Why You Should Work Towards an Energy-Efficient Home?

An energy-efficient home is something we should all work towards. It will save you money, decrease your carbon footprint, and make your home and lifestyle more environmentally friendly. Most of us think that achieving an energy-efficient home is difficult, expensive, and time-consuming, but it doesn’t have to be. There are so many little things we can do to decrease the amount of energy we waste and to reduce the amount of money we spend on running our homes. Today, we will be taking a look at what you can do to improve the energy efficiency of your home and why this will benefit you in the long run.

Upgrade Appliances

If your home appliances are old, chances are they are not very energy efficient and will be costing you more than they should to run. When you purchase any new appliance, you should look for one that comes with a stamp of approval, also known as an ‘Energy Star’ rating. This means the new appliance is classed as energy-efficient, which means you will save money on energy bills in the future.

Check Boiler Efficiency

In most UK households, the cost of running a boiler will be more than all of the other home appliances combined. To ensure that you aren’t spending too much on your boiler, you should assess its efficiency levels. There are simple tools you can use to do this. If you are spending too much, replacing a boiler is an option, but it’s expensive. Instead, you can look into cheaper ways of improving its efficiency.

Install Insulation

Energy that should be heating your home will be lost through your windows and ceilings when your home is poorly insulated. If your home is properly insulated, you will pay less to heat your home because the building will retain the heat more efficiently. It doesn’t cost too much to do and the money you spend on it will be made back over a couple of years through reduced energy costs.

Switch Energy Supplier

Some energy suppliers are greener than others, and many of the more sustainable ones also offer surprisingly cheap tariffs. By using an energy comparison website you should be able to find a new supplier that can improve your household’s carbon footprint while also lowering your household bills.

Use Renewables

Renewable energy comes from a resource that is naturally replaced on a human timescale. This includes wind, sunlight, waves, tides, rain, and geothermal heat. Using renewable energy is a great way to help the environment and to save money on energy bills. It can be expensive to install, but it comes with many benefits for you, your home, and the environment.

As you can see, the main reason many of us should choose to have a more energy-efficient home is to save us money, but it helps the environment too. We are all aware of the changes taking place in our environment, so protecting it and saving money while doing so is an offer we shouldn’t refuse.

NatHERS – Tool To Maximize Sustainability of Your Future Home

Short for the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme, NatHERS uses a 10-star rating system which is able to easily access the thermal performance of buildings within Australia. Though a NatHERS certification is required for all new developments with multiple dwellings, it is essential for all residents to obtain an assessment to be able to easily evaluate the thermal assessment of their development.

At Certified Energy, our years of experience distinguishes us from our competitors. We work with each client separately, to ensure that each individual project thrives in terms of cost, efficiency and the preservation of design concepts.

We strive to minimize your costs whilst maximizing the sustainability of your future home.

Why is NatHERS assessment required?

NatHERS as outlined above is the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme which is able to evaluate the thermal performance of any dwelling. Though this may seem irrelevant and unnecessary when outlining the overall performance of the building, it is a necessity to get a NatHERS assessment in order to ensure a sustainable future for our environment.

Not only this, but NatHERS is essential when obtaining a BASIX assessment. BASIX is a NSW Government initiative striving to improve the environmental sustainability. It comprises of three factors: water, thermal and energy. The thermal component of BASIX can be easily completed through a NatHERS assessment with its thorough, accurate and flexible approach to addressing thermal performance.

Thus, a NatHERS assessment is required not only to contribute towards a sustainable future for the environment but also as a necessity under the BASIX initiative led by the NSW Government.

What does a NatHERS assessment include?

A NatHERS assessment can be obtained by a specialised company that has NatHERS Accredited Software which can be used to determine the thermal efficiency of your home. Within the assessment, each resident will be provided a copy of the key design features and the building materials and the scope used to generate the dwelling’s star rating.

The star rating, also known as the Energy or Thermal Efficiency star rating, is an accurate indicator of the level of heating or cooling your building requires to not only make you feel comfortable, but to ensure that it doesn’t have a detrimental impact on the environment. By following the recommendations and guidelines that will be included in your report, you will also be on the path of having lower energy expenses, by using the appropriate amount of electricity.

How does Certified Energy do it differently?

At Certified Energy, there are two main certification solutions that will help you achieve the lowest cost with the highest efficiency rating. These include the essential solutions (House Energy Rating Scheme, Elemental Provision) or alternative solutions (Verification Using a Reference Building and State Specific Energy Protocols).

In order to give you the best catered advice as per your personal needs, Certified Energy will guide you through the various approval pathways that will help your project achieve energy efficiency and environmental sustainability.

