Home automation has the potential to drastically reduce your power bills and environmental footprint through the use of smart switches, timers and monitoring. And there are a host of ways to maximise its full potential. Here are our top tips for employing energy efficiency in the smart home.
It’s part design
Creating a truly energy efficient smart home is one part design, one part technology, which means looking to the areas within your home that can be improved first.
If you’re building a home that might mean you take heed of best design practices like ensuring major windows face the best direction to minimise or maximise sunlight depending on your climate, or that your home insulation is up to par.
If you’re retrofitting an existing home, look at the power usage of the fixtures and fittings you intend to use, along with features like natural shading of hot areas through trees and screening.
Then it’s a matter of employing smart technology to its full potential.
Smart technology and energy efficiency
Smart technology and home automation offers the opportunity to play your house to its strengths. Say for example the kitchen faces west and heats up of an afternoon, the smart home can automatically shut curtains and blinds, or activate the air-conditioning when the room reaches a certain temperature.
It can open windows and doors for extra ventilation, it can undertake these tasks automatically or on command, or it can be programed to act only when people are home.
The art comes down to designing the system to save you money and energy usage.
Areas to consider
If you’re planning on harnessing your smart home’s ability to deliver energy efficiency it pays to consider how you want it to work.
Factors to consider include:
Your heating and cooling needs – Which rooms will need to be heated and cooled, when and to what temperature. Living areas might need to be heated and cooled during the day or evening, but bedrooms may only require heating or cooling at night.
Consider passive elements – Heating and cooling takes up a major component of your electricity costs, so consider the alternative of passive heating and cooling. This includes automated blinds or curtains that block sunlight to cool a room, or open up to allow warmth in.
Fans and ventilation – If cooling is a major concern, consider automated fans and ventilation as an option, rather than just relying on air-conditioning.
Hot water – Automate your hot water system so you have control over it. That means you can easily program your hot water system or command it to shut down while you’re away or program your solar system so it doesn’t need a booster over the warmer months.
Lighting – Home lighting offers a wealth of opportunity for automation. Consider motion sensors for non-major areas like bathrooms, bedrooms or hallways to ensure lights turn off when no-one is around. Or set lighting scenes so lights dim or switch off at a certain time of day.
Control remotely – One of the major features of the smart home is that you can control it remotely. That means you can switch off lights or shut down the air-con even when you’re not there. You can further improve energy efficiency by remote controlling to your advantage, by opening windows or ventilation to cool a room long before you arrive home.
Utilise monitoring – Smart home technology allows you to ascertain exactly which appliance is drawing power, when and where. Not only does this give you greater insight into your power usage but you can also act on the results by shutting down appliances or turning off lights regardless of whether you are home or away.
Lera Smart Home Solutions is a leading installer of smart home technology in the greater Sydney region. Our team boasts over 20 years’ experience in IT networking, programming and the electrical industry.
We have sourced the most reliable and cost efficient solutions from around the world to provide the very best in smart home solutions, and work with our clients to understand their needs.