By Otto Benson, Modern Home Systems
As we swing into the dead of summer, people are trying to think of all sorts of ways to save on energy costs while still living comfortably. But maybe it’s not us homeowners that need to be smarter. Maybe it’s our homes. And long gone are the days when smart homes were just fancy gadgets that celebrities bought for their mansions. Smart home technology is now more affordable than ever and doesn’t require a large upfront investment or major renovation to your house. For some systems, it’s almost as easy as downloading a new app. So how can your smartphone and your home work together to save on energy and money? Here’s how it works:
Thanks to leading climate-control companies like Honeywell and GE, you can now put your thermostat online just like your laptop or iPad. These new smart thermostats can then keep tabs on where you are. They track the location of your smartphone (and everyone’s in your household) to make sure that the AC turns off when you leave the house and turns back on when you’re on your way home. This gives your cooling system the ability to compliment busy and unpredictable lives. Set thermostat schedules end up fitting your schedule about half the time at best.
But now, the app knows when you are home or not by creating a virtual circle around your house, visible only to your smartphone. This is called a “geofence.” You have some control of the size of this perimeter (300 feet... 7 miles), and when you reenter the geofence, your thermostat can kick back in and get the house ready for your return. This new technology goes a long way towards combating a poorly scheduled thermostat or a forgetful teenager.
But these smart thermostats are just one way in which smart home technology can conserve energy and thereby lower energy costs. Zone-based thermostats can now divide your house into zones, and then only cool or heat the zones that are being occupied. Motion sensors in the room can start up or stop your heating or cooling systems to decrease the amount of wasted energy. It has been estimated that a homeowner can save, on average, $180 per year simply by using zone-based thermostats.
Likewise, this same motion-detector technology can control other appliances like lights, televisions, sound systems, and even smaller appliances to ensure that they are not left on when they are not being used. These systems also let you control the appliances from your smartphone or tablet when you are away from home, so you should never again have to waste energy from leaving something on accidentally.
Lastly, there are several monitoring devices that can give you real-time feedback on how much energy your home is using and when, so that you can schedule usage during optimal times and then set appliances to be turned off during peak hours.
Smart homes and the new climate-control technology does not only lower your monthly bills, but they’re also helping conserve energy which, in turn, helps everyone. If you are interested in learning more about smart homes and how your home automation system can be more energy-efficient, please visit us at http://ModernHomeSystems.com or give us a call at (858) 554-0404.