Here are a few ways how automating your home can significantly reduce your carbon footprint.
Our planet has gone through myriad changes in atmosphere over thousands of years. Whatever your stance may be in terms of climate change, there is no denying the fact that as a civilization humans have had some sort of effect on our environment, probably most notably since the industrial revolution. Carbon footprint is essentially the impact we have on the globe as a society, measured in terms of greenhouse emissions - usually in tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.
The energy we consume at home, common activities like the frequency and how we travel, what we eat, and the consumer products we buy, all have an affect on this value. One third of the planets total emissions were found to originate from homes due to energy consumption, as reported in a 2019 study in 'Environment International'. Another study [Smart Houses for Energy Efficiency and Carbon Dioxide Emission Reduction - 2014] found that electrical appliances account for approximately 0.5 tonnes of CO2e/y and by automating the home, the emissions reduced by 13%. Fully automated smart homes absorbed into the electrical grid allows for the exact control and monitoring of systems and their data, thus reducing the carbon footprint. Here are a few ways how automating your home can significantly reduce your carbon footprint:
Excess water usage is a huge factor in how much energy your home consumes. Connect your sprinkler and irrigation systems to a full automation platform to utilize water in your landscape areas only as exactly required. Schedule them to run for half an hour; at 7pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Through the use of integrated sensors, they will automatically be able to detect the moisture content in the soil and the humidity that day and accordingly control the water flow. Schedule your heavy water usage appliances like washing machines and dishwashers to run for a set time so you can get real time data in case there are any leakages. Also, completely automate and control the water temperature for your showers by setting morning and nighttime routines. This will radically improve your consumption metrics, save you money in the long run and leave less of a footprint.
Lighting also plays a major role in heavy energy consumption. Installing dimmable or tunable lights throughout your home and connecting them to an automation platform will automatically adjust for the type of day, weather and occupants in a room. Create a custom scene that automatically dims your lights to 20% and opens your curtains by 90% if it is a nice and sunny day outside. Also integrate smart motion sensors to have the lights turn off completely if it does not detect any activity in a particular room for an extended period. You will be astonished at how much CO2e you shelve off per year.
Integrate your HVAC systems with smart thermostats within the automation platform so your air conditioner 'observes' and learns your usage patterns based on your lifestyle. It knows automatically to keep your bedroom at a cool 220C fifteen minutes before bedtime so that you fall asleep favorably. During winters, schedule your heaters to turn on ten minutes after you leave work to keep your home nice and cozy by the time you reach. Interconnect with your curtain or shades/blinds systems to regulate the temperature even further and prevent avoidable heat losses or gains. Add smart meters into the mix to garner the full force of artificial intelligence and monitor all systems and devices in real time in case you want to control them manually through an app or voice commands.
Each of the above steps may seem small from an individual's perspective but plays a big role in the overall scheme of protecting the environment. Insulating your home, switching to renewable sources of energy and transferring your energy consumption loads to nighttime also have a positive impact. These are all ways in which we can help to move to a greener planet and automating our homes is definitely a step in the right direction.