How an Eco-friendly Home can Boost ROI When Selling?

Greening your home isn’t only beneficial for the environment and reducing energy costs, if you are thinking of selling it in the future, environmental upgrades can also help your ROI. Some green home improvements have a better ROI than others (think solar panels), and doing your research before your start any project can help you get the most bang for your buck. We’ve outlined a few of the best options that you might want to consider when determining the ROI of eco-friendly homes:

1. Tankless water heater

One of the easiest and least expensive upgrades you can make to take your home in an eco-friendly direction is buying a new water heater, especially if it hasn’t been changed in the last decade. Water heating is responsible for 16% of a typical home’s energy costs and swapping out an old, inefficient water heater, for a tankless version could cost a couple thousand dollars, and will save you money every month. It will also be an attractive selling point for your home.

2. Upgraded windows

If your home has drafty windows, they are the next feature that you want to turn to for an energy-efficient upgrade. The cost of windows will depend on the size of your home and the quality that you go for, but there is no doubt that this is likely worth your investment.

The Department of Energy says heat gain and loss through older windows is responsible for 25 to 30% of energy usage for heating and cooling. According to Consumer Reports, Energy Star-certified windows can lower your home’s energy bills by up to 15%, and that translates to attractive savings for a potential buyer.

3. Solar panels

Solar panels can save you money, but not right away, so they may not have the best ROI if you are planning to sell soon. That’s because installing solar panels have major upfront costs. The good news is that homes with solar energy systems typically garner higher selling prices than homes with other types of systems.

One study found that homebuyers were willing to pay a premium of $15,000, and, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, homes that feature solar panels may also sell faster than homes that derive their energy from fossil fuels.

However, determining the ROI of installing solar is complicated. According to Energy Informative, a five-kilowatt system — the average size of a system in the United States — can cost around $20,000. But the exact size of the system you’ll need will depend on how big your home is and how much power it uses.

Another consideration is your home’s location, as there may be state rebates (such as in California, Arizona, and Colorado), in addition to federal tax credits. Evaluate the number of years that you intend to stay in your home, and compare the average monthly savings of using solar with how much of the system you’ll have paid off by your projected moving day.

With one or more of these strategies in mind, you will be well on your way to greening your home to make it more attractive to potential buyers.

The Future of Gas Boilers – Hydrogen or Heat Pumps?

Due to the international crisis of global warming, the majority of western countries are now set on a course to become carbon neutral and at the Paris Accord, they agreed to achieve this by 2050. This is an impressive feat for countries still so reliant on fossil fuels for major industries like heating and transport.

Residential heating is one area that is currently in the spotlight, for instance, in countries like the UK, it is currently responsible for around one-third of carbon emissions. As a result and understandingly it is set to undergo major reform over the next 10 years.

What’s the problem with current heating?

Heating in the UK is still heavily reliant on fossil fuels, either directly or indirectly. For instance, the vast majority of homes are supplied with natural gas which is burned in fireplaces and gas combi boilers to provide homes with heat.

heating-radiator

The major issue is that burning natural gas releases carbon into the atmosphere, which is a gas that doesn’t leave the atmosphere, resulting in heat being trapped in the atmosphere, leading to global warming.

Therefore, the UK government is looking at low carbon heating alternatives as a route to transforming the current situation, which includes the likes of heat pumps, hydrogen boilers and solar.

As Heatable states, residential boilers have already been under considerable scrutiny and the government has banned non-condensing boilers, driving up the efficiency of boilers to above 90%, as well as a total outlaw on all gas boilers in new homes from 2025.

Yet, it’s important to note that most industry commentators consider replacing gas boilers with solar and heat pumps completely unrealistic. Major concerns include their expensive and disruptive installation, as well as their reliability when compared to conventional boilers.

As a result, replacing the fuel is seen as a much more realistic approach with the fuel of choice being hydrogen. This can be fed into the current infrastructure and used with hydrogen-ready boilers, which are almost identical to current natural gas versions.

Hydrogen Boilers vs. Heat Pumps

There are many issues when it comes to the transition from high to low carbon heating technologies. So much so, that the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) estimated that it would take almost 1,000 years to make the switch if the current trajectories continued.

Even worse, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) highlighted that it would cost on average £26,000 for each home to install a low carbon heating alternative, rending the whole idea completely unviable.

hydrogen-boiler

The only sensible solution is the adoption of hydrogen fuel as an alternative to natural gas instead. This fuel is able to make use of the current gas networks infrastructure which is already connected to the vast majority of properties.

From an environmental standpoint, hydrogen is also seen as highly desirable.

