It may seem strange to use a home automation system to save energy – after all won’t the control system itself use energy? Surely a minimalist approach to electrical hardware is the best way to save energy?
A well designed home automation system can provide huge benefits and savings in energy consumption:
Lighting control systems can save substantial amounts of energy. The dimming mechanism can save up to 70% of the energy of a non-dimmed lamp which when coupled with activity detection and daylight sensing can save huge amounts of energy. Put simply the home automation system will determine if the room is occupied and if it is whether the existing light level is sufficient. Big businesses have been using this technology for years, and making huge savings, and now the likes of Crestron have started releasing lighting keypads with light sensors built in for the domestic market.
There are many ways a home automation system can save on the costs of heating your home – individual thermostats in each room ensure the house is never over heated and allow temperatures to be reduced when the room is not occupied. These temperature reductions can even be tied in to your alarm system so setting the alarm when you leave the property will reduce the required temperatures, even a few degrees savings can reap substantial savings. Individual controls of different rooms can allow different temperatures throughout the home, similar to the radiator temperature dials we are all used to but much more reliable. A home automation system also comes in to its own with renewable energy solutions – biomass boilers and stoves can be controlled to ensure maximum efficiency. As an aside it is also worth considering convenience – imagine being able to dial up your ski chalet on the last run of the day to switch the stove on – ensuring a welcoming warm lounge when you get home!
Intelligent Power Switching
Switching things off when not required is an easy way to save energy. Modern equipment has been designed to use a lot less power when in standby which is why our control systems are programmed to switch devices off when they are not required. With certain devices – which we know to be inefficient even in standby – we can automatically switch off all power to the devices. Our modern multi-room amplifiers are Class D models which means each output has it’s own power supply and consequently only portions of the amplifier are switched on at any one time.
Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning
Although we have already covered Heating Control it is important to think of heating as part of the bigger picture. Modern buildings tend to contain a lot of glass which can cause temperature swings – too cold part of the time or too hot when the sun is streaming through the windows. The same Crestron heating thermostats can let us know when the temperature is rising and, coupled with the lighting keypad light sensors, determine if the blinds should be closed. This pre-emptive measure can save huge amounts in air conditioning costs whilst protecting the fabric of the room. Security can also be increased by closing the curtains or blinds when darkness falls. Control of air conditioning can not only make the system easier to use but ensure the system is only operating when the room is occupied and the conditions demand it.