As technology advances and improves, it makes sense that there would come a time that you should upgrade your home.
Using the latest technology can improve your lifestyle, livability of your home, but more important, it can actually save you money. And as an even bigger bonus, it can lower your energy footprint for better sustainability.
All of these things can come together in your home with just a few changes made over time. And when you make these changes, the results can be dramatic. You may have to spend money up front to make the upgrades, but they will pay for themselves over time.
In this article, I will go over several of the ways that using technology can help you make your home more energy efficient.
The latest technology
The idea of the Internet of Things has made some rapid changes in technology and the uses are almost limitless. This is a system in which devices are able to communicate with each other thanks to the advent of cloud computing.
Since the cloud is where the software that requires a lot of memory to operate is located, it frees up the devices to be small and fast. So, a scanner only has to send the data to the cloud to then be used in an app that will analyse the data and send the results to another device.
An example would be a warehouse that has bar codes on every package. As soon as the code is scanned when the item leaves the warehouse, it gets registered on a computer database that handles inventory. The item is then removed from the inventory and another device can then see how many units are left. It all only takes a matter of seconds.
In a house, this means that your devices are making it smart so you don’t have to lift a finger in many cases to make adjustments on the fly. In a moment we will see how this is helpful.
Cooling the house
When you want to cool your home down, you generally turn on the air conditioner. The ideal thing to do is to cool the house without using such an energy intense appliance like an A/C. Of course, sometimes it can’t be avoided but it’s best to start out with other systems that require less electricity at first.
A system that closes your blinds automatically is a great start. You can actually have a company like Hunt Electric create a system in which a sensor can detect when the sun is shining strongest at the level of your windows. Then they close on their own whether you are home or not. In many cases this is enough to keep the house from heating up. Then you are able to return home to a cool house.
Now, if you do need to use an air conditioner when the heat becomes too much,best to make it a smart one. There are settings on your smart A/C that can enable it to activate in the rooms that are used the most and at certain times of the day without you needing to turn it on or off. It can even be linked to your smartphone so when you leave work, it will automatically turn on and start cooling the home so it’s the ideal temperature when you get home.
Heating your home
A smart thermostat is the perfect device to heat your home while making sure that only as much heat as you need is used. This goes a long way toward cutting down on your energy needs.
Many of them have sensors in the home and also connected to the cloud. If it seems like a cold front is coming in, then the local forecast will connect to the device and have it start heating the house before it gets too cold. And sensors in the home will register which rooms you are in the most and at what times. Then it automatically will heat these rooms when it thinks there is the most need.
When your devices have this much control, you don’t even have to think about it. Needing to program times and then when things change is not nearly as accurate as letting the device figure it out for you.
The most energy efficient way to heat the house is to use underfloor hydronic heating that reduces the effect of cool and hot spots. Connected to your smart thermostat, the radiant heat does a great job at keeping the house at a stable temperature without using a lot of energy to do so.
The way it works is that the heat is produced by hot water flowing through tubes under the floor. That way the heat rises across the entire surface of the floor. It fills the room rather than radiate out from a single point like baseboard heating.
Smart lights go to places that Thomas Edison could have never imagined when he invented the lightbulb all those years ago.
These days these smart bulbs can use sensors to detect when somebody comes into the room and turns on and off accordingly. You never have to worry about leaving the lights on and wasting electricity again.
Some will even detect the amount of sunlight in the room and won’t turn on unless it decides that it’s dark enough.
Then, at the end of the month, you can connect to a smartphone app or on your computer and see how much energy you used and at what times since the bulbs communicate with other devices.
The best part about these devices is that the cost is much lower than what you would expect it to be. For just a few hundred dollars in most cases, you can retrofit your house to be a smart home and drastically reduce your energy consumption.
Once they pay for themselves then you are saving money as well as reducing your footprint at the same time.