When we hear „smart home solutions,” our first thought is voice-activating a playlist of our favorite songs or turning on a light at the clap of a hand. And that’s right – home automation provides convenience, creates a cozy atmosphere. It is compared to technological magic. But a smart home can do so much more. Especially in difficult economic times, when energy saving is precious. And here too, you can put your trust in technology. Savings begin at home.
High price is an effective ” repellent ” of any service, goods, industry. All more so if we do not want to spend, but we want to save. Smart home is associated with something expensive and exclusive. With something that only a few can afford. With something that will not help to keep money in the household budget. However, such thinking is wrong. Smart home solutions are not just gadgets in luxury properties. Of course, they improve the daily comfort of homeowners, but a large part of smart solutions are devices that thoughtfully improve the operation of home installations. And if the home installations work optimally, they consume less energy and create financial reserves. It usually doesn’t take long for that to happen.
Remember that energy is a regular (and growing) expense, and the equipment that determines its consumption is a one-time expense. Since energy costs a lot, it is necessary to manage its consumption wisely. If we do not take care of it, we will waste it unnecessarily and pay even more. Why should I waste energy? – someone will ask. And probably few of us consciously do it. Unfortunately, it does not always depend on the responsibility and self-discipline of the householder. Without the support of controllers it is impossible to avoid wasting energy. We ourselves are not able to set the consumption in such a way that some of the energy „sucked in” by the household installations is not unused. We pay in vain. Therefore, saving energy in every home should be a priority.
On the market we can find many more or less technologically advanced devices that help save energy: intelligent heating systems, lighting, security systems. We have many smart solutions to choose. So the question is – which ones to skip with no regrets, and which ones to be interested in.
Heating controls are one of the most important categories of smart solutions for energy efficiency. In our geographical zone, we have to heat our homes for about 8 months a year. The winter season starts in early autumn and ends in late spring. Heating expenses drive gigantic costs. To keep them in control and save energy, we need modern technologies. Maybe not all smart solutions are as spectacular as chatting with a voice assistant, but we need them badly.
A well-designed wiring centre for surface heating (e.g. for underfloor heating) will be an ideal example here. It allows to control the distribution of the heating medium to individual loops by means of thermoelectric actuators (actuators open/close the flow). And how do the wiring centre and actuators (or the heating unit itself) „know” how to distribute the heating medium to maintain the temperature? Thanks to the room themostat. At the right moment, the temperature thermostat sends a signal to heat or stop heating. This is caused by continuous measurement of the room temperature and comparing it (according to an established algorithm) with the set temperature. Similarly, in the case of the TRV radiator head – although it is already a part of the radiator installation – which, in cooperation with the thermostat, distributes heat to radiators.
The human mind cannot replace the algorithms and technical devices that control the flow of the medium in the heating system. It is pure engineering and mathematics. Control systems are a group of smart solutions that most support energy saving. They provide optimal heat at the lowest possible cost. Not to mention that the ideal temperature improves living comfort and promotes well-being.
Smart plugs, or intelligent plugs (commonly called smart sockets), are small devices with huge power. They don’t cost much, but they can make life more enjoyable and save energy. How do they work? Really simple. The smart plug is connected to the electrical socket. It becomes its extension with special functions. If we connect an electrical device such as a lamp to such a mounted plug – which happens most often – smart plug will turn it on or off at selected moments. Thanks to this it will not be lit when it is not needed – it will consume less power and we will save energy. Such an expanded socket will also work well in the so-called intelligent house scenarios. For example, it will allow you to control the lamp depending on the work of another device, or from sunrise, sunset or selected time. There are many more combinations. For example, you can set the light to go off when the temperature in the bedroom drops. The situation is similar with sensors – for example with a motion detector. You can create a rule that turns off the lights when there is no one in the kitchen (when the motion stops). Of course, to make it work the way we want it to, we first need to program the appropriate rules into the smart home app (such as this one). This is done only once and then the house „lives” according to our rules.
It is also worth paying attention to other sensors that will help save energy. For example a light dimmer (more here) or an opening sensor, which will signal the opening of a window and – included in the rule – enable turning off heating in a ventilated room. Why pay for heating your balcony or backyard? A flood sensor will also be useful; properly connected to the home’s plumbing system, it will shut off the water supply to the bathroom after detecting a washing machine malfunction. So we can save not only on energy consumption but also on renovation costs.
In these difficult economic and ecological times there is also good news. For example, modern technology allows you to reduce energy consumption. Just sit down with the idea, check the possibilities and bet on smart solutions that will help control this essential daily process. Each of us lives differently, has different habits, different needs, differently organized home space. Therefore, before we decide on any purchase, we should consider which technical innovations will help us optimize energy consumption. This is important especially with installations that consume the most money (heating, lighting). Remember that control systems are an investment that will pay off for years. After all, even simple models of thermostats allow you to maintain the right temperature in rooms. Not to mention those with extensive schedules. With these, energy consumption will no longer be accidental.
A distributor of SALUS Controls brand:
QL CONTROLS Sp. z o.o., Sp. k.
4 Rolna, 43-262 Kobielice
NIP: 638 180 68 25,
office: +48 32 700 74 53,
service: +48 32 750 65 05,
fax: +48 32 790 44 85,
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