable insights on what habits contribute to energy consumption. They can even alert you on a smartphone as people come and go.
Minimize Water Usage
Regulating your water consumption is a great way to minimize the effect your home has on the environment. Smart homes offer a variety of ways to lower the amount of water you consume, the most effective one being a smart irrigation system. A green landscape usually requires significant water consumption. The smart irrigation system can lower water consumption by syncing with local weather reports and automatically turn off when rain is forecast, ensuring just the right amount of water is applied.
The most obvious place to save water is, of course, the bathroom. If you are considering retrofitting your bath, investing in quality bathroom supplies and fixtures is a good way to ensure that water usage is minimized while still delivering on comfort and convenience. Furthermore, the tankless water heater deserves a special mention as it lowers both energy and water consumption at the same time, turning itself on only when a tap is opened.
Save Energy with Motion Sensors
Lowering your carbon footprint is all about using renewable sources of energy. When it comes to lighting, smartly-designed homes are architected to deliver as much natural light as possible. This not only saves on energy, but can also be much healthier.
Motion sensors are a good way to control the natural flow of light. Having smart shades that automatically go up once you enter the room means that you don’t have to grab for the light switch first. When artificial illumination is needed, such as at night, similar motion sensors can be connected to your lights and turn them on or off when you leave or enter the room.
Smart homes are the future of living, as they can provide more comfort while at the same time embracing modern energy-saving trends. This trend is sure to continue as technology progresses, enabling our homes to become self-aware and more environmentally friendly.
Cooper Klein is an entrepreneur with a degree in Marketing, based in Sydney. He’s interested in business, real estate, sports, as well as the latest tech trends. In order to spend more time with his amazing family and sci-fi books, Cooper decided to take a break, and he’s currently working from home as a blogger and a business consultant.