The TV remains on stand-by mode the whole day, even if nobody watches anything? The heating keeps running at night while everyone’s fast asleep under their warm blankets? In private households, wasting energy can quickly become a matter of course. But as prices keep going up, this kind of negligence won’t be affordable much longer. So, what better time to make your daily routines more efficient? With some clever energy-saving tips and smart devices, you can quickly scale down your expenditure to a bare minimum.
Spending less on heating begins with three steps (which you’ve probably heard before, but maybe haven’t taken to heart thus far):
Don’t leave windows open while the heating is on.
Turn down the heating whenever you’re airing a room.
Don’t leave the heating on at night or in empty rooms.
Sounds simple enough in theory. But who likes to come home to a cooled-down house after the holidays or step into an ice-cold bathroom in the morning? This won’t be a problem with smart thermostats such as tado°: they can reduce heating costs by up to 30 percent, while you’ll still enjoy warm and cosy temperatures whenever necessary.
In KNX Smart Homes, it is possible to integrate tado° thermostats via the Gira X1 server – and thus retrofit wireless heating control without major renovation work. This allows for even more flexibility (and efficiency!) in everyday life, thanks to automated time schedules and remote access via app. Another benefit: smart thermostats are able to notice your presence or absence and adjust the heating accordingly.
The more you make use of natural sunlight, the less you will spend on additional heating or air conditioning. That’s where smart blind control comes into play: having your blinds going up or down at exactly the right time is a surprisingly easy way to save energy. In KNX Smart Homes, energy-efficient processes can be automated via the Gira weather station Plus for KNX. It measures nine meteorological parameters including outdoor temperatures, rainfall, and wind speed. These data are then transmitted to the KNX system so that other connected functions will react to current weather changes. You can thus use your blinds to either shield your house from the sun during the summer or warm it up (without extra heating) during the winter. Another benefit of smart blind control: automated time schedules to simulate your presence and scare off potential intruders whenever you’re away on holiday.
Apart from heating, hot water takes up a huge part of our running costs – especially in the bathroom. Ever thought about how many litres of water go down the drain every time you’re waiting for the right temperature in the shower? Then you should consider this energy-saving tip: the smart showerhead EvaDrop relies on a special sensor system to ensure that water will only start running when the desired temperature is reached. But the device can do much more: during the shower, it adjusts the water flow to the current positioning of your body. Using a Bluetooth app on your smartphone, you can change your preferred settings, track your water usage, or connect EvaDrop to other smart products.
From the hair dryer in the bathroom to the coffee machine in the kitchen – none of our daily routines would work without electricity. But how much do you actually need, and how much is expended on lights you forgot to switch off or devices on stand-by mode? We’ve got two energy-saving tips to solve both problems: for one, smart motion detectors ensure that lights are only switched on when necessary – indoors as well as outdoors. In addition, you can use smart socket outlets combined with a central server to switch off multiple devices at the push of a button.
The Gira HomeServer for KNX Smart Homes offers even more convenient functions: generating overviews of your energy expenditure and alerting you if there has been a significant increase. This helps identify other parts of your household where you could avoid wasting gas, water, or electricity.
Besides monitoring our own energy consumption, we can’t do much about rising prices – or can we? So-called smart grids might prove us wrong. The term refers to the idea of interconnected households that not only consume, but also produce, store, and provide energy for each other. This could establish a stable balance between supply and demand, without skyrocketing prices due to shortages. Today, smart grids are still little more than a future vision. But as technology keeps advancing, they might soon open up entirely new ways to save electricity.
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