The Benefits of Automating Window Coverings
When you watch as much HGTV as I do, you begin to start seeing the same trends repeat, such as open kitchens, accent walls, and integrated technology. Automation and motorization is no longer a futuristic dream, as innovations and competition have lowered the cost and ease of access to motorization and automation products. These new products are quickly changing industry standards. Refrigerators can now alert us that the milk has expired, while thermostats can work independently to save energy because they know when we are not home. Lights can be Wi-Fi enabled, so when you pull into your drive way and your phone connects, they turn on, and outlets can be programmed so the coffee pot will start when you turn your alarm off in the morning.
According to the 2015 State of the Smart Home Report by icontrol Networks, the top reasons people purchase home automation products are to increase security and to control their energy consumption. Automating window coverings allow users to address both of these two main concerns. Automating blinds, draperies, and curtains addresses privacy issues by closing the blinds as the sun sets or at pre-programmed times, maximizing privacy by eliminating the fishbowl effect. Smart Technology is great, and exceptionally useful on its own, but what makes automation products even better are their interconnectivity. With automated window coverings, integration with smart smoke alarms is possible, so if a fire is detected, all blinds in the home can be set to open, making it easier for responders to see into the home and access the most important rooms.
Some automated window coverings have technology built in, allowing for the sensing of the temperature near the window (as our E-Wand™ does), or the reading of the outside temperature through external devices or through a bridge. When activated, these features will work on their own to save energy by closing the blinds or drapery during warm temperatures and opening them during cool temperatures. This technology is based on the understanding that an average home can save between 10-15% of their annual energy costs by controlling the position of window coverings. On cold days, window coverings should remain open to allow the sun to warm the space. On warm days, blinds should remain drawn to minimize heat infiltration from the sun. This technology is amazing on its own, but it is possible now to have these shading systems integrated with a smart thermostat, giving the automated window coverings greater precision, and allowing the thermostat to use them as an energy saving tool.