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What is a Smart Home and How Does it Support Green Living?

Every day, people from all walks of life start enjoying the numerous benefits a smart home offers. Money savings and convenience top the list, but smart home owners can also feel good that their home makes Mother Earth smile.

If you’ve always wondered what makes a smart home “intelligent” and how a smart home supports an environmentally conscious lifestyle you’ve come to the right place.

What is a Smart Home?

The term “smart home” is used to describe a home that uses technology to allow the home’s systems and electronics to communicate with one another, be controlled by a time schedule, and even be remotely activated from a smartphone or other web enabled device.

A few of the systems that can be controlled by smart home technology include lighting, temperature, and security systems. The television, coffee pot, hot tub, computer and stereo are examples of appliances and electronics that you can manage remotely with smart home technology.

From within your home or around the world, a smart home provides you comfort and convenience while enhancing security and energy efficiency.
green living house

How Is a Smart Home Green?

Smart home automation can reduce your home’s energy consumption and in doing so make it greener. And you’ll be glad to know that there is an ever growing range of affordable smart home technologies. A few of the most popular include:

Temperature Control

Computerized thermostats give you the power to minimize your carbon footprint in several ways. One way is by allowing you to regulate the temperature in your home through your mobile device. If you’re on vacation and suddenly remember you forgot to adjust the thermostat you can do so right from your phone. If someone leaves a door open, a smart thermostat can shut off the air conditioning or heat automatically. And you can set a smart thermostat to turn the air conditioning or heat down while you’re at work, and turn it back up just prior to your arrival back home. Smart thermostats like the Nest can also learn your temperature preferences, making it even easier to maximize energy efficiency.

Lighting

Smart home lighting solutions give you greater control over the lighting in your home and in doing so make your home more eco-friendly. Features include the ability to adjust the lighting in and outside your home remotely through a web enabled device, or by using a control panel within your home. Instead of leaving porch lights and path lights on all day, you can program them to turn on just as you arrive home from work or according to sunrise and sunset- saving energy and enhancing safety and security. You can program smart home lighting solutions to alert you via text message when a light has been left on. Then, right from your laptop, turn it off and minimizing energy waste.

smarthome

Window Treatments

Take advantage of smart window treatment systems and you’ll reduce your home’s HVAC energy consumption by keeping your home cool during the summer and warming it when winter arrives. For example, to keep your house cool and minimize air conditioning use, you can program window shades or blinds to close during the hottest part of the day. On the other hand, if you’re trying to warm a cold house without running the heat, you can set shades to open during the day.

Irrigation

A smart irrigation system can help save thousands of gallons of water (and hundreds of dollars) a year. Systems like Cyber Rain are customizable to any size yard and allow you to monitor and adjust the system from any Internet connected device. Systems like Cyber Rain conserve earth’s precious water resource by checking the weather forecast for you, and automatically adjusting the irrigation schedule when rain is detected. According to its website, Cyber-Rain users average a 35 percent reduction in water consumption.

cyberrain

Smart home systems also allow you the opportunity to monitor your home’s energy usage and make adjustments to further reduce your environmental impact and save even more money. Energy management systems like Savant keep an eye on your home’s power consumption so you can discover which systems, appliances or electronics are using the most energy and then control their use- especially during peak electricity price periods.

If you’re looking to simplify your life, save money and become more eco-friendly, adopting one or more of these smart home technologies is a great start. To find out more, discover what Vivint offers to help you save money and energy in your smart home.

Photos courtesy of izzkilmartin and gramophonemaryland.

Alexia Chianis

Find out more about Alexia, here.

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