By Crystal Watts | Posted January 15, 2021
As we all begin to see the harmful effects polluting our environment has caused over the years, we are learning that together we need to make a change. When we all do our small part to reduce our carbon footprint, we can help make the planet a better place.
Living a sustainable lifestyle requires a great deal of dedication and awareness. When you have this mindset, it’s amazing how the simple lifestyle changes you make can have a greater impact. Examining how you currently live and finding solutions to reduce your energy consumption and waste production is a helpful place to start. Once you have identified key areas that you can improve upon, it’s time to make the change.
With the use of available resources and technology, specifically smart home technology, you may find surprising ways that these products can help simplify this process. Let’s take a look at a few ways you can use smart home technology to live a more sustainable lifestyle.
Understanding Smart Home Technology
It’s important to first understand what smart home technology is before you purchase any device or system. Smart home technology incorporates a range of products that can be used to help homeowners simplify their everyday lives and often use advanced technology to automate and replicate basic human tasks. With a simple set-up and connection to a home’s internet system, they can be up and running quickly.
Since the introduction of smart home devices, their popularity and use has increased significantly. It’s estimated that 69% of homes already own at least one smart device. As new technology continues to emerge, we’ll be introduced to new ways of incorporating these systems into our everyday lives.
Affording Smart Home Technology
While smart home systems vary greatly in capabilities and pricing, there are many affordable devices and financing options available to you. Whether you choose to start with one simple device or make a full smart house overhaul, you’ll be able to pick ones that are right for you, your home, and your budget. For smaller projects or for purchasing your first device, consider setting money aside each week into a savings account that you can then access when you’re ready to buy. For larger expenditures, see if you qualify for any discounts or loans. You could also opt for more creative financing options. For example, you could borrow against your home’s equity or see if there are any monthly expenses that you can eliminate.
Another factor to consider is the potential savings you will accumulate on your energy bills over the year by incorporating smart home technology in your home. Over time these savings could be significant enough to cover some or all of your initial investment.
Choosing The Right Devices for Sustainability
Now that you have an understanding of what smart home technology is and what the costs are, you may be wondering which devices will be worth the investment in a more sustainable lifestyle. Thankfully there are a variety of options available, many of which are accessible at local stores or through the internet.
Let’s start with smart thermostats. These devices, though relatively simplistic in nature, can yield one of the greatest benefits for your wallet and the environment. Smart thermostats help control the heating and cooling that your home needs. They work similarly to a regular thermostat but offer greater control and remote access. With the integration of a mobile application, you can turn the heat or air conditioning off when you are not home and some even allow you to see how much energy you have been using. This is also great if you have family members who forget to adjust it when leaving or if you want to ramp up the temperature while you’re on your way home.
If you are looking for a way to make a low-cost impact today, the simple change from regular incandescent light bulbs to smart and efficient LED bulbs can help you reduce your energy consumption. LED light bulbs are better for the planet as they use less energy and last longer than traditional bulbs, thus reducing your waste production over time. With smart lights, such as those from Control4, you can go one step further. Using a mobile device to control the lighting in your home ensures you’ll never again forget to turn the lights off when leaving a room. And, with a single tap, you can even turn off every light in the house at once.
Often used in conjunction with smart lights, smart plugs can make a great addition to your home’s smart set-up. Smart plugs can be set to a schedule or can use a voice command to turn on or off anything that may be plugged into them. With these plugs set to a timer, you can watch TV while falling asleep, run a coffee maker in the morning, or shut the hair straightener off without worrying about wasting electricity or fire risks. Not only do devices like this help simplify your life, they also keep you in line with your sustainable lifestyle goals.
When purchasing a new appliance for your home, whether it’s a new fridge or a new dishwasher, consider opting for an eco-friendly option. Many appliances are now being integrated with smart capabilities that can help your appliances run more efficiently. They also have many useful features like keeping an inventory stock, alerting you when a door is open, and connection with mobile devices. When purchasing a smart appliance be sure to look for options that are certified with an official energy efficiency label.
Smart Water Systems
Water is one of the most important natural resources that exists, yet American households waste nearly 1 trillion gallons of water each year. By incorporating a smart water system into your home, you’ll be able to increase your water efficiency. These devices have many capabilities such as monitoring and reducing use, but they can also detect emergencies. Leaky pipes can lead to much bigger issues down the road such as pipe bursts, or increased moisture in the home which could cause mold to grow. Preserving water is important and with a system like this, the task of using water efficiently becomes more simplified.
As we continue to evolve as a society and developers create more advanced technologies, we’re sure to be introduced to even more smart home systems. Using these systems to your advantage is not only beneficial to you as a homeowner but can also help save our environment. Together we can make a difference one household at a time.