By Philipp Schuster, MD UK of Loxone
Yet this new concept of ‘Autopilot Living’ isn’t only about comfort and style. The smart home can bring significant benefits to the environment, allowing homeowners to enjoy eco-friendly ambience whilst reducing energy consumption, conserving natural resources, and actively contributing to sustainable practices.
According to the findings of a recent survey of 2,000 UK homeowners, commissioned by Loxone, energy management is perceived as the biggest benefit of living in a smart home. Whilst these eco-conscious mod-cons may sound like merely a vision of the future, with 40,000 Loxone Smart Homes already engineered for eco-friendly living they are now today’s reality.
Here are five ways a smart home can reduce your energy consumption and boost environmentally-friendly living:
1 Optimise solar energy consumption: Smart homes are called “smart” for a reason, making the most informed decisions on the best time to run your appliances so you don’t have to. Your home will know when electricity is being produced from your solar panels and can automatically choose this time to turn on your washing machine, for example. This way, you’re using natural energy, created by your home, rather than taking it from the grid.
2 Smart and ‘zoned’ heating: How often do you really need to heat every room in your home? And do they all need to be the same temperature? Some rooms naturally retain more heat than others or you may spend most of your time in a certain area of your home so do not need to heat the whole building. Smart homes cleverly overcome this by allowing you to set up ‘zones’ throughout the home, so rooms can be heated – or cooled – to the desired temperature at specific times of the day. By doing so, you will not only save energy, but your bank balance will appreciate savings of up to £400.
3 Anticipating your home’s needs: A smart home can harness the energy of the sun to intelligently bring all rooms to a comfortable temperature, drawing up the blinds to let in the sun’s heat and closing these automatically to maintain the ambience or even cool the room. Your smart home will learn how long it takes to bring a room to the optimum temperature (according to your very own preferences), so every space is heated precisely without consuming unnecessary energy. With effortless initiative, your home will do the hard work while you sit back in comfort.
4 Turn off devices in an instant: Whether you’re trying to leave the house in a hurry or forever walking around turning off the lights your children have left on, a simple ‘all off’ button can be placed anywhere in the home to instantly switch off every appliance, light or fitting left on or on standby. Leaving lights on is having a detrimental effect on the environment, with the Energy Saving Trust stating the UK wastes £170 million a year unnecessarily.
5 Insights into how to boost efficiency: A smart home will record, visualise and identify the energy guzzling devices – and people – in your home, so you can take immediate action to eliminate unnecessary energy usage. For example, you could spot if your other half is guilty of permanently charging their laptop or your kids have been using the games console more than you expected. Know where and how the energy wastage is happening and you can take action to minimise the impact.
A smart home can help you become environmentally friendly with minimal effort. Worried about cost? Contrary to common misconception, a complete smart home, such as those from Loxone can cost under £2,000 and be retrofitted into any property, without renovation or disruption. For more information, visit www.loxone.com.
Angie is our resident features writer on location in London, specialising in festivals, food and nutrition, and with a keen interest in ethical fashion.