Smart home devices and products are designed to improve our lives and bring our homes closer to the future. Although smart means new functionality, it can also mean sustainable, and the best smart products are those that combine both. When it comes to homes and eco-friendliness, you can improve it in two ways – by using products made of sustainable materials and products that use fewer resources or manage them in an environmentally-responsible way.
Although in some cases the initial cost of eco-friendly products stands in the way, the long-term savings and the peace of mind that come with these products always outrun the costs.
Smart breaker box
They say that the electrical breaker box is the brain of every home, yet no one knows what it’s thinking. However, nothing can escape the new Neurio sensor system that reads the energy consumption of every circuit and sends the real-time data to your smartphone, telling you exactly what appliances and devices are guzzling the most energy at any given time. Through its Wi-Fi connected sensor that your electrician can install within the breaker panel, the manufacturer claims this home monitor can reduce energy usage by up to 40%. It automatically detects appliances over 400 watts, such as washers and dryers, making a log entry when they were last used and how much power they consumed.
Passive heating or cooling is an important aspect of the design of every smart home. By using energy-saving window treatments such as motorized exterior blinds, you can reduce solar heat gain even more, especially when they’re installed on the south and west-facing windows (north in the southern hemisphere). An added benefit is that they don’t require window replacement, and they are more effective than indoor blinds as they block the sunlight before it enters the home. While in the past motorized shades required a dedicated remote controller, new home automation systems make these shutters really smart – with you setting the mode on your smartphone.
Home automation systems
A professionally-installed home automation system is a serious upgrade towards an energy-effective and sustainable home environment. As technology continues to evolve in the field of home automation, there’s an increased need for organizing different devices into a cohesive central system. Instead of having different apps for different functions, a home automation system - such as CBus - now lets you manage everything from one access point. Working closely with the homeowner, CBus installers will come up with a smart home solution which best meets your needs, habits and lifestyle.
When considering an environmentally-friendly renovation or upgrade to your home, paint is often among the last things you consider, but it’s actually a very important consideration. Whatever your colour scheme might be, if you take an extra effort, you’ll be able to find ‘green’ paint. The familiar smell of fresh paint that we love so much and associate with newly decorated rooms is actually a product of greenhouse gases and harmful chemicals that slowly emanate from the freshly painted walls. Eco-friendly paints, on the other hand, give no smell and contain no or very little volatile organic compounds (VOCs). In addition, these paints are free from toxic biocides, fungicides and many others, using environmentally safe pigments with the same crisp colour effects instead.
This short selection of smart green home products will surely inspire you to find more about energy-saving technologies that integrate seamlessly into smart homes of today. When you’re renovating or adding an extension, there’s no excuse not to go green, as it will only add a fraction to the remodeling cost. In the long run, your savings and reduced impact on the environment will reassure you that you did the right thing.
Guest post by Diana Smith
About the Author
Diana Smith is a full time mum of two beautiful girls and is interested in sustainability, ecology and home improvement. She enjoys exercising and preparing healthy meals for her family. You can find her on Google + here and Twitter here.
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