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How Automation and Smart Living are Reducing Maintenance and Energy Cost While Enhancing Security Modern definition of an aesthetic living is incomplete without innovative solutions

By Baishali Mukherjee

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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What would your reaction be if you step into a room only to realize that lights and the AC gets switched on without any human intervention. Step out and they get turned off. Having over a guest at home while you are still at office? Thanks to home automation technology, you can now actually open gates, switch on the lights and AC and make the guests feel at home while you finish your assignment at office.

With just a single click on a smart phone or tab, we can literally control all the devices of our homes and the cost includes just the initial installation charges along with a nominal maintenance fee.

Automation Technology Would Be Proved As the Smartest Decision

According to Rishi Jain, Executive Director, Jain Group, a home blessed with automation technology, not only make lives easier, it also works wonders for reducing the maintenance and energy costs. "Needless to mention, apart from "controlling' the home, we can also keep a close look at the home, ensuring its safety and security while we are away. Oft ignored chores like switching on/off of electronic devices can be monitored and done remotely. Installing the technology in our homes ensures energy efficiency as well," he illustrated.

Jain Group has come out with home automation technology at "Project Dream One'. Jain personally feels having a home equipped with the home automation technology would be proved as the smartest decision of our lives at the long run.

Behaviour pattern to go from usage driven to conservation driven

It is a well known fact that at the very core of our excessive consumer behaviour is the impending abuse of energy usage and its long lasting effects on both the environment and our bills. Smart Homes are one way to significantly drive down not just the numbers on our bills but take care of a behaviour pattern that will go from usage driven to conservation driven over a period of time. A rather important need of the hour don't you think?

How easy is it for us to know exactly how much energy our geyser consumed from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Wednesday (because we forgot to turn it off) and still turn a blind eye to it? Fault is at the moment we don't know at that micro level how much energy was consumed by each device. The first step is awareness, sure. The second is action.

"Bringing artificial intelligence powered smart homes/home automation with machine learning capabilities that will predicatively understand human patterns and usage is a first step to begin conserving and creating a habit of effective energy management," suggested Krithika Radhakrishnan, co-founder, Cosine Labs.

According to Radhakrishnan, air conditioners and heating appliances; heavy appliances such as water motors, geysers, refrigerators and washing machines, and lighting contribute to significant energy usage and hence costs.

Common Usage and How Smart Homes can Fix Them

Common behaviour is to blast the AC to 18 degree upon arrival after a hot day out, and thereafter jack it up again to a comfortable 22-25 degree once the room cools down. This continuous pattern results in excessive power consumption during this fluctuation reducing the life of the unit.

Alternatively, a context aware smart home can predict the expected occupancy based on repeated usage patterns and pre-cool the home. This means running the AC at optimum temperatures of 24 deg. for 10-15 mins prior to arrival, thereby resulting in immediate energy savings of close to 30%.

The unit cost on backup power is almost always double the rate offered by distribution companies. "Smart systems understand when the home is running on backup power and advises against running heavy appliances. A notification when heavy appliances are running will be sent and with a single touch can be remotely controlled," informed Radhakrishnan.

Altering energy consumption patterns

Home automation is also a great way of saving time and money. Modern homes are primarily focused on building intelligent automation systems, which control home's energy consumption and reduce household expenses to a great length.

A smart thermostat, for instance, is a miraculous device that control's room temperature and reduces energy up to 6.2%. The device can turn off the furnace or even air conditioner at night; so that you can go to bed or leave for work without concern.

"The innovative heat and AC control devices can save huge sums of money on heating and cooling bills with temperature and proximity sensor accessories. Also, the device can tackle any fluctuation in temperature and lets you monitor the energy consumption," notified Varun Manian, Chairman and MD, Radiance Realty.

Even smart lights that run on occupancy sensors are efficient. With the help of motion detectors, they know when the rooms are empty to turn the lights off. It is convenient to set up the program in advance with a mobile app so that the lights can be dimmed or shut when they aren't required. All of this leads to a significant reduction in electricity bills.

Modern definition of an aesthetic living is incomplete without innovative solutions. A home without the energy management appliances combined with aesthetics, can not only augment the lifestyle of the occupants but, can also keep them from burning holes in pockets because of compounding energy bills.

Bringing down cost dramatically

Technology is penetrating homes fast and furious. Kunal Maheshwari, Founder & CEO of All Is Well App, is of the opinion that smart home solutions are increasing accuracy and efficiency while reducing maintenance costs by 10-40%. All is Well App not only helps the security gates go green and paperless but also brings down the cost on training of security and automates all the activities happening at security gate.

"The signing time via All is Well app is only 30 seconds. This app works using simple mobile devices available in market instead of cost intensive desktop which makes it cumbersome for less skilled staff to use and operate. Digitizing material movement in and out of gate along with proof based recording of inputs has helped enterprises save on theft and inventory spillage costs" he shared.

Baishali Mukherjee

Former Freelancer


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