How to Prepare Your Home For the Future
The pace of innovation and change is accelerating. Building a new home is a chance to plan everything to the tiniest detail and make your dreams come true. It is always far more costly to integrate future-worthy tech once everything is set up and finished.
But, do not fret in case you want to upgrade an existing home— there are many steps you can take to outfit it for the 21st century. You just need to come up with a plan, form a budget, and assess current and future needs. Here are some high-tech systems, improvement projects, and devices that are definitely worth your while.
Wiring the home
To future-proof the home, you need to have the basic infrastructure in place. First off, you want to do a lot of pre-wiring for data, video, home security, automation, solar power, and other cutting-edge systems that tend to be quite power-hungry. It is best to work with architects, designers, and builders to pull conduit to all the necessary parts of the home.
What is more, you need to consider ways of setting up a wireless framework of interconnected devices. It is of the utmost importance to pick an ideal position for your Wi-Fi router, the heart and soul of an in-home network. Usually, that spot is on the ground floor, near the center of the property.
Once that is sorted out, ponder devices and appliances you want to connect to the network. I would certainly check out smart kitchen paragons such as Anova Culinary Precision Cooker, Pico Home Brewing System, and Perfect Drink Pro. Take your time shopping around.
LED technology has changed the residential lighting game. Bulbs infused with it are superior in almost every way. They last longer (40x) and consume way less electricity (only 1/30th) than incandescent bulbs. Yes, they are more expensive upfront, but they pay off in the long run: it is estimated they are 75% more efficient than conventional counterparts.
Furthermore, LED lights do not cause heat build-up and contain no toxic mercury. Low power demands also make it easier to run electric lines and generators for other key systems, such as solar power. So, there is nothing stopping the widespread adoption of these energy-efficient products.
Just bear in mind that you should stick to high-quality bulbs with ENERGY STAR label. Make sure to figure out your desired brightness level and a type of light (warm or cool). Finally, remember that you can add dimmer switches, automated lighting controls, and motion sensors to take the efficiency to the next level.
Harness the sunlight
Thanks to the marvels of modern tech, we can tap into the most powerful fusion reactor in our galaxy, the Sun. It is an inexhaustible, non-polluting source of free energy you can collect and transform into electricity with the help of solar panels. Thus, it is the renewable option that holds immense potential today and in the future.
Another great thing is that the costs of purchasing and installing panels are dropping. That being said, you do not want to spend more than necessary. Evaluate your needs and the amount of sunlight in your area. This should help you determine the most optimal solution. For example, a Skylight Energy solar system is suitable for average households in countries like Australia and it pays for itself after a few years.
In any regard, quality products should always last 20-30 years, facing you with low running costs and maintenance requirements. Thus, you have a chance to reap amazing benefits, of financial, health, and environmental nature. You can also avoid dependency on the grid and limit your exposure to volatile energy prices.
Advanced home insulation
The envelope of the home has a profound impact on your comfort, home energy efficiency, and the household budget. Namely, insulation reduces heating and cooling requirements and trims utility bills considerably. It is the area you cannot afford to overlook.
Home energy auditors can perform an insulation check (energy assessment) and give you a clear idea of how much work needs to be done and what weak spots are. These are usually windows, doors, basements, garages, and attics. Walls around these areas could also be responsible for energy waste.
After pinpointing issues, you can carry out proper air sealing and weather stripping. Pay close attention to the R-value of the solutions you’re using, as well as their thickness and depth. Note that there are many types of insulation to choose from, including some innovative sustainable options, like dense pack cellulose. This insulation is amazing, not only is it non-flammable, but it is also non-settling, pest resistant, an excellent sound barrier, and made from 90% post consumer recycled content. Just another example of the science, innovation and quality that goes into building a BrightLeaf home.
Latest security systems
The home security market is expanding almost too quickly to be believed. Nowadays, we have a plethora of products that blend utter convenience and utmost security, some of which look like solutions straight out of Sci-Fi movies. They benefit from leaps in wireless and smart home technology.
So, start by gauging the risks. For instance, are burglaries common in your neighborhood or do you worry about a fire breaking out? Good chances are that you need video surveillance and alarm systems. It is also a good idea to invest in a smart security hub, which can be connected to the router or via an Ethernet cable.
Along the similar lines, we have various advanced motion sensors attached to entry points such as window and doors. You can even receive notifications and alerts from them on your mobile phone, via dedicated security apps. Of course, feel free to add other components: smart locks, smoke/carbon monoxide detectors, professional monitoring service, etc.
Go green and recycle
With global warming and pollution looming over global society, each and every one of us should take responsibility for making the planet a better place. We have already mentioned solar power, but there are other ways to make it happen.
Water conservation is a prime example and it requires both good habits and sustainable appliances you use. Low-flow shower heads and faucets can make a big difference, but so can turning off the water while brushing teeth. And to go an extra mile, you can invest in more expensive things like water-saving toilets.
At last, you should do your best to recycle paper, plastic, clothes, and other materials and products you consume. The same goes for furniture and other household items. Do your research and find recycling centers in your area. You will save a lot of money and sow the seeds of change in one stroke.
The future beckons
Smart homes are here to stay and change the way we live. To take part in this dynamic revolution, you need to plan for tomorrow’s technologies: keep up the pace with the latest in-home automation. Focus on areas like renewable energy, home security, and smart home tech.
In the long-term, you will make your life easier, safer, and more awesome. You should be able to save a truckload of money and help your environment as well. So, it is a clear win-win. The future is now and you might want to embrace it sooner rather than later.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Robert Clayton is a blogger with a degree in engineering based in Sydney. His interests and passions include DIY, green technologies and home improvement. He also loves good food, music, dogs and enjoys spending time by the ocean. Connect with Robert at: