Home Automation

Home Automation and Energy Savings

Save Energy With Home Automation

Home automation technology is becoming as synonymous with sustainability as it is with convenience. Incorporating smart home technology into a new or existing structure makes it easier to reduce energy consumption and the carbon footprint (your impact on the environment) a home or business creates. Environmental responsibility is everyone’s responsibility, so do your part by making simple changes that not only help the earth, but will also save you money and add convenience to your home. With many new easy to install home automation products readily available, it’s now simpler than ever to automate your home and go green at the same time!

In addition to utilizing energy efficient lighting (like compact fluorescent light bulbs and LEDs), Energy Star appliances and alternative energy sources, you can integrate energy-saving smart lighting controls, power controllers that turn appliances off automatically and programmable climate control systems. Automated irrigation systems and automatic faucets can help you reduce your water usage, too. Many of these simple solutions are very affordable, so you won’t break the bank in the process. Plus, the money you’ll save on your energy bills will help offset the costs to automate your home.

Lighting Controls

If you want to make a simple, quick change right now that will lighten the load on the earth and save you money, you can focus on just one thing: lighting. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), 19% of global electricity generation is taken for lighting. A worldwide switch to efficient lighting systems would reduce the world’s electricity bill by one tenth, reports the IEA. So do something simple and make the change to compact fluorescent light bulbs, then take it one step further and add tools to help you reduce your electricity consumption even more.

Turning off lights is an obvious way to reduce our energy consumption, yet we still forget to do it, so why not install an occupancy sensor, which means you’ll never have to remember to turn off the lights again. Occupancy sensors can be equipped with passive infrared and photocells which detect movement and will turn off if there is adequate natural light available.

Climate Controls

The systems in a home that provide Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning are referred to as HVAC Systems. They include the Mechanical Equipment for doing the actual heating and cooling, Controllers such as Thermostats and Zone Controllers, and Remote Sensors, for supplying feedback to the controllers.

Newer homes typically have 3 to 5 HVAC zones, each controlled by its own thermostat to provide energy savings and uniform comfort throughout the residence. Since most homes are only fitted with simple thermostats, comfort and energy consumption are compromised. The solution is to retrofit your home with Smart controls that enable you to conveniently regulate the temperature set-points for each zone. Maximum comfort and energy conservation are achieved when each of the home's HVAC zones are automatically adjusted to the desired comfort levels, based on the occupant's schedules.

There are four types of thermostats available that can help to improve your comfort and energy savings:
  • Digital Thermostats offer manual push button control of preset Home and Away temperature set points. They can provide some savings but little improvement in convenience.

  • Digital Programmable Thermostats allow you to assign scheduled temperature set points that repeat on a daily basis, or on a weekday/weekend basis.

  • Digital Communicating Thermostats provide unlimited control of each thermostat's temperature set points for different times of the day, different days of the week, and different seasons. These thermostats are connected together for communication with a centralized Controller. The controllers can be dedicated hardware/software systems that are PC programmable, or can be software residing on your PC. Each thermostat is programmed from the controller for maximum convenience and energy conservation.

  • Digital Contact Closure Thermostats are similar to the digital thermostats, however, instead of having to manually press a button, this thermostat will accept a command from time actuated remote switches such as those found on some security systems, X10 automation systems, and Phone Transponders. A Phone Transponder can be connected to this thermostat to enable changing between "Home" and "Away" temp set points, remotely from any telephone.

We are always working on new ways to save our clients money... so, give us a call and lets see if home automation can help.

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