Technology has come on leaps and bounds in recent years, and now it is making the jump from the devices in our pockets to practically everything else, including our homes. This trend is exciting – not just from a technological perspective, but an environmental one too. Many of these innovations are making it easier for eco-conscious homeowners to cut back on their carbon emissions, water use and waste in a way that wasn’t possible before.
What makes a smart home green?
By now, you’ve probably heard all about the “smart home.” The idea here is to use smartphone technology to automate aspects of your accommodation. So, for instance, you might program a GU10 smart bulb to turn off when you leave the room, instead of fumbling around for the switch. Similarly, you might buy a fridge that can order new items, like milk, when it detects you are running low.
Smart homes, however, aren’t just smart – they’re also green in several essential ways too. Here are some reasons why you should embrace the concept as somebody trying to live with minimal impact.
Automatic blind control
If you’re committed to reducing your energy consumption, you know that one of the best ways to prevent excess heat from entering your home on a hot day is to keep your blinds drawn. The fabric reflects the incoming sunlight out into space, preventing it from warming the interior.
Opening and closing blinds according to the time of day, however, is an annoying chore. You’d much prefer to spend your time doing something else. And here is where the smart home can help. Instead of going around, tending to your blinds yourself, your home hub does it for you. It wirelessly communicates with the automatic blind motor and tells it when it needs to retract and unfurl, according to the time of day. This feature prevents light from entering during hot midday sun but still lets you enjoy open blinds at dawn.
Lighting, as you might expect, was one of the first areas that experienced the smart home revolution. But it can also help you go green too. Features include things like being able to control the brightness of your lights remotely, even when you’re not at home, and receiving text message updates telling you that you’ve left a light on.
The central heating in your home takes up more energy than practically anything else. Finding ways to limit the resources that it uses, therefore, is vital.
Again, the smart home can help. Many come with companion apps that connect directly to your phone, allowing you to adjust the temperature on the fly. Some also come with automatic settings that let you tell your boiler to consume as little energy as possible.
Some of the smartest thermostats also have features that enable them to detect whether you have left the house. In other words, you don’t actually have to pay attention at all – they just get on with adjusting the temperature according to your preferences when you get home.