Why? When hydrogen is burned it produces only vapour and absolutely no carbon dioxide making it ideal for a carbon-neutral future.

Disadvantages of Heat Pumps

As well as that, there are also other issues with heat pumps, of which there are three main types: air source, ground source and hybrid. All of which works by sucking in heat from the surrounding air, ground or water and are able to supply heat to water and central heating.

Hybrid heat pumps are different in that they utilise a boiler to provide supplemental heat if the weather becomes severely cold.

The good point of heat pumps is that they only use small amounts of electricity to operate and combined with the fact that they absorb heat from the environment, they are extremely efficient. In fact, they can achieve energy efficiency ratings exceeding 300%, compared to modern gas boilers that are around 94%.

However, it’s not all positive sadly and heat pumps are unable to provide the same, consistent heat output that gas boilers are able to. For this reason, they are usually installed with oversized radiators and/or underfloor heating and only in properties that are extremely well insulated.

Conclusion

Heating is without a doubt going to change and countries like the UK are going to transition away from gas boilers, but what will win – heat pumps or hydrogen?

It seems that hydrogen has the advantage from a feasibility standpoint, but there’s little doubt that heat pumps will be part of the mix too.

It’s becoming more common for gas boilers to be installed with a hybrid heat pump system.

The first homes fitted with hydrogen boilers and appliances are going to be installed in Fife, Scotland from next year, so progression is certainly accelerating.

6 Easiest Ways to Save Money on Your Utility Bills

As the climate warms, it’s more important than ever to consider how you can lower your carbon footprint as a homeowner.And lowering your carbon footprint has another huge benefit: you can often save money as a result of green upgrades to your home. For example, solar energy can save you around $600 a year in energy costs. Of course, there are many other reasons why you should use solar energy, but the primary reason to use it is that it is a renewable source, i.e., it will last for billions of years.

Besides making structural changes—like adding solar panels, for example, to your home, there are other ways to save on your utility bills such as turning off lights you’re not using. Below, we’ve gathered our tops tips for saving money on utility bills – and helping out the planet, too!

1. Take advantage of sunshine during the winter

The sun is basically free heat for your home. Homeowners can take advantage of what’s called passive solar design. During the day, open the curtains on south-facing windows to let the sunshine inside so it can warm up your house. This will keep your home considerably hotter during the colder months.

Don’t forget to close the curtains when the sun sets so you can keep as much of that trapped solar heat as possible. Consider investing in thick, insulated curtains, which will help keep heat inside your living spaces.

2. Pay attention to your ceiling fan’s rotation in winter and summer

As you may know, warm air rises. Instead of letting that warm air go up, up and away, you can leverage your ceiling fan to keep that warm air close to you and your family. Reverse your ceiling fan’s rotation so that it turns clockwise instead of counterclockwise. This will keep the hot air in your living spaces. And during the hotter months, make sure the fan is spinning counterclockwise to pull hot air away from you. It is also advisable to hire reputed electricians like ADC Electric who provide quality service and safety to electrical systems in residential properties.

3. Get a new roof

A new roof can make a huge difference in your energy savings. Best of all? Energy-efficient roofing helps you save money in both the colder and warmer months. Many new types of roofing are “cool roofs” which reflect more of the sun’s rays instead of allowing solar heat to permeate into the home. This means that you don’t have to run the AC as low or as often. In the winter, a new roof helps prevent warm air from escaping.

Plus, in many areas, you might be eligible for a government tax incentive for replacing an old roof with an energy-efficient version.

4. Seal drafts around windows, doors, and other areas of your home

One of the best methods for determining what areas of your home can be more energy-efficient is by conducting a DIY energy audit. To do an energy audit, light an incense stick and watch to see if smoke is pulled to cracks in the windows or under the doors. You can also sometimes feel drafts by simply putting your palm up around the edges of windows and doors. Once you find drafty areas, it’s important to seal up those holes with weather stripping or caulking.

Fixing air leaks will benefit you both in the summer and the winter because it helps keep your HVAC system from working overtime.

5. Invest in a smart thermostat

A smart thermostat is a prudent investment, especially if you regularly forget to turn off the A/C or heat when you leave for work or errands. That wasted energy can add up to a big utility bill at the end of the month. A smart thermostat regulates the temperature and automatically programs a specific range to keep you comfortable but turns off in unoccupied rooms.

6. Schedule regular maintenance

Routine maintenance is essential to promote the longevity of your HVAC system and to ensure that your home isn’t wasting energy. Make sure to replace filters at least once a month and keep tabs on how old your HVAC system is, most systems need to be replaced every 15-20 years.

