12 Dec Get Smart! Home Technology Can Save Money, Reduce Energy Consumption
This article was published in the December/January 2013 Lake Mary Healthy Living magazine. View pdf
Environmental conservation efforts have substantially increased in recent years as we consumers have become more aware of the way our choices affect where we live. As stewards of our planet, we are becoming more educated in the processes of reducing and reusing. Shifting our consumption to well-designed products and services makes “smart” living more attainable. By reducing energy consumption and using advanced technologies, we can apply the latest strategies at home to save money and have a positive effect on our environment.
Building and remodeling techniques as well as home construction materials have changed remarkably over the past several decades. Builders and contractors are more aware of energy efficiency and ways to reduce negative environmental impacts. As a result, they are bringing about changes in industry standards that will positively affect consumers and the environment. On your next building project, you and your contractor should consider your building choices together. As you plan the project, look at using local or renewable resources and project your long-term as well as immediate costs. With a little forethought, you can easily increase the comfort, safety and efficiency of your home without putting undue stress on our natural resources.
Making some simple changes in your home can reduce energy consumption, prolong the life of your home and increase its value. Consider using eco-friendly insulation; Energy Star household appliances, windows and doors; and even updated bulbs and lighting solutions. When remodeling your home, be sure to use non-toxic paint, sustainable flooring and countertop materials and low-flow plumbing fixtures. By making your home “greener,” you can help minimize pollution, protect the natural environment and create a healthy, comfortable, non-hazardous home for yourself and your family.
Making your home “smarter” not only helps the environment and saves money on your monthly energy bills, it also gives you the added convenience of accessing your home’s major systems from one device. You can operate these systems remotely, while away from home. Home entertainment and media centers can be controlled with the simple touch of a pad. Smart technology also regulates thermostats, light switches, door locks, garage doors and window shades.
While tech changes protect our environment and improve our comfort, they can also protect our families. We’ve all left our homes in a rush only to wonder whether we closed the garage door. Instead of wasting valuable time turning around, just check your iPad or smartphone — it’s all connected to your home technology system! Close or lock doors, raise and lower blinds, turn lights on or off — you can do all of these things from your phone or other device. Program times for your blinds and lighting while on vacation, then add video surveillance cameras with audio to complete your home protection plan. Smart home innovations make your entire residence safer, more secure and more energy efficient.
So think “smart” before you begin any construction, remodeling or home upgrade project. By considering these points, you can choose the most appropriate building materials, construction techniques and energy-saving products and technology that will ensure that you are living smart!
About Lake Mary Healthy Living magazine:
Lake Mary Health & Wellness Magazine encourages healthy living and has written about cycling, paddle-boarding, running, swimming, dragon-boating, TRX training, yoga, pilates, crossfit training, skydiving, hot air ballooning, trapeze classes, indoor sky-diving, and kite-flying. They encourage being stewards of our environment and by giving back to those less fortunate then ourselves in our community.