10 years ago, smart devices were a rarity. Now, in 2020, a large majority of households contain at least one smart device, from smart assistants to smart TVs. The Internet of Things has never been more widespread, and smart homes have become commonplace.
Why smart homes? What advantages do smart homes have over regular homes? Well, for starters, smart homes make home living more convenient. Some smart devices can also improve the look and feel of your home. But perhaps the most important aspect of smart homes is the potential for greener living.
Before we talk about the ways you can make your house a more environmentally-conscious place to live, it’d be remiss not to mention that there are downsides to smart homes, from an over-reliance on network bandwidth and installation costs. But security is the most “threatening” disadvantage since video surveillance or house routines can be stolen and studied by cybercriminals. This is why some cybersecurity measures are needed especially for smart home IoT gadgets, from only choosing products for reputable brands, using a VPN, and updating software to the latest version frequently.
5 Ways to Turn Your House Into an Eco-Friendly Home
I often leave the lights in my house on in my house because…well, I forget. But even if you’re not forgetful like me, you still use your home lights every day. And unfortunately, regular bulbs can use up a lot of energy, and many bulbs are made up of not-so environmentally-friendly materials, so throwing them out hurts the environment.
The reasons listed above are why I recommend smart lights (smart bulbs, more specifically). Not only do they use up less energy on average and last much longer than the average bulb, but smart bulbs also don’t contain the harmful materials found in regular bulbs such as mercury.
Smart Temperature Control
Living in the South, I constantly have my AC going off during the spring and summer. And when winter hits? My heater never stops running. This is how I lived until I installed a smart thermostat. Nowadays, the air in my house is the best it’s ever been.
See, smart thermostats are constantly analyzing your patterns and preferences. Like your house cooled at a certain temperature? The thermostat will learn. Need your house heated during a certain time of year? No worries, the thermostat will jot that down for later.
The smart thermostat then adjusts your cooling and heating based on the collected data and helps reduce your carbon emission footprint by not wasting anymore cooling and heating than necessary.
Advanced Irrigation Systems
Managing a garden, lawn, or field requires a lot of patience, time, and work. Oh, and a lot of water. Water waste is a real fear for homeowners, and even with proper irrigation systems, it’s impossible to not waste water.
With smart irrigation systems, however, the included software will measure soil moisture levels to determine whether water is needed. If so, the irrigation system—often linked with smart sprinklers—will set off the sprinklers until the soil reaches proper moisture.
This cuts down on water usage and can save hundreds of gallons a year.
Practicing proper home security is an important part of being a homeowner, and nothing scares off potential robbers like a giant spotlight shining in the night. However, regular spotlights use up a lot of energy—the energy used for a threat that probably won’t happen 99% of the time.
Fortunately, many security spotlights nowadays that rely on motion instead of a switch to turn on. This means that these spotlights won’t activate until someone comes within the motion sensor’s range, saving tons of electricity, and reducing your energy footprint.
Smart Leak Detectors
Leaks happen in every household at some point, whether it’s a gas leak in the basement or a water leak under the kitchen sink. And with water leaks come thousands of gallons of wasted water.
Smart leak detectors notify you of any leaks as soon as they happen, allowing you to fix the leak before you end up wasting water.
It’s up to us to help the environment, and smart devices have enabled us to do so in easy, convenient ways. With these smart devices, you won’t have to go out of your way to be green—your house will be green by default!