IoT Energy Efficiency
In today’s technology-savvy world, practically every single person owns a device that connects to the Internet. You use the Internet for many functions including communication, information, and even actions such as ordering food. It makes your life more convenient and everyday functions more efficient.
However, Internet connectivity goes beyond human-to-device connections.
The Internet of Things, or IoT, extends this connection to everyday devices and objects in your home.
Simply put, IoT is a system of mechanical and digital devices that are linked through Internet connectivity. Like us, these everyday items collect information and communicate with each other in order to perform their respective functions. They do this by transferring data over the Internet.
Did I mention that all of this is completed without any need for manual or human action?
You heard right.
IoT systems take a regular household object, such as a lightbulb, and transforms it into a smart device that collects key information in order to perform functions more efficiently. For example, lightbulbs that automatically dim to save energy and programmed to automatically switch on or off.
Essentially, IoT household devices provide a level of efficiency that is often beyond your grasp or simply requires too much time and effort. Their efficiency translates into large energy savings for your household.
In fact, it is estimated that by 2020 there will be 50 billion connected devices throughout the world. From this number, most devices are household-related that can be used for greater energy efficiency and cost savings.
It’s easy to see why there is a growing need for energy efficient IoT devices. Residential buildings make up almost 40% of total energy consumption in the world. Installing energy efficient IoT devices not only reduces your monthly costs, but also reduces harmful emissions to the environment.
It’s a win-win situation.
What exactly are energy efficient IoT devices for households?
These IoT devices range from simple motion sensors to complex analytical devices that optimizes energy usage in your home. They use sensors and actuators to collect and deliver information via Internet connectivity. This data is then processed and transformed into automated actions that increase the energy efficiency of your home.
Let’s take a closer look at some examples of energy efficient household IoT devices.
Lightbulbs are an everyday household item. They are a staple item in your monthly bills, and you wouldn’t even think twice about replacing them when they stop working. However, when you switch to an energy efficient bulb you often sacrifice quality for savings.
IoT offers a solution to this.
There are lightbulbs that can be programmed to be more energy efficient, without foregoing quality. You can program them to switch on and off at certain times, such as when you are not in the room. Alternatively, you can also adjust their brightness to simultaneously protect your eyes and save more energy.
Probably one of the most widely used household IoT systems, motion sensors can be used for many devices. They sense when a room is occupied and switches various devices on or off, accordingly. This includes lights, window shades, and temperature.
What’s more, motion sensors go beyond just detecting your presence in a room. They also sense other environmental factors such as whether it is dark or cold outside and adjusts your devices to the appropriate setting.
In doing so, your home becomes more energy efficient as you’ll only be using what you need. For Instance, if there is enough sunshine your IoT devices take this into account and lowers your lighting and temperature.
Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning systems are crucial to your home as they ensure you have adequate air quality and a comfortable environment. Usually, you adjust these settings yourself or hire an expert to check them on your behalf. This wastes valuable time and effort, not to mention does little to optimize your current energy usage.
On the other hand, Smart IoT devices collect data on key factors such as temperature, wind speed, humidity, and real time energy costs. They combine this with your utility budget and schedule to operate an ideal HVAC system in your home. This way, the devices are only turned on when you plan on using them and are off the rest of the day to save energy.
Electricity is another big contributor to your monthly energy bill. People often think that just because they aren’t using a household appliance, it doesn’t matter if it stays plugged into an outlet.
However, these devices are still switched on and therefore use up a lot of electricity.
Here’s where IoT comes in. You can save a large amount on electricity through IoT devices that turns off outlets connected to appliances that aren’t being used.
All you need to do is plug the device in to an available outlet, let it connect to your electricity system, and then you can begin switching off selected outlets throughout your home.
What’s more, some IoT devices even let you program when to switch off electricity supply to various devices. This means that the device only has access to electricity until it is fully charged, which further optimizes your energy usage.
Lastly, IoT systems can also be used to create more energy efficient homes in the future. They collect important data on existing homes, which can be analyzed to generate better energy management systems and design choices in terms of material and construction.
As a result, future homes become even more energy efficient with lower costs to both the owner and environment.
No matter what your household energy needs are, there’s no doubt that IoT devices improve energy efficiency in your home. They have the capability to perform anything from monitoring and optimizing energy usage, to incorporating Machine Learning that automatically implements energy-saving functions.
Essentially, we are still at the beginning of the Internet revolution. We are only just discovering the benefits of IoT and there is still a substantial amount of potential in this field, including more energy efficiency methods for your household. There really is no foreseeable limit to what the future holds for IoT.
By Ollie Smith, Editor of business energy comparison site Energy Seek
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