Sustainability at Home is Easier Than You Think

If we all contribute to our planet’s wellbeing, we will be rewarded. Let’s have a look at how everyone can do it.

A study made back in 2017 led by the EIA (Energy Information Administration), showed that a big chunk (39%) of the consumption of energy in the U.S. was from the housing areas around the country. Nowadays, it is fairly easy to bring this percentage down and make more efficient use of your  energy. The booming industry of IoT provides the possibility to upgrade your home with smart gadgets that make you more flexible in controlling your energy. This will of course benefit the family budget by reducing the energy bills. As sustainability becomes more and more popular among younger generations, this small investment can make your home more appealing if you wish to sell it one day. The big cluster of smart devices makes the consumer’s choice harder. People are wondering where to start, what will have the best impact on the environment and the family budget? Below are some tips for everyone that wants to start protecting the environment and saving from energy bills. 

Smart Cooling & Heating

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When people start pondering on how to become more sustainable, the first thing that comes to their mind is energy usage and how they can reduce it. This is not surprising since a study in 2015 again led by the EIA confirmed that around 32% of the housing’s use of energy was coming from cooling (17%) and heating (15%). By far those are the biggest contributors to energy usage in U.S. residential areas.

One of the most popular devices for controlling your temperature at home is The Nest Thermostat. The best feature of this gadget is that by using complex software algorithms, it can learn your pattern of using the heating and cooling systems. It also gives you the possibility to schedule the switching of your appliances based on your time preferences. An experiment was conducted to show how efficient those devices are. An independent agency installed Nests in 185 homes and discovered that on average, the households saved around 12% in electricity expenses. Being so user-friendly and fairly easy to install, the smart thermostat is the best option you can choose to start making your home sustainable.

Smart Solar

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One research showed that people are more inclined to have a combination between smart technology and solar energy systems in their homes. One of the newest and most popular trends in the U.S. are the rooftop solar panels. As technology develops, they are becoming more efficient and cheaper. We have to point out the fact that a conventional tile costs around $50/sqr foot, while the new solar roof panels produced by Tesla, sell for only $42/sqr foot. If you want to build such a solar roof, you may want to think of combining it with some smart tech so that you are able to control and analyze your energy usage.

The smart assistant Sky is one good option to do that. Invented by Vivint Solar, it is a whole energy management system with sensors. This smart device uses AI to collect data and propose adjustments to your energy consumption from the solar roof. According to the president of Vivint, there will be more and more households that will prefer the combination between solar energy and smart home.

Smart Water

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In a research conducted in 2016, the U.S. Geological Survey found out that between 80 and 100 gallons of water are used by the average person per day. The higher consumption is mainly linked to obsolete appliances. Tests show that older showers can be more wasteful with 3 gallons per minute than a new, water saving one. Another example for this is the dishwasher. Modern dishwashers consume around 10 gallons less than the older ones. Before you begin to think about complex technological solutions, first make sure that appliances and plumbing are renewed.

In the next phase, you may want to think of spending some money on smart home gadgets so that you track and analyze water usage. Don’t underestimate the leaks as a potential reason for water losses. A dripping faucet may seem a minor issue, but it can cost you 20 gallons per day. That is where the smart sensors come into play. Roost is an example of a smart leak and freeze detector. This smart device is capable of exposing leaks from sinks, toilets and water heaters. It will notify you through your phone for any issues that were detected.

Most water bills don’t present a detailed view of your water consumption. If you want to deep-dive even more into your water usage, you may want to think of purchasing FLUID – a smart water meter that provides daily analytics on water consumption. The smart device is attached to your main water pipe and you receive daily reports on your smartphone. Thanks to the embedded ultrasonic sensors, the device tracks the water flow without the need to cut your pipes. The FLUID device will help you figure out which appliances are using a great amount of water.