Smart green homes make sustainability easy | U.S. Green Building Council
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With a larger percentage of home buyers being made up of millennials than ever before, high-tech and green homes seem to be on everyone’s list these days. “Smart” home features frequently pair well with eco-friendly and green building designs, because many smart features offer you greater control over areas of your home that consume energy.

Take a look at some of the hottest smart and green building features available today. Here are eight of the latest features:

Programmable thermostats

Your thermostat controls the temperature of your home, telling your HVAC system when to go on and off. Older thermostats needed to be manually adjusted, however, so if you forgot to turn down the heat before you left for work, you lost both energy and money while you weren’t there.

Newer, programmable thermostats change all that. Now you can set the temperature ahead of time for the times when you aren’t home. And if your schedule changes suddenly, newer models even let you adjust the temperature from your smartphone, making it possible to lower or raise the settings from your desk at work. This can save you a lot of money on energy bills each month while ensuring that your home is more comfortable.

Smart light bulbs

How often have you left a room, only to realize that you forgot to turn off the lights? Or maybe you want to adjust the lighting in the room you’re sitting in as the daylight wanes. With smart light bulbs, which are controlled from an app on your smartphone, you can get better control over your light usage. Turn off lights in rooms that people have vacated to save money and electricity, or dim the lights to change the mood without needing to get up.

Some smart light bulbs can also be set up with motion detectors so that when people leave the room unattended for a period of time, the lights automatically shut off.

Solar-reflective roofing shingles

Your roof plays a major role in how comfortable your home is year-round. Not only does it protect you from the elements, but your roof could be transferring heat into your home as well. When the sun beats down on your roof, dark-colored, traditional shingles heat up. This heat is then transferred down into your attic, which becomes super-heated in turn. Eventually, the heat makes it down into your living area, raising your energy bills. At the same time, the UV rays from the sun could also be causing your roof to deteriorate more quickly.

Solar-reflective roofing shingles prevent both of these things from happening. Instead of absorbing the heat and UV rays from the sun, they reflect them. This keeps your roof cooler, making your attic and the rest of your home cooler as well. Solar-reflective shingles may also help prevent UV-related deterioration of the shingles over time. 

Bamboo lumber

Considering the amount of lumber that goes into building a home, and the way that most traditional lumber sources are produced and treated, it’s difficult to find a truly green home made in customary ways. This is what makes bamboo lumber so appealing for homeowners wanting to build a truly sustainable, eco-friendly home. Bamboo is a very fast-growing grass that can be planted and harvested in a fraction of the time that trees can. Made into structural supports, decorative interior lumber, flooring and even furnishings, bamboo is sustainable and produces long-lasting, durable homes.

Monitoring systems

One of the most attractive ideas in the smart home industry is the monitoring system and the ways it can improve your home’s efficiency, energy usage and security. There are many different types of monitoring systems out there. Some use sensors to determine where you are in the home at that moment, and adjust lighting, temperature and other areas to suit.

Other monitoring systems allow you to get a peek into your home even when you’re away. With an in-depth monitoring system, you can

  • Unlock your door to let your kids in.
  • Check in on security cameras.
  • Adjust the thermostat.
  • Turn lights on and off.
  • Set and receive reminders from appliances, such as retrieving your grocery list right from your refrigerator.

Monitoring systems make your life easier, and they also allow you to save energy by helping you use light and heat only when you’re home, shutting off automatically when you’re not.

Get a smarter, greener home

Both smart home technology and green building design are on the top of many homeowners’ must-have lists these days. As companies strive to make improvements in both fields, the options keep getting better and better. Check out the latest in smart and green home technologies to build a better home for yourself and for the environment.

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