Saving energy at home using the new apps

It is impossible to browse through Google without sooner or later being offered a free application for your smart phone or for your PC and since we all are experts in apps, ok nearly all, I thought it would be opportune and pertinent to describe here what the market is offering these days on "home automation" to save energy.


This must be a mistake!!


I have selected the energy saving factor because, Iberdrola, Endesa, Unión Fenosa and other electrical companies are rubbing their hands while issuing their invoices for the summer months I am sure you will repeat again and again the same as I do... This must be a mistake!!


Home automation contributes without doubt to energy saving and leads to responsible consumption. In most cases, a smart housing management, results in savings on electricity, water and gas fuels. It can controls and automates lighting systems, air conditioning, hot water, irrigation even the operation of appliances and the movement of external shutters controlling the sun rays.


In addition, by monitoring consumption, the end user may know the energy expenditure at any particular time without having to wait for the bill to come and shouting the usual: this must be a mistake...!


This is at least, the objective of the guide "How to save energy by installing home automation in your home. Gain in comfort and safety", developed by the Spanish Association of Automation (CEDOM) in collaboration with the Institute for Energy Diversification and Energy Saving (IDEA) and edited by AENOR.


The idea is to make better use of natural resources and reduce the energy bills. The "Practical Efficient and Responsible Energy Consumption Guide " published by the IDAE, in 2007, reveals that energy consumption of Spanish households accounts for 30% of total consumption in the country: about 900 Euros a year per household. Those were the figures in 2007, now it should be at least 30% more.


Advances in apps.

The development in the automation sector has made "solutions aimed at all types of housing," as stated in the aforementioned guide. It has increased the number of features and simplified its installation and use. A handheld TV remote control or your own smart phone is enough to operate the system from indoors or any part in the world.


In the case of lighting, it could be used to adjust its level depending on the penetrating sunlight, the area of ​​the house (corridors, rooms) or the presence of people. "It can fit the needs of each moment." It could manage automatically the turning on so that the lights stay lit when there is someone in that particular space and turns itself off when leaving.


Also, it is possible to control the movement of awnings, blinds and curtains to maximize light and solar energy. Various spaces could be heated depending on the variation of the outside temperature, time of day, the area of ​​the house or people who are in a room. If one thing we have in Spain apart from economic wine prices is sun...there are lots and lots of sunshine and it is a valuable resource especially in winter when we need to heat a particular part of the house without over heating it. In summer we could be notified of the existence of an open window when the air conditioning is on etc.


Custom Management for the daring.

Regarding appliances, home automation can program its operation when the price of energy is lower and can disconnect non-priority circuits, such as air conditioning, before reaching the contracted power. Also leakage of gas or water could be detected; needless to say that controlling irrigation through a humidity sensor (not a timer) which takes into account the rain, plus it could also regulates the flow of water and its temperature in winter months.


All in all, home automation system managing just the lighting and temperature of a 20 m2 room located in south facing apartment Madrid can produce an energy saving of 26%, while the installation of an intelligent faucet can save up to 25% more than a water tap mixer.


You can correct the behaviour patterns and optimize energy savings.

Monitoring water consumption, fuel and electricity is a personalized management. "The information obtained may allow to optimize energy savings in the future and should correct patterns of behaviour," says the guide.


Households with electricity generation systems for solar photovoltaic or others renewable energy device can be monitored and managed "knowing at all times how much energy is being injected into the network." In addition, the daily automation facilitates weekly and monthly reports for the financial management on the income obtained through the sale of that energy.


Tailored solutions according to the needs of each home and the lifestyle of the users are offered at the moment. Since the possibilities are vast, it is particularly important to analyze the situation to find the ideal system that may suit you best. 


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