Green Tech : Energy Saving Efficiency
Home Automation + Outside-the-Box Thinking = Additional Energy Savings
Regular readers of HD Living are probably already familiar with the myriad of ways in which home automation can conserve energy, from smart thermostats and dimmable LED lighting to energy monitoring and daylight or occupancy sensors. By running your HVAC system less, using lower levels of more efficient lighting, keeping tabs on your most power hungry devices, and ensuring that lights only come on when you need them, you can put a serious dent in your monthly energy bill and reduce your impact on the environment a bit to boot. And those energy-savings techniques work virtually anywhere, in any home.
If you want to take that energy savings a step further, though, you’re going to need a more personalized home automation system that adapts to your specific lifestyle. And luckily, that doesn’t require any additional hardware over what we mentioned above—it simply requires more specific communication with your home technology specialist, and more custom programming.
Of course, we can’t peek behind inside your home and offer customized solutions specific to your home and your needs, but here are a few hypothetical solutions that give you an idea of the sorts of very customized home automation scenarios you and your home tech specialist could cook up to curb consumption more easily than ever before.
You could, for example, have a particular room in the house that’s great for productivity, with a big south-facing window that’s great for letting sunlight in during winter months, but turns the room into a veritable greenhouse when things warm up. Automated shades could certainly help in that scenario, but why not go one step further and have those shades intelligently adapt to your habits throughout the year? With a bit of programming, your home tech specialist could instruct a smart dimmer or keypad in the room to raise the shade instead of turning on the room’s lights during daylight hours in cooler months, not only to save on lighting costs, but also to add a bit of natural warmth to the room. At night, or in warmer seasons, the light would come on, and the shade would stay closed. With today’s intelligent home control systems, the programming required to accomplish such a scenario takes mere minutes. But for you, it’s even simpler: you only have to worry about tapping one convenient button.
Another way to save energy is using intelligent outlet switches to completely cut power to energy-sucking vampire devices. Of course, if you go that route, you have to remember to turn on the switch before powering your devices on. Which means eventually you’re just going to stop switching them off, defeating the entire purpose? One way to get around that is with the intelligent use of occupancy sensors to let those outlets know that they need to spring into action. Maybe you have a home gym, for example, and don’t want the room’s stereo system sapping electricity constantly. An occupancy sensor in the room could detect your presence, fire up the outlets powering the sound system, and cut that flow of energy again once you’re done with your workout.
Again, these are just a few, very specific examples, and they may not apply to your lifestyle at all. The point is, a smart home control system can adapt to literally any lifestyle, and with the help of a home tech specialist, you can dream up all manner of creative energy saving techniques perfectly suited to your home and the way you use it.