Takeaways

There are a variety of reasons as to why it’s in your best interest to find ways to make your home greener. Not only do green upgrades ultimately save you money, they also help the planet during a time when a climate emergency is threatening our very existence. If you want to see a smaller utility bill and live a more eco-friendly life, utilize some of the tips mentioned in this article. You’ll save money and help save earth, too.

Water Conservation: 8 Easy Ways to Save Water at Your Home

The importance of saving water cannot be understated, especially as many countries around the world are facing drought conditions. Of course, there is an endless list of small changes you can make as a homeowner to improve the water-saving efficiency of your home, and they add up to a potentially significant difference in the long-term.

1. Repurpose Water

A staggering amount of water literally goes down the drain each day, when there are plenty of smart, safe ways to conserve as much of it as possible. Your bathroom is a key contributor to single-use wastage, and by keeping a container on the floor of your shower you can collect liters with each use. Meanwhile, in the kitchen, even seemingly small things like using a container to catch the water used in washing fresh produce can make a difference over time.

2. Get Smart About Lawn Care

It’s a common misconception that maintaining a healthy lawn requires a plentiful supply of water. Even during water-restricted periods, keeping your grass green is possible – you just have to get clever about your lawn care practices. Depending on the severity of restrictions, you may only be allowed to water your garden and lawn on certain days and at set times of day, and this will probably be enough, as long as you follow a few guidelines.

If possible, it’s best to water your plants and grass in the evening so that the water has plenty of time to soak into the soil and roots without the threat of evaporation. In case you’re unsure whether to water or not, feeling the topsoil for dryness will give you the best indication. Another interesting option for a smart and healthy lawn is to go for artificial grass.

3. Use the Half-flush

The second button on the toilet is more than just an aesthetic feature. In fact, the half-flush button can save as much as 70% of the water used in a full flush, owing to the difference in flushing design. A wash-down design and a large trap way make it easier for waste to flow down the drain, meaning less water is required. If you can afford to replace an old, inefficient system, you stand to save a lot of water (and by extension, money) in the long-term.

4. Use Dual Sinks

Washing dishes by hand gets a bad rap in terms of water efficiency, and it often uses more water than a dishwasher, but it’s possible to prevent a great deal of wastage by using your sink effectively. If you have a double-barreled sink, using one side for washing and the other for rinsing will allow you to wash an unlimited load without needing to refresh the water.

5. Check the Ratings

Every water-using device has an efficiency rating, and choosing a well-rated model will help you prevent unnecessary wastage at the source. In some countries, large devices like dishwashers and washing machines come with a star rating to give an indication of their efficiency, and even if they don’t, you can still do your own comparative checks.

In the US, the toilet is typically the biggest source of water wastage, followed by the shower and faucets, but with modern water-efficient designs like water-saving vacuum toilets and low-flow showerheads, much of that water could be preserved.

6. Install Water-Saving Faucets

The only thing more efficient than collecting and re-using run-off from the shower is using less water at the source, and the right faucet can help with that. You can use touchless faucets in your kitchen as well as it can save a lot of water. According to myhomeneedz, a touchless kitchen faucet can save up to 20% water compared to normal faucets.

Just like dishwashers and washing machines, faucets often come with a water-efficiency rating, but they can also be made more eco-friendly through simple add-ons like aerators. An aerator installation is a perfect project for eco-conscious lovers of DIY – once it’s done, the difference will be practically undetectable, and you’ll be saving liters without even trying.

7. Buy Smaller Machines

Devices like dishwashers and washing machines are becoming more water-efficient with each passing year, but the fact remains that large machines tend to use much more water than their smaller counterparts. A smaller device will also make it easier to commit to only running full loads, since it will take less time to fill.

You might even consider investing in a double-gallon dishwashers, designed to run smaller loads with half the amount of water – there’s plenty of technology available to help in your quest to use less.

8. Install a Water Tank

If you have the money and the space available on your property, a water tank is one of the best long-term water-saving investments you can make. Even the average backyard water tank allows for the collection of several hundred liters, which is more than enough to keep your yard in good condition or fill your bathtub many times over. Tanks can be expensive to buy, but the savings you stand to make on your water bills will make it all worthwhile.

Fresh drinking water is a precious resource, and developing efficient usage habits has never been more important. The bottom line is that saving water isn’t difficult, and with a few tips and tricks up your sleeve, you’re fully-equipped to start doing your bit for the environment and the world as a whole.

The Impact of Clogged Air Filters On HVAC Energy Consumption

As soon as the chill begins to set in with fall, the need for indoor heating starts to push electricity bills up significantly with each passing month. This continues until winter finally arrives and skyrockets electricity bills to ridiculous amounts. This is pretty much what happens in summer too if you happen to live in Texas, Florida or any of the other hot states.

