How to create an Eco-Friendly SMART Home

Firstly, investing in SMART home technology can be mis-understood as an unnecessary expense, but do we really understand what a SMART home is? To make a smart home truly effective, it needs to be built from the ground up.

For those who drive a car this might be a little easier to explain. An automatic car is built with an automatic transmission system that knows it needs to change gear according to the acceleration and braking. A car with automatic windscreen wipers has an inbuilt rain sensor and knows when and how fast it needs to switch the wipers on when raining. Similarly, a car with parking sensors alerts you to any objects within close proximity and warns you accordingly.

A SMART home or ‘Home Automation’ works in the same way, and can be tailored to your needs. Some devices have become more common in the DIY smart home marketplace such as Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, video doorbells and smart thermostats.

A professional SMART home system is a little more complex and takes a number of considerations into the design and control, including security, home entertainment, integrated lighting design, network (Internet and Wi-Fi) and energy saving. See our SHINE plans.

When it comes to Home Automation, you may wish to have automated gates which open when they recognize your car number plate approaching the gate. Would you like your Velux windows to close when they sense rain, or open when the temperature increases? You may simply want to be able to control your lights and create a scene in a particular room; with the touch of a button you can turn several lights/ lamps on simultaneously at set dimming levels to set the desired mood.

A SMART home works with triggers and actions which can be self-controlled or automated. For example you can have blinds that close or open when you ask them to, by pressing a button, or you can set them to automatically open when the sunrises and close at sunset.

Where does being ‘eco-friendly’ come into play? There are four main areas where a SMART home can help save you money and also reduce your impact on the environment.

Less waste on cooling and heating

Are you someone or knows someone who constantly goes round switching lights off and closing doors to conserve energy? ‘Were you born in a barn?’ springs to mind! It’s true, one of the best ways to reduce our gas and electricity bills and conserve energy is to reduce waste. We don’t need to heat the home all the time, especially when we are not in. Smart heating systems give you the ability to check and control thermostats from mobile devices, ensuring each room is kept at a minimum or optimum temperature.

Energy experts at uSwitch suggest turning down your thermostat by just one degree could save you £80 each year on your heating bill. With heating costs increasing rapidly, this could be a significantly bigger saving.

Energy efficient Lighting

SMART lighting, also known as integrated lighting design works similarly to SMART heating allowing you remote access to your home and turn lights off in rooms that aren’t occupied. Even have the option to turn all the lights off at bedtime and when leaving the house. A professional lighting design takes other factors into consideration such as light harvesting; making the most of natural daylight, light placement, colour and intensity of light as well as using light to emphasize interior features and architectural design.

Save water in the home and garden

Reduce the amount you use and spend on water by having schedules and limits set on the amount used for day-to-day tasks, such as running a bath or watering the plants. Sprinklers can be set on timers and be linked to local weather forecasts to ensure plants are only watered when needed.

Embrace renewable energy sources

Consider incorporating solar panels, wind, geothermal and energy storage to make your smart home sustainable and future proof. A renewable energy gateway can be used to monitor the energy used and generate data and estimate energy consumption. This intelligence is then used to create and control the home energy use schedule to produce the right amount of energy needed for maximum efficiency.

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