Using Smart Tech to Decrease the Energy Costs of Your Home
How much is the annual energy cost for your home? Whatever that number might be, there are smart ways to reduce the amount of energy your home uses without sacrificing comfort. In fact, Wisconsin has a Focus on Energy program that may pay you to install smart gadgets that help you to reduce energy usage. Inside, we look at some of the smart tech, what it does, and then add a little extra information about how smart design can take smart tech even farther.
An excellent place to start with smart tech for your home is a smart thermostat. There are many brands out there but the general idea is that the “smart” part begins to learn the heating and cooling routine of the house. Some offer apps that allow you to teach the thermostat and some do it for you. The idea is that the thermostat is dynamic. It turns on the heat and AC when you need it rather than keeping the house at a certain temperature when you are not home. In the daytime when you are at work, the house can get hotter than normal and it does not bother anyone. If the thermostat knows you are coming home at 4 pm then it can cool the house just before you arrive. While you were at work you saved all of the energy costs that you’d normally spend if the AC was set to come on when the in-house temperature reached 80 degrees. Over the span of a year, that can add up to a lot of money.
Smart Power Strips
Vampire or phantom appliances are those that use energy even when they are not in use. Installing smart power strips can save around six percent of your annual energy costs. The power strip recognizes when the appliance is dormant and then cuts the power to that unit. No power means the vampire can not just sit their sucking energy.
A smart plug is a junction that plugs directly into any electrical wall socket in your home. You control how the smart plug works through an app on your smart device. From your phone, you can turn on or off the smart plug. They are safe to use with all types of gadgets including TV and computers. If you forget to unplug the curling iron you can do so from your phone. Smart plugs, like smart power strips, help to cut the energy usage on appliances, lighting units, and other objects that use electricity while they are not in use.
There are many products on the market that fall under smart automation. For your home, consider automated blinds that open and close based on the amount of direct sunshine. Smart automation can pair with your HVAC unit to adjust the room temperature as you enter that room. When much of the home is not being used at night, the smart automation system shuts down the heat where it is not needed. Maybe you like your bedroom to be a cool 65 degrees when you sleep, but one of the kids is more comfortable if their room is 68 degrees – Not a problem for smart automation as it can adjust the temperature by room.
Smart home design begins with understanding how much direct sunlight the property receives during each season. Because the sun’s location is not constant, we have longer daylight hours during the summer and shorter daylight hours during the winter. By designing where your home sits on the property we can help you take full advantage of daylight during each season of the year. That means you can take advantage of as much direct sunlight during the colder parts of the year, and through smart landscaping enjoy more shade during the hottest part of the year.
There are other ways that smart design helps homeowners save energy. Specially designed roofing tiles with the direction and position of the sun. In winter, the darker face of the tile heats up as black tends to absorb energy. In summer, the white part of the tile reflects sunlight away from the roof. Both help to decrease the cost of energy all year long.
Smart design offers a ton of ways to cut the cost of energy usage. They range from simple actions like adjusting the position of the home, to smart devices and high-tech building supplies such as windows.
Learn more about smart design ideas that not only help you save money on your annual energy costs, but also help the environment too. Just give the Design Custom Home team a call.