For anyone building or remodeling a home, energy efficiency is a key factor. From insulation to location, how you build a home can have a direct impact on how much energy it uses. But if that is not ideal, there is something relatively simple you can add to your home to help control its temperature: smart shades or motorized window treatments.
Smart, motorized window treatments can help control the heat gain and loss your home experiences naturally throughout the day simply by opening and closing at pre-programmed times. With the addition of smart home technology, the blinds can actually learn when they need to open and close based on temperature and sun light, maximizing the energy efficiency of your HVAC system.
However, the benefits of motorized window treatment go beyond energy savings. Here's a look at seven key benefits of smart blinds to help you decide whether they are a good fit for your home.
- Convenience - Motorized blinds can be opened and closed simply by touching a button, a remote control, or an app on a smartphone. Additionally, the ability to set schedules to open and close them at specific times means you may never have to worry about them at all.
- Energy Savings - Connecting motorized blinds to a smart home hub can help minimize the amount of energy your HVAC system uses by allowing the blinds to react independently to readings from temperature and sunlight sensors connected to the smart hub
- Smart Home Integration - Smart thermostats have a trove of data. Using all this data, the thermostat can sense a room is getting too hot and close the shades instead of turning on the air conditioning or do the reverse when it knows a room is cooler than it should be.
- Smart Lighting - When paired with smart lighting, smart blinds can help maximize the amount of daylight in your home to cut down on electricity usage.
- Add R-Value - Motorized blinds can add a significant insulation value to your windows. The traditional roller and honeycomb blinds offer an R value of 4.3. That’s more than double the insulation or a typical double-glazed window which has an R value of 2.0.
- Safety - As any parent will know, the lack of cords with motorized blinds is a major safety bonus—you won't have to worry about keeping them out of reach of your children. Some motorized shades can also connect to smoke alarms to automatically open them when a fire is detected.
- Security - By remotely controlling or setting a schedule that makes it look as if someone's home, smart blinds can help fool would-be burglars into thinking a home is occupied. Similarly, when connected to a smart home system, the blinds can shut when the occupants leave and open when they return, courtesy of geo-fencing and a smartphone.
Compared to many retrofit or new-build energy-saving solutions, installing motorized window treatment is a relatively inexpensive way to control solar gain and heat loss in a home. Additionally, the integration of smart home technology increases the ability of motorized blinds to reduce energy use and is an excellent example of how the smart home can be put to good pragmatic use.
(They also look fabulous with practically the same choice of decorator colors, fabrics and types found with conventional, manual window coverings.)
Adapted from an article published in Environmental Protection.