After seeing many articles in the news about home automation and energy savings, I’ve noticed that often these articles are focused on one aspect— not giving the full range of possibilities to the reader. I want to clear up a few of the possibilities and expand on more of what one can do besides control whether or not a light is simply off or on.
Yes, these switches do come at a higher cost, but the customization possibilities are endless. Smart switches (such as HAI or Control4) are much more than just “on” or “off” switches. They can be programmed based on several factors such as time of day. For example, if it’s the middle of the day, and you turn the light on, perhaps it only comes on at 20%. Or, if it’s at dusk, perhaps it comes on at 70%. When you go to bed, you can simply hit “all off” and rest assured that nothing is left on, temperatures are dropped down, and your home is secure. Of course, this is effective in any size home, but imagine if you have a home with a guest house or mother-in-law apartment. 175 switches can save a lot of energy!
The problem we’ve found with a traditional programmable thermostat is homeowners program them to what they “expect” life to be. But, as we all know, that’s pretty hard to guess. What if you go out of town on the weekend and forget to change your program? What if you work from home one day? When you use a thermostat with a Control4 or HAI thermostat, for example, your system knows when the home is unoccupied and adjusts accordingly with automatic setback every time you leave the home.
Remote monitoring can also play a key role for people who travel frequently or have vacation cabins. With remote monitoring, you can drop or raise the temperature of your home by simply calling into the system or logging in via the internet. Check temperatures, adjust lighting, or if you’re on your way out, make sure that the house is powered down. Make sure your home is being efficient, yet still cared for, while you are gone.
Even More Possibilities
Irrigation sensors can respond based on if it has rained or not, allowing for sprinklers to water accordingly. Or, the ability to kill the power to outlets of appliances that are not in use (yes, many still draw power even when in the “off” state).
More and more homeowners are making an effort to making their house more “green” or energy efficient. If you’d like more ideas on this topic, please contact us to discuss your project specifically.