Demands are on the rise for smart homes and green homes throughout the world. Advancements in technology have allowed residents to take advantage of benefits like energy efficiency and overall effectiveness in the house. The devices that people put into their homes help streamline their days with the effortless transition from home to the office and back home.
Are smart homes green homes? Often, people will use the words “smart home” and “green home” interchangeably. While eco-friendliness and technology have gone hand in hand for a while, these two terms are different.
Smart homes are heavily reliant on technology, and they focus on making things convenient and smooth-operating in the home. If you’ve ever seen the Disney movie “Smart House,” that’s similar to how smart homes operate today — except for the fact that technology doesn’t take over your home!
Devices like voice assistants and timers help the resident know just about everything they have throughout the day. The technology can provide updates on different items in the home with the touch of a button or even through voice commands.
Some factors must be included in a home to consider it “smart,” such as a reliable internet connection, smart security, smart thermostats, and other smart devices. Almost everything in a smart home is paired with the owner’s or user’s mobile device to control it remotely.
Oftentimes, the word “smart” refers to technology that learns about the user and adapts its behaviors accordingly.
Green homes are built more with efficiency and eco-friendliness in mind. The goal is to leave as small of a carbon footprint as possible. Therefore, the house should support the overall health of the tenants, and it should be a reflection of the harmony between the environment and people.
When builders construct green homes, they focus on the materials they use to build them and integrate renewable energy into the house. Most green homes have solar panels or rely on wind energy. They also conserve water as much as possible.
Some are shaped or situated to take advantage of passive heating or cooling methods, which are greener still.
Often, green homes and buildings must go through a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) checklist to be considered a sustainable home. The LEED certification is typically for commercial construction, but it provides a detailed outline of what to do to a structure for it to be truly sustainable.
Benefits of Adding Smart and Green Tech to Your Home
Between green technology and smart devices, the addition of either in your home promotes environmentalism and makes life a little bit easier to navigate. Here are some of the benefits of adding smart and green technology to your home:
- Saves energy: One of the significant benefits of adding smart and green technology is that it saves energy. With innovative technology, you can control lights, thermostats, and appliances. For example, during the day, you can use your phone to turn off the lights and turn down the thermostat, which uses less energy.
- Conserves water: Additionally, you’ll save water. If you have a garden or landscaping that requires regular watering, the technology can control how much water you use and even set the sprinkler on a schedule so you don’t overwater.
- Reduces costs: Green technology and appliances have Energy Star ratings, which means they use less energy. And because you’re saving energy and conserving water with innovative and green technology, it automatically reduces your bills each month.
Why wouldn’t you want to add these innovations to your home? Adopting these devices helps make your home efficient and effective.
How to Make Your Home Smart and Sustainable
You can easily incorporate green and smart technology into your home to make it more sustainable and connected to your mobile device. Below are a few great options to make your home innovative and sustainable:
- Smart programmable thermostats
- Smart irrigation systems
- LED programmable lights
- Home motion sensors
- Smart security system
- Energy Star appliances
- Double- and triple-paned windows
- Solar panels
- Environmentally-friendly building materials and furnishings
This is just a start to the items you can add to your home to make it eco-friendly and connected.
Be Smart and Green Wherever You Live
Now that you know the difference between smart homes and green homes, you can choose which technologies to purchase for your own home. Smart and green homes typically work hand in hand as they automate your life and cut back on energy consumption. How will you change your home for the better?
Bio: Jane is the Editor-in-Chief of Environment.co and an environmental writer covering green technology, sustainability and environmental news.