Today’s home security systems do more than just monitor your windows and doors for entry. In fact, “home security system” is increasingly becoming a misnomer. Today’s systems offer all sorts of capabilities, and are evolving into home management systems that happen to have security features. More and more, these systems are connecting to your home’s electrical system, environment, and even appliances.
These “smart home” systems can do some amazing things in terms of convenience, but they can also help reduce your energy use.
Here are some of the most recent home automation technologies that help save the planet while saving you some green as well:
- Automated environmental controls. If you’re conscious about energy savings at all, you’ve probably already installed a programmable thermostat. Today’s integrated home management systems not only set your heating and cooling to certain levels depending on the time of day, they can do much more. For example, some systems allow you to access controls remotely. If you’re going to be an extra hour or two at work, for example, you can log in via your smartphone and delay the temperature adjustment that normally happens at the end of the work day. Even “smarter” systems are on the horizon, which will be able to detect whether a room or a home is occupied and adjust environmental controls in response.
- Electrical systems management. Having a cell phone charger plugged into the wall when the phone is charged wastes significant amounts of electricity. In fact, around 8% of wasted electricity in the United States is thought to come from these types of situations. Today’s home management systems can deal with this issue in a couple of different ways. There are some systems that connect remotely to the outlets via WiFi, and adjust electrical use based on timing or other factors. There are other systems that can be integrated directly into your circuit box, putting everything in the home – from lights to outlets – under the management of the system. This means scheduling power use as you see fit, and maximizing your energy savings based on your lifestyle.
- Greener security components. Today’s home security components are much more energy efficient than their predecessors. Take, for example, home security cameras. Today’s cameras not only use less power than previous generations, they also provide much more effective images. Motion-sensitive security lighting eliminates the need for bright nighttime lights to scare off burglars and other home invaders. Even door and window sensors are designed to be more efficient, often using rechargeable rather than disposable batteries.
These are just a few of the ways home automation technology is changing to make your life more convenient and save the planet at the same time. As we move forward, we’re likely to see even more efficiency from the home automation marketplace, and more opportunities to reduce energy consumption.
If you’re concerned about your footprint but you’re also concerned about protecting your home and your family, check into some of these home automation technologies today.
This is a guest article written by Jeremy Kushner, who is a home security and automation enthusiast and blogs on topics related to crime, security and home improvement and automation. You can find more of his posts at his blog!