The modern car is as much a feat of computer engineering and programming as it is a mechanical engineering marvel. Our cars tell us how fast we’re going by measuring the number of revolutions of the wheels, how hot the engine is through secure, sophisticated heat gauges, and even if something goes seriously wrong through complicated networks of fail-safe systems. Cars have these systems because they are not cheap. If something goes wrong with someone’s $30,000 purchase, they’d probably like to know. The thing is, cars are far from the most expensive thing the typical person might own.
Homeowners typically spend a lot of money keeping their homes in reasonable condition. Often when a really expensive fix needs to be made, it’s because a small issue escalated; perhaps a crack in the foundation let dozens of gallons of water into the basement, or a leaking pipe caused beams in the walls to rot. The question under consideration here is: “if my car can have a dashboard, why can’t my house?”
Is the Technology There?
In a sense, this question could be answered “yes” already. All the pieces that would be necessary to monitor a house exist in the modern world. From measuring the strain on every support beam in the basement, to getting a reading on the temperature upstairs, this technology is already out there. This doesn’t mean that a home dashboard is necessarily an easy idea to implement. There are still a few key problems standing in the way of the idea, which can and should be looked at a little more in depth.
How Much Would This Tech Cost?
Much like every car’s dashboard is a little bit different, it stands to reason that a variety of home dashboards could be built. The temperature of your furnace and rooms would be reasonably simple and cheap to build, while installing pressure sensors on every beam of your house would quickly get a little more expensive. Cost becomes prohibitive if every dashboard has to be the same.
This being said, why would every dashboard have to be the same? An F1 car’s dashboard tells you very different information compared to a sedan’s; why couldn’t houses follow the same trend? Dashboards could be built around a house’s specific needs, and the technology would be more within reach; homeowners would pay only for the features they need, and nothing more.
Could it Be Integrated?
Certainly, the way people build houses would have to change in order to make this technology possible for builders to incorporate. Every part, or at least many parts, of a house would have computers monitoring it. This does mean that space needs to be implemented for such systems. It would be much harder to install such systems on old homes, where adding monitoring systems to old construction could be dangerous, or downright impossible. It’s far more likely, overall, that new houses would prove better candidates for home dashboards. Construction should happen in a way that a house and its monitoring system can exist symbiotically.
Does it Exist Right Now?
A few companies have been trying different approaches to building dashboards at various scales. Some companies offer building occupancy and power usage dashboards for large businesses, where other solutions focus on individual homes. The technology is out there already, though pretty basic when compared to what could be done, and what people are likely to see going forward.
This article was provided by Charity Bailey, Environmental Studies student and earth-conscious consumer. Charity believes better monitoring of your home can lead to more responsible and more effective energy consumption throughout the house. Unfortunately these technologies don’t exist, so if you do run into home issues, Charity suggests leak detection services in Houston, Texas.