In both situations though, it’s the HVAC system that consumes all the energy, which is not exactly unexpected. What most of us don’t realize is that it’s most likely those clogged air filters that are making the HVAC waste more energy than it should need. Let’s talk about the impact of clogged air filters on HVAC energy consumption

How Do Clogged Filters Affect Your HVAC System?

Before we can discuss how clogged filters affect electricity bills, it is important to understand how clogged filters affect HVAC units in the first place.

The role of an air filter is simple enough; it stops as much of the air impurities as possible from entering and circulating in the indoor environment. After a while, all that dirt, dust, debris, etc., that the filter prevented from getting in begins to congeal together, slowly closing off the airways.

Once the accumulated gunk becomes heavy enough, the HVAC system has to work extra hard to push air past these narrow airways. This is where the problem lies, as a number of negative effects from the increased exertion and dirty filters are seen.

The Effects of Extra Load on HVAC Units

Given that an HVAC system isn’t equipped to handle all that extra load on a regular basis, a number of negative impacts are seen as a result of clogged air filters.

  • The unit begins to consume more power, to be able to push air past the dirty air filters
  • The increased power consumption becomes evident, as energy bills surge in direct proportion
  • Excess load decreases the potential lifetime of an HVAC unit
  • The heat exchange mechanism can overheat and short-circuit
  • The cooling coil may freeze in absence of sufficient airflow for dissipating condensation during summer
  • Breakdowns become more common, further adding to the maintenance expenses
  • Both the heating and cooling capacities of the unit suffers; slower and less effective heating/cooling
  • Since the air is pushed through the gunk with force, it circulates all the dispersed pollutants throughout the house

How to Know When Your HVAC System Needs a Filter Change?

Some of the signs are pretty obvious, but you should act before they become too obvious and your unit breaks down in the middle of January! It can get a little costly to change air filters on a regular basis for sure, so try to get them from discountfilterstore.com.

Go through the following and it should provide a decent guide towards detecting the need for a HVAC filter change before the problems get too serious.

  • It has been more than three months since your last filter change
  • The filters are starting to look grey or develop spots
  • Increase in indoor dust accumulation
  • Increase in allergic reactions such as sneezing, skin rashes, etc.
  • Heating/cooling seems to be taking a lot longer than expected
  • Heating/cooling isn’t as effective as before

Air filters serve the vital function of keeping the indoor environment fresh and healthy for everyone, but those same filters can also become the cause for health and financial problems unless they are changed in time. As long as you keep track of the change cycle though, none of what we discussed should be a cause for concern.

Why You Should Buy a Home Weather Station

With the huge innovation and advancement in home technology, weather stations have become a popular purchase and are something that many homeowners are incorporating in their homes. There are numerous reasons why people are opting for these devices, and the huge array of options available, picking the right one is easier than ever as you can cut out a lot of the work by reading these reviews by Temperaturesensei.

Although there are many people who already have weather stations in their homes, there are still some who are uncertain about this technology and do not know whether they should incorporate it or not. In this post, we are going to discuss everything that you need to know about home weather stations, including the benefits.

What is a Weather Station

A weather station is a relatively small gadget that has various tools that enable it to discern the surrounding weather. It is equipped with an array of temperature monitors and sensors, which give you information about the climate around you and the environment that you might be in. Not long ago, this was technology that was primarily utilized in meteorological departments to gather weather data.

However, innovation in technology has led to the creation of smaller versions while maintaining the same functionality. These gadgets are designed to give localized information regarding the weather conditions around the house or nearby areas. They have proven to be pretty accurate and very efficient in proving the readings you want.

Applications of a Weather Station

These devices have an array of uses that have made them quite popular. Professionally, weather stations are utilized to garner data and provide weather information of a certain area. However, home weather stations take a more practical approach and provide information that you would need.

For instance, a home weather station can give you information on the temperature so that you can dress accordingly. If you’re planning a BBQ party on the weekend, you can use the device to know whether the weather will be conducive that day. There are numerous applications of these gadgets and all can help you be better prepared for any kind of weather condition.

Benefits of Home Weather Station

With the numerous uses of these devices, there are many benefits associated with them. If you are on the fence about purchasing one, then it would help to know the advantages of home weather stations.

1. Accurate Readings

Chances are the meteorological department is located far from your house. In such a case, the weather predictions you get may not be the most precise. That’s because the weather in that region may not be the same as where you reside. This is where home weather stations become more advantageous. These gadgets provide the exact details regarding the temperature of where you live. That’s because the readings are centered around your residence.

