Today, it’s mainly wealthy and upper-middle-class households that have smart technologies integrated into their homes, but it appears that we’re finally ready for a breakthrough.
We’ve heard for years about the potential that smart home technologies have, but we’ve yet to see widespread adoption. Presently, it’s mainly wealthy and upper middle class households that have smart technologies integrated into their homes.
However, that’s changing. Manufacturers are discovering more cost effective ways of doing business and prices are dropping. When combined with an enhanced sense of comfort among customers – as it pertains to bringing technology into the home – it appears that we’re finally ready for a breakthrough.
What’s on the Market?
It’s not always easy to know what technology is available on the market. Things are rapidly changing and the selection varies from month to month. However, there are five general types of products that seem to be really popular right now. Let’s take a brief look at them and how they enhance energy efficiency in the home.
- Programmable Thermostats
One of the more popular technologies on the market is the programmable thermostat. Considering that you can save three percent on your energy bill for every degree Fahrenheit you adjust your thermostat, these devices pay for themselves within a matter of months.
“To put that into context, imagine you turned your thermostat down from 75 degrees to 72. That represents a 9 percent saving on your utility bill,” Houston-based property management company Green Residential explains. “When you think about the fact that the average cost of utilities for a two-bedroom apartment in Texas is about $150, a three-degree reduction could save you as much as $200 per year.”
- Smart Appliances
Eco-friendly, smart appliances are also really popular right now. LG is one of the leaders in this niche, but other major appliance brands are quickly following suit. There are now smart refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines, dryers, ovens, and everything in between. While they cost a bit more on the front end, they can save homeowners hundreds of dollars per year. As a result, they pay for themselves rather quickly.
- Automated Lighting
One of the more intriguing areas of smart home technology involves automated lighting. Not only is LED lighting now the norm in most homes, but smart lighting solutions allow homeowners to control their lighting remotely with the click of a button (usually on an app). While convenience is the biggest factor in play here, it doesn’t hurt that smart lighting can save a few bucks per month.
- Solar Panels
While not cheap by any stretch of the imagination, solar panels are becoming increasingly popular in the U.S. They can be used to heat hot water and generate electricity for the entire home. And if you know you’re going to own your home for an extended period of time, they make a lot of sense.
“They help you save money on energy bills in the long run, promote lower fossil fuel usage and may help you qualify for annual tax incentives,” tech expert Dawn Jamison explains. “Typically, they are installed on your roof and cut your electricity costs by generating energy independently of your utility company.”
For those who aren’t yet willing to cover their roof in solar panels, there are lots of other home technologies that utilize solar innovation. One of the more popular options involves landscape lighting that pulls energy from the sun and uses it to provide automated lighting throughout the evening.
Tapping Into the Potential for Greater Energy Efficiency
Energy efficiency is a focal point for everyone – legislators, architects, homeowners, landlords, renters, and local municipalities. Thankfully, new smart home technologies – such as the ones highlighted in this article – are greatly reducing our energy dependence and establishing more sustainable living opportunities. This is just the beginning!