For anyone building or remodelling a home, energy efficiency is a major factor. From insulation to location, how you build a home may have a direct impact on how much energy it uses. While a Passive House, one that can remain comfortable through all seasons without providing an active heating or cooling system, can be a lofty goal for a lot of people, there is something relatively simple that you may add to your home to help passively control its temperature: motorized blinds.
Smart, motorized blinds can assist to control the solar gain and heat 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 know when they need to open and close depending on temperature and sunlight, maximizing the energy efficiency of your HVAC system.
Here’s a look at the perks of smart blinds to help you decide whether they are a good fit for your home.
Motorized blinds can be turned on and off simply by touching a button, a remote control, or a downloadable app on a smartphone. Window coverings are a sure way to minimize solar gain and avoid heat loss, and if they are this easy to open and close, it’s much more likely you’ll remember to do so to benefit you and your environment. In addition, the ability to create schedules to open and close them at specific times means you may never need to worry about them at all.
Connecting motorized blinds to your smart home hub can help minimize the amount of power your HVAC system uses by letting the blinds react independently to readings from temperature and sunlight sensors also linked to the smart hub. Consequently, the blinds will know when to close during the hottest part of the day to minimize HVAC usage or whether to open during a sunny day in the winter to let the sun to heat a room naturally.
Smart Home Integration
Smart thermostats have a lot of data to use to know whether opening or closing the smart blinds to help reduce energy use, like what time of day it is, what the weather is like outside, and what the temperature is in the home. Accessing all these data points, the thermostat can sense a room is getting too hot and close the shades rather than turning on the air conditioning or do the opposite when it knows a room is cooler than it normally should be.
When combined with smart lighting, smart blinds can assist in maximizing the amount of daylight in your home to trim down on electricity usage. For example, opening the blinds can let the smart lighting know when to turn off, and vice versa.
Even without smarts, motorized blinds can add enough insulation value to your windows. The traditional roller and honeycomb blinds have an R-value of 4.3. You can also get motorized drapes that will add an insulating layer to your windows.
As any parent will know, the lack of cords with motorized blinds is a key safety bonus—you won’t have to worry about keeping them out of reach of children. But, in a smart home, shades may also give you additional safety benefits. Lutron’s shades will link to Nest’s Protect Smoke Alarm to automatically open them when a fire is detected inside, letting emergency fire responders look into the home.
By remotely controlling or setting a program that makes it look as if somebody’s home, smart blinds can assist fool would-be burglars into thinking a home is occupied. Similar to that, when connected to a smart home system, the blinds can remotely shut when the occupants leave and open when they return, buy the aid of geo-fencing and a smartphone.
In comparison to many retrofits or new-build energy-saving solutions, installing motorized blinds is a relatively inexpensive way to control solar gain and heat loss in a home. This makes them somewhat any green builder or would-be green homeowner should extremely consider. Additionally, the integration of smart technology increases the ability of motorized blinds to minimize energy use and is a great example of how the smart home can be put to good use helping protect our planet.