2. Real-Time Data

This is probably the reason why most people are opting for the home weather station. The ability to get real-time information makes this device worth the purchase. In the past, people used to rely on weather reports on the news for predictions or reports from the meteorological departments. Well, you no longer have to depend on these sources and get your own precise data on the weather much faster, thus allowing to make plans in a more convenient manner.

3. Real-Time Alerts

The weather changes every time and it can take an unexpected turn that’s not ideal, especially in regions that are prone to hurricanes and storms. Owning a weather station can help you and your loved ones in such situations, stay safe when weather changes are detected. With real-time data and alerts, you will be informed about the weather all the time, thus helping you stay safer.

4. Share Data

Home weather stations can ideally run on multiple devices simultaneously, meaning every family member can be able to use them. This makes it easy to share information regarding weather conditions, thus helping everyone stay up to date and prepared. This is again extremely helpful in regions that experience harsh weather conditions and need to warn each other.

5. Ease of Use

Home weather stations are designed with ease of use and efficiency in mind. They are meant to provide precise weather information in a simple way. If you’re looking for a gadget that’s easy to read and does not bombard you with jargon, then a home weather station is the answer. It is a simple and efficient gadget that’s easy to use even for older people. It is also easy to install, which adds to the advantages.

6. Creates a Smarter Home

Smart homes are the in thing today. Installing a home weather station is certainly a great way to make your home more efficient. The devices were designed with the needs of people who need instant information about the weather in mind and they do a great job at satisfying those needs. If you are looking to create a smarter home that will be efficient for years to come, then this something that you should incorporate today.

7. Precise Forecasting

Knowing the current weather conditions around your residence is just not enough. There are times when you want to know about the weather forecast for the next several days. Well, these gadgets are designed to deliver just that. A weather station can help you prepare better for the weather in the next few days and help you plan your activities better.

8. Helps in Home Maintenance

Protecting your home from weather damage is imperative, particularly if you reside in places that experience drastic weather changes and harsh conditions. Heat, rain and snow can cause substantial damage to your home, causing you to spend thousands of dollars on repairs and replacements. A simple weather station can help you better maintain your house throughout the seasons and even safeguard your house from weather damage.

Tips for Buying a Home Weather Station

To enjoy the benefits of a home weather station, you need to choose the right device. When it comes to picking one, there are two primary things to consider; the sensors and the price.

When purchasing a home weather station, do not lean towards the cheapest in order to save a little money. The more you spend on a device, the more reliable and accurate it will be. Cheaper models are less precise with data, and this defeats the purpose of owning one.

An ideal weather station should have a thermometer for temperature measurement, a barometer for atmospheric pressure, anemometer for wind speed and direction, humidity sensor for humidity levels and rain gauge for rainfall and precipitation.

The Ultimate Guide To Convert Your Home Into A Smart Home

With more and more brands and companies launching a variety of different smart lighting systems, speakers, sensors, it is easier than ever to convert your home into a smart home. If you have no prior experience in creating a smart home, it can be a confusing task to choose the right kind of devices. Moreover, you might not even know the solutions available to convert your home into a smart home. That is why it is vital to first understand how to transform your home into a smart home.

If you’re worried about the expenses, there are many ways in which you can create a smart home within your budget. It will allow you to control the various aspects of your home without having to spend a significant amount of money.

Moreover, the products available these days are becoming more and more affordable. As a result, it is easier to build a smart home. We will today list a step-by-step guide which will allow you to convert your home into a smart home.

1. Smart lighting

Lighting systems are the best way to control the appearance of your home. Moreover, when you opt for a smart lighting system, you can easily control the ambiance of the house with the help of a Wi-Fi connection. Most of them offer a mobile application through which, you can efficiently manage the entire lighting system. Every light on the lighting system connects to the central hub.

Therefore, controlling it is easier than ever. When you’re looking at the individual bulbs which you can buy and integrate with the Wi-Fi connection at home, you can opt for the ones from TP-Link and LIFX. These products are not only compatible with the Wi-Fi connection, but many of them work along with Bluetooth as well.

Some of the other well-known companies who sell such smart bulbs include Philips Hue, Sengled Element. These, however, can be controlled by Zigbee signals which in turn work along with the Wi-Fi signal. Ultimately, A router can control them. You can manage these with the help of the app on your smartphone. The app will work on any Android-based device. As a result, programming the light according to the theme selected in the app is not a problem at all.

In case, you want to automate your existing lighting system you can change the switches and replaced them with smart switches and cameras. You can use smartphone applications to control them. Some of the companies which sell the smart switches are TP-LINK, Ecobee, Leviton, etc. these switches are directly controllable through Wi-Fi. It will not require a central hub.

