By: Lucas Bergman
When you imagine what homes would look like in the future, do you think about sleek home designs with state-of-the-art technologies and completely automated every single detail? Perhaps you’re not so far from the truth, but you’re forgetting the most important ingredient – energy efficiency. The experimental Honda Smart Home is perhaps the best and most truthful representation of future homes.
This seemingly ordinary home is actually a hub of tech features that have reduced its energy consumption by 75 percent. So, if you’re wondering what makes a home a cradle of eco-friendly technology and what it takes to build one, you should take a look at some of the must-haves of smart green homes.
Energy-Management and Automation Home Systems
Home automation systems have become a common feature of modern properties, making them smarter, more practical and enjoyable. In the future, home automation will be brought to a higher level with energy-management systems. The Honda Smart Home features such a smart system that monitors and manages its energy consumption and production. Aside from this energy-management system, this house also has a built-in home automation system that controls different electrical features, contributing to its energy efficiency. Yet, the future has even more in stores for us, bringing systems that will be able to access and analyse data such as humidity, outside air, room temperature, etc. SILO (Smart Innovative Living Oasis) is another stunning example of a high-tech dwelling with innovative energy-efficient technology and a completely automated home system that can be controlled via a smartphone.
State-of-the-art Heat Pump Systems
Another innovation that can be seen in the Honda Home is a ground-source heat pump system that uses the relatively stable earth temperature to heat up or cool down the home. This system actually regulates indoor temperature by cooling down or heating up the water that runs through the pipe system. Although geothermal energy systems are certainly not new, this one is based on an innovative design that helps reduce the cost of installation and maintenance by digging shallower wells.
Solar systems are far from an innovative solution; they have become a norm when it comes to energy-efficient homes. With solar panels and a battery system used for storing excess energy, the Honda Home has managed to become a “zero net” home, producing more energy than it consumes. For average households, the benefits of 5kW solar system, the most commonly used solution, are extremely valuable, enabling homeowners to save up to $1800 on electricity per year, increasing their value and providing them with a Wi-Fi connection via which they can monitor the performance of their system.
Insulation is another important aspect of boosting a home’s energy efficiency. Of course, the smart homes of the future will have new and improved insulation made of eco-friendly, advanced composite materials. This next-gen insulation will be used for walls, floors, attics and other home areas, eliminating energy wastage and ensuring a pleasant home environment during winter and summer.
When it comes to energy-efficient windows, a new type is coming to the forefront. Developers are working on a new type of highly insulated windows that will be able to use microprocessors and sensors to adjust their shading according to the amount of available sunlight. This way, these high-tech windows will be able to ensure proper lighting depending on the time of day. Consequently, this will enable homeowners to reduce their electricity bill and increase their savings.
There’s no smart home without smart appliances. The future homes will be equipped with appliances that are both smart and energy-efficient. From smart refrigerators with cameras that you can access via your phone to smart ovens that will enable you to switch them to the appropriate heat remotely, you’ll truly have all the help you need in your future smart and green home. And there’s nothing quite a smart coffee machine that will have a hot one ready as soon as you open your eyes.
Smart thermostats are another energy-efficient feature that can help you reduce your energy consumption. Not only can smart thermostats be accessed via a phone, but they can also adjust your home temperature automatically depending on whether you’re home or not. Some may even control the temperature for each room separately depending on your needs.
Smart Light Switches
There are many sides to smart lighting, and smart switches are definitely among the smartest. The most innovative light switch comes with built-in Alexa, enabling you to control your lighting and other voice-enabled devices in your home. What’s even better is their easy installation that will be done in just 45 minutes.
Smart homes of the future are not only automated, but also energy-efficient and eco-friendly, providing you with the smartest, healthiest and greenest home environment there is.
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