The smart home industry is worth $80 billion, according to the research firm Mordor Intelligence, and is expected to grow to upwards of $314 billion by 2026. The devices that increasingly fill homes are transforming lives. It is an exciting time for the industry.
Most people think of these devices as a matter of convenience. They exist to make our lives easier. Forgot how to convert tablespoons to cups? Just ask Amazon’s (NASDAQ: AMZN Alexa. Neglect to lock the door after leaving the house? Use a smartphone app to lock the door remotely. These awesome additions enrich lives, to be sure. But perhaps a more important, and often underappreciated, benefit of smart homes is sustainability.
One of the highest-profile smart home devices with major energy-saving potential is Google’s (NASDAQ: GOOGL Nest. Nest replaces a normal thermostat and manages the home’s heating and cooling. It can be controlled remotely using a smartphone or integrated with a device like Google Home.
But the really exciting part is that Nest learns from the consumer. It gets to know likes and dislikes and can then adjust the temperature in the home throughout the day to balance comfort and efficiency. The company estimates it can save 10% on heating and 15% on cooling. That means less gas and less electricity.
Windows (Not the Microsoft Kind)
A major missed opportunity in energy savings in most households is whether window blinds are open or closed when the sun is hitting exposed windows. Windows are one of the weak points in a home’s insulation. During the summer, when the sun is shining through a window, the AC has to do double duty to compensate. And in the winter, if the blinds are closed when it is sunny, the house could be missing out on free heating.
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