That is why; you can save a significant amount of money by going for the switches. If you want a centralized system, you can go with Noon Home’s system. It is comparatively expensive, but it allows you to have complete control over the lighting system. Thus, when it comes to smart lighting, there are a wide variety of options available.

2. Smart speakers

Smart speakers play a significant role in a smart-home. You can control the various functions of the house using the voice commands. As a result, they work as an assistant to control every aspect of your home. You can go with the Google home speaker or the Amazon Echo speaker. The choice is entirely up to you. If you want a single speaker to control the various options, you can go with Amazon Echo speaker.

On the other hand, if you’re going to create a series of such points in your home, you can go with the Google home series. Google series works on the fact that you can install multiple speakers throughout your home and one in each room to control every aspect of your home. That is why, if you want to create a network of smart devices, Google home is the perfect option for you.

smart-speakers

Google home is controlled using Google assistant. Amazon Echo devices are controlled using Amazon Alexa. Even Lenovo sells quick display series which work using Google home.

Lenovo is not alone, which is integrating these devices along with its offerings. Various other device manufacturers are doing the same. That is why, when you want to incorporate the smart speakers in your home, it is easier to do so. You can create the entire ecosystem of smart devices and control TVs, lights, thermostats, and a variety of other functions of your home with the help of these speakers.

3. Smart thermostats

Climate control systems in our home consume the maximum amount of energy. Moreover, when the weather is at extremes, they make sure that the ambiance in your home is entirely comfortable. You can go a step further and save even more energy with the help of smart thermostats. These ensure that you can easily control the ambiance of your home. These thermostats have a predictive system which means that they can set the temperature of the house conveniently and on their own.

When you look at the basic working of these thermostats, they require you to set up sensors everywhere in your home. They control the temperature precisely in the part of the house where you are present. They also keep the rest of the home like the passageways at a comfortable temperature. However, precise control is in the area in which the individuals are present. HVAC companies recommend pairing your system with smart vents for optimal efficiency. Hence, there is a significant amount of energy saving.Thus, when you want to control the temperature of your home efficiently, smart thermostats are the perfect option.

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4. Home Security Cameras

When converting your home into a smart one, it is also essential to make it more secure. The smart-homes are easy to secure as they rely on sensors and devices rather than individuals. It is even more affordable as compared to hiring security guards. The best tool which you have got to handle the security of your home in a smarter way is the smart camera. With the help of the smart-camera, it is easier to monitor your home.

Moreover, when there is any unusual activity in your home, you can get alert easily. Also, the smart cameras which we are speaking about are not just helpful for detecting intrusions or burglary, but also can help you in monitoring your children and pets. They are multipurpose which means that you can use them for the application which you prefer.

Some of the options which you have when it comes to smart cameras are:

  • Ring
  • Netatmo
  • Maximum

The advantage of smart cameras is that they incorporate lights and a variety of different motion sensors into the security system. They also integrate the doorbell so that you can easily monitor the entry and exit points of your home. You can communicate with the individuals at the entrance and exit points without having to open the door at all. You can do so remotely as well. As a result, you can control the access to your home remotely or from your smartphone without any problem. Video doorbells are very popular these days not only for security reasons but also for smart features.

The motion sensors ensure that you get an alert whenever there is unusual activity in the monitored area. As a result, you always get alerts about any intrusion or unfriendly individuals even before they enter your home. The smart cameras are easy to install and do not require any unique fixtures which ensures that you can make the security of your home smarter by merely installing these cameras and connecting them with the Wi-Fi system.

5. Smart audio systems

The multi-room audio systems ensure that you can get that you get entertainment in every room. There are options to choose from like:

  • Sonos
  • Yamaha
  • HEOS

These are self-contained speakers. You can keep them in every room and connect them with the Wi-Fi. They will help you to stream the music. Moreover, they can stream music from a variety of different services like Spotify. You can also select the tracks through your smartphone.

The difference between the speakers and something like Amazon Echo or Google home systems is that these speakers have a much better audio quality. They are not just for listening to commands, but actually up the entertainment quotient. Moreover, they can be integrated with TV and enhance your music watching experience. You can control them with the help of the tablet or the smartphone without any problem.

When speaking about something like Sonos, it works with the help of Amazon Alexa digital assistant. As a result, you can integrate it into your smartphone without any problem. Thus, when looking up the entertainment question and make your entertainment devices smarter, these are the speakers which you should choose.

6. Smart sensors

The sensors play the role of eyes and ears in any smart-home system. Without sensors, it will be challenging to control the functions of a smart-home. The smart sensors ensure that they detect motion inside and outside the home. Inside the house, they correct the climate control system to make the ambiance more habitable. Also, they can switch on and off the lights depending on whether a room is vacant or not. Hence, it becomes easier for you to automate the climate control system.

