Technology: Using Technology to Increase Energy Efficiency

Remodeling professionals can help homeowners navigate this rapidly evolving home technology trend by understanding the homeowner’s “green” preferences and keeping the product explanations simple.

April 01, 2014
Remodelers can meet their client’s requests by incorporating emerging technologies to create a more energy-efficient home; however, there are a few things remodelers should consider before presenting clients with these new opportunities.

Remodelers can meet their client’s requests by incorporating emerging technologies to create a more energy-efficient home; however, there are a few things remodelers should consider before presenting clients with these new opportunities.

By the year 2025, 50 billion “things” will be connected to the Internet, many of them related to the home. As technology transforms the home into a dynamic, connected hub, wireless devices such as thermostats, alarm systems, and sensing systems will work together to improve energy efficiency.

Remodeling professionals can help homeowners navigate this rapidly evolving home technology trend by understanding the homeowner’s “green” preferences, not incorporating the tools too quickly, becoming subject-matter experts, and keeping the product explanations simple.  

According to results of a recent survey from the Home Industry Leadership Board, most homeowners translate “going green” with energy-efficient products and renovations. Data also showed that 30 percent of homeowners requested green alternatives for their last home project. Remodelers can meet their client’s requests by incorporating emerging technologies to create a more energy-efficient home; however, there are a few things remodelers should consider before presenting clients with these new opportunities.

Home technology rapidly emerging

Thermostats have evolved from needing to be manually set to a specific temperature to being capable of learning a homeowner’s preferences and adjusting the temperature accordingly. Sensors can be placed on plumbing pipes to alert a homeowner of a leak. Homeowners can view their energy bill at anytime of the month to see how much energy they’re currently using, which allows them to change their habits to reduce energy usage. While these new technologies present exciting opportunities, it’s important for remodelers to remember that standards are still being developed, so they shouldn’t try to rush homeowners into installing every type of new home system.

Becoming a subject matter expert on these new tools will allow a remodeler to educate homeowners before presenting them with the solution that best meets their needs. Of the emerging tech advancements, remodelers should be experts on wireless alarm systems, wireless thermostats, wireless home sensing systems, and smart appliances. Wireless alarm systems are easier to install and control for the homeowner than wired systems. As the name implies, wireless alarm systems are installed without drilling holes in the walls for the wires. This is great for homeowners who are considering a move in the near future, as they don’t have to leave the alarm system in the house. Wireless alarm systems allow homeowners to arm or disarm their system remotely through a phone or tablet app. Some systems also let homeowners control their HVAC system, lights, and even appliances through the same app. These systems will also alert a homeowner if there are odd movements in the house.

Wireless thermostats are also a common tool that can help homeowners increase their home’s energy efficiency. Wireless thermostats are easy to install and can be controlled remotely. Even more exciting is these “smart” thermostats can learn and adjust the temperature based on the homeowner’s usage. What’s more, wireless thermostats can help homeowners save up to 20 percent on energy costs.

Wireless home sensing systems help prevent mold growth and plumbing leaks. The system is composed of several sensors placed in different rooms of the house and connected to a wireless system. The system monitors possible water leaks, humidity levels, and temperatures in each room. If a problem occurs, the system automatically sends an alert to the homeowner’s phone, potentially saving them thousands of dollars of costly repairs mitigating water damage and mold.

It’s also important for remodelers to understand the new features of smart household appliances such as smart ovens or smart washing machines. Homeowners are now able to adjust the temperature of their smart oven remotely through an app. This app can also notify homeowners when their food is ready. Smart washing machines allow homeowners to monitor the washing cycle and be notified of any problems that occur. Many new washing machines also have a shorter rinsing cycle, which can make the loads 25-percent shorter, saving on utility bills.

The rapid emergence of connected devices is allowing more and more homeowners to experience the convenience, safety, and peace of mind these smart devices afford. Given the increasing pace of such technological innovations, remodelers who position themselves as subject-matter experts can become great resources for homeowners looking to embrace these new technologies. But no matter how open a homeowner might be to change, new technology can be overwhelming. Remodelers who focus first on educating the homeowner with clear and simple explanations will have the most success selling the homeowner on the energy-saving benefits of the connected house. PR
--
Chris Terrill is the CEO for HomeAdvisor. He can be reached at Cterrill@homeadvisor.com or 303-963-8173.

 

About the Author


Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.
Overlay Init