It takes a lot of energy to run our daily life, from heating and cooling to devices and appliances. As time advances, the energy demand in households is shooting, yet the resources remain constant. Energy production also comes with its fair share of issues such as pollution and dwindling natural resources.
As such, technological advancements are being made to make homes more energy-efficient. From academics to tech and business, everyone is looking for innovative ways to reduce carbon pollution and the demand for nonrenewable energy. Here are 7 innovations to expect in residential homes:
7 Ways Future Technology Will Help Homes Save Energy
1) Smart Homes That Are More Connected
We live in an increasingly connected world, and our houses are no exception. New electronic equipment and appliances can now be connected to the Internet to deliver real-time data that is easier to comprehend and consumes less energy. The Energy Department’s Building Technologies Office proposes technologies that will become more cost-effective and smarter in the near future.
The Oak Ridge National Laboratory also proposes new wireless sensors to improve home energy efficiency by automating control systems for lighting, heating and cooling units, and other systems that access data like light levels, humidity, exterior temperatures, and many others at a fraction of the cost of typical wireless sensors in the market today.
New procedures and standards are also being developed by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, to improve communication within smart appliances and enhance how they interact with the electric grid.
2) Heat Pumps That Are Ultra-Efficient
So much of what we do in our daily lives is powered by energy. It’s also a resource that we’re continually striving to manage more effectively and efficiently, not only to be good stewards of those resources but also to save money.
In light of this, heat pump systems warm and cool your home by transporting heat from one place to another, and the Building Technologies Office is ushering in the next generation of heat pump systems which include:
- A multi-function, fuel-fired domestic heat pump that can cut primary energy consumption by 30%.
- A natural gas heat pump and air conditioner that heats and cools the air as well as heats water using an ultra-low-emission combustion burner and associated equipment.
- A low-cost gas heat pump that can save you 30% to 45% on your heating bills compared to conventional boilers and gas furnaces and they also don’t require as much maintenance or home plans.
3) Carbon-fighting Clothes Dryers
The same principle that underpins heat pump technology that keeps your home warm can also be applied to another crucial task: drying your clothing. Oak Ridge National Laboratory and General Electric are working on a new type of clothes dryer that generates hot air using a heat pump cycle. As a result, a more energy-efficient dryer was developed, with the potential to reduce energy usage by 60% when compared to standard dryers already on the market.
4) Magnetic Refrigerators
The magnetocaloric effect is a revolutionary new form of refrigerator developed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory and General Electric. It lowers or raises the temperature of a material by changing the magnetic field.
Refrigerators have relied on a mechanism known as vapor compression for the past 100 years, which employs coolants that are potentially detrimental to the environment. The new refrigerator is a ground-breaking technology that uses a water-based cooling fluid, making it more environmentally friendly and efficient, resulting in lower energy costs and lower carbon emissions.
5) Window Controls With Advanced Technology
Pella Windows and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory are developing new highly insulated windows that use microprocessors and sensors to automatically adjust shading based on the amount of available sunlight and the time of day, ensuring proper lighting and comfort while saving consumers energy and money.
6) Next-generation Insulation
One of the most significant ways to save money on heating and cooling is to insulate your home. For the chilly winter months, the Industrial Science & Technology Network is developing new foam insulation constructed with environmentally safe and innovative composite materials to keep heat from escaping from the attic, walls, and other regions of the home.
7) Roofing Materials That Reflect Light
‘Cool’ roofs absorb minimal heat than traditional roofs. They are made of materials that contain fluorescent pigments to help with reflection. PPG Industries and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have produced such pigments that are said to reflect nearly four times the amount of sunlight as ordinary pigments, making these types of roof systems even “cooler.”
Wind Up: The Future Of Energy Looks Promising
A large part of everyday living is powered by energy. It is therefore a resource that we’re continually striving to manage more effectively and efficiently, not only to be good stewards of those resources but also to save money.
The business sector, in collaboration with the US government, is committed to inventing innovative technologies and products that use less electricity to address environmental issues, reduce prices, and boost the economy as a whole. Some of these include the 7 points discussed among many others. The future definitely looks promising!