Additionally, some of the sensors are used for smoke detection as well. The smoke detection sensors alert the smartphone numbers which you input as well. You can authorize a contact to get an alert with the help of the smart sensors. As a result, whenever there is a problem at your home, the authorized contacts will get an instant alert as well. When those contacts get a warning, they can act accordingly and arrange for the emergency services to reach your home as well. The sensors are not just available for fire detection.

There are the sensors which monitor the air quality of your home as well. These sensors, especially monitor the carbon monoxide levels. Accordingly, it instructs the climate control system to filter the air or the air purifier to activate. The more the number of sensors the more precisely each smart device can operate.

Also, there are smart smoke alarms available. The Nest Protect is such a smoke alarm system. It has emergency lights as well to show you the way out. Moreover, it sends an alert to your contacts as well. When it comes to sensors, they can accomplish a wide variety of factors. It is wise to use such sensors in your home to make your home smarter and safer.

7. Smart irrigation system

Technology is available to automate every system of your home. That is why, if you’re worried about manually doing the lawn and garden irrigation, you don’t need to worry anymore. The smart irrigation systems can automatically detect the moisture in your lawn or your garden. As a result, they can use the irrigation devices to ensure that you can water the garden or backyard. They also take into account the type of plants which you have.

Moreover, if you do not want to automate them, you can control them through your app. You can install duplicators or sprinkle indicators. When you manage them with the help of the app, they will start and stop according to your commands. As a result, without having to control the irrigation devices manually, you can efficiently manage your garden or your lawn. When you do that, you can be sure that the plants or the garden will always be in proper condition.

The advantage of smartphone app control is that even when traveling, you can water your lawn as well as your garden without any problem. It will ensure that you don’t need to hire anyone else to take care of the lawn or garden irrigation.

Final Words

So, when it comes to converting your home into a smart home, these are the seven steps which you need to follow. Each of the above steps deals with a different system. With the help of these seven smart home systems, it is easier than ever to automate various aspects of your home. According to VIP Realty, homes will also sell faster and for more money.

You can control them from your mobile application as well which will ensure that you can customize each element of your home remotely. In the process, you can also save a significant amount of resources and utilities. With smart systems becoming more and more affordable, now there is no reason why you should not convert your home into a smart home.

3 Things to Consider When Using Drum Heaters

For people in the colder parts of the world, temperatures can become an issue. Sometimes, you might need to keep your liquids, water or fuel at the normal room temperature. The main use of drum heaters is that they work as storages that keep their content at a certain temperature.

Barrel heaters are especially needed if their content loses its nature and benefits due to a drop or a rise in the temperature. Barrel heater is a cheap solution for maintaining high energy without paying for its cost, in addition you are reducing the pollution since the energy is being recycled within the system. So, what do you need to consider when you are using drum heaters? That is what we are going to tackle.

1. Harsh weather

Harsh environmental conditions, especially the low temperature of the cold months, might push the need to use a heater for your drums to avoid causing them any damages to keep them in ultimate condition.

Buying good drum heater jackets will keep you away from breaking the bank just to save your desired content. They don’t only keep your drums at the required temperature, they also save and lower the viscosity of the fluids so you wouldn’t need to replace them as often and more importantly, they protect them from freezing in harsh cold environment conditions.

2. Energy saving

Electrical insulated heating jackets offer more protection from cold or freezing due to the extra layer of insulation they have. With heat loss kept at minimum, the heating jackets offer more energy saving options which make their power consumption drop automatically, this also translates to cost of operation drop. What’s even more positive about these jackets is that they are normally designed to cover the whole containers, thus you are more likely to be saved from any energy loss.

Using some types of barrel heaters that do not cover the whole drum might waste energy as they naturally get hot. Due to thermodynamics basics, the heat will start dissipating from the higher-temperature surface to the cold atmosphere. That is why when using the right type of heater for your needs, make sure that it will cover the whole container you have so you don’t waste any energy.

3. Saving space = saving energy

An extra step to save money and time is to place your drums in a closed space. Open spaces make it harder to maintain your drums at desired temperatures. Putting your drums and barrels in an enclosed space will ensure that no energy is wasted to the atmosphere and manage heat escape.

Choose the one that works best for you

When you are first buying the heater, it is always a good step to buy one that is flexible. Drum heaters are really simple on the design side, however, using one that does not fit may create more of a problem than it solves. Buying a good drum heater that is adjustable or can fit any type of container you have, is always a smart idea to save you from the headache and wasting your money.