Home security systems have come a long way in the past 20 years or so. These changes have been so dramatic that we’ve stopped thinking about them solely in terms of home security and started to think about home management or home automation systems. While it will take some time for smart homes to proliferate, the fact is we’re seeing more and more technologies that can automate a home’s functions every day.
Believe it or not, there are some ways in which home automation contributes to a greener planet, as well. Let’s take a look at some of the key home automation advances and how they’re helping us use less of our natural resources:
- Environmental controls. This component of home automation began several years ago with the advent of programmable thermostats. These thermostats allow you to set your home’s heating and cooling system to certain levels at certain times of day. The benefits are obvious: when the home’s not in use, you’re not spending unnecessary energy to cool or heat the house. Today, environmental controls are being integrated into a number of different home security and home automation systems. In many cases, it’s as simple as adding a programmable thermostat device that connects into your home security system via WiFi, giving you full control of your home’s heating and cooling.
- Electrical rationing. There are a number of ways home automation products can reduce the use of electricity in the home. Today, there are standalone devices that plug into your outlets. These devices can be set on a timer, turning lights or appliances on and off at certain times. Some of these devices even turn off after a certain amount of time passes. More and more, we’re seeing devices like this that actually connect into your home automation system via WiFi, and accept commands from that equipment. The potential hear is staggering, as your outlets can suddenly become “smart” and use only the power that’s absolutely necessary.
- Auto sensing equipment. For some time now, home security systems have used motion sensitive lighting. The next step in this evolution in terms of automation has to do with an entire room’s energy consumption. The idea here is that the home automation system detects whether there is a person in a given room or not. It then turns lights, electronic devices, and even the home’s heating and cooling system on in response to their presence. This is one of the most promising implementations of home automation in terms of going green; it would literally allow a person to use exactly the energy they need to use when they’re in a room, and no more.
Ultimately, home automation systems offer a number of efficiencies that simply can’t be accomplished without them. While these systems are mostly still in the design stage and there are few real-world implementations, over time we’ll see more and more “smart” homes built, many of which will be specifically built with energy savings in mind.
Madison Parker is a security expert whose passion for helping families be more secure in their neighborhoods led to the creation of HomeSecuritySystems.net. You can get many more home security tips and advice on her blog!