KNX: 5 Ways to Improve Energy Efficiency in Your Home
With 40% of the global energy consumption (which is more than the industry and transportation sector)1, accounting for 21% of the worldwide CO2 production, buildings have a considerable high potential for saving energy and the environment.
First steps are already visible, e.g. by the step-by-step replacing of heat-creating lightbulbs by efficient LEDs and better isolation of walls and windows. Nevertheless, buildings still have a huge potential of saving energy on a massive scale. The following points will explain, how up to 60% of energy can be saved by implementing simple features to a building.
1. Energy Efficient Devices
Although it might seem obvious, it is often common that older devices are used in households, such as the old washing machine, which was given by the mother to the soon-to-be college student, or the fridge with the hardly used ice compartment, which served perfectly for decades. Although it is most likely not a secret to the users that these devices consume more energy than new energy efficient devices, but the initial investment of changing often leads to a further usage of the nostalgic relicts from former times.
What is often not taken into account are the thereby generated costs for energy and also the lower performance of the older devices, compared to their newer pendants. Taking into consideration that the sale of such devices is also prohibited in some regions of the world, the initial investment into something new is not only a good feeling for oneself, but also helps to save energy costs, which, in best cases, helps to amortize the investment within 4 years. In the end, the households would save money after a short while, but also help to create a greener world.2
2. Stronger Usage of Daylight and Less Usage of Artificial Light
Besides the many healthy aspects of daylight, the following is certain: daylight is free and daylight is available throughout the day (as long as you do not live in the area of polar bears and penguins at the wrong time of the year). Obviously, we can already fulfil our needs with ‘better’ light from the sun by opening blinds and shutters, instead of switching on a light, which would illuminate with 100% power.
It goes without saying that daylight harvesting does not always work, for example on a cloudy, rainy day, or simply during night. However, the daylight, which can be harvested throughout the day can be supported by the usage of simple dimmers. The purpose of dimming lights is therefore not only to create a cozy mood, but can also support the currently existing daylight in order to continue with working or with day-to-day activities. By using dimmed light, the lighting would not have to illuminate with a strength of 100%, but e.g. only by 20%. Just by adding the 20% of lighting, the lux level in the used room will be high enough for a proper well-being whilst using the benefits of daylight provided by the sun. Saving energy and enjoying health benefits.3
3. Presence Detectors – Comfortable and Efficient
A constant cause of fighting in families: Someone forgot again to switch off the light again! And did we switch the light off before leaving for our vacation?
As is now common in the outside areas of houses, presence detectors can contribute highly to the comfort of living. Side effect to this raised comfort: energy saving. Outcome by replacing switches by presence detectors is that unused rooms will not be unnecessarily illuminated thereby automatically saving energy and money and, in many cases, a lot of stress. Especially in larger properties, the usage of presence detectors unfolds their huge potential.4
4. Devices for ‘Smart Home’
The usage of presence detectors does not stop with lighting. Automatically controlling the occupancy of a room can be linked to all other applications in a house as well – by entering the AC switches on, the curtains open, music starts playing, TV is showing the latest news, etc. There are basically no boundaries in creating the ‘frequently heard of’ Smart Home. The biggest companies in the world are already offering various solutions for all different aspects in houses, making life more comfortable, modern, sustainable, and, honestly speaking, also something to show-off to friends and family.
As time and technology is moves on, these solutions are already having an impact on our day-to-day life, making it more comfortable and subsequently more energy efficient. Always knowing that the light is dimmed appropriately, the AC is always set to the right temperature, the shutters are down at night and that everything will be switched off automatically, once the house is not occupied, does not only make our life easier, it also helps to save huge amounts of energy, no matter if on purpose or not.5
5. The Usage of Standardized Building Automation Solutions
Solutions for smart homes are progressing with a tremendous pace. Nevertheless, one problem still remains: Since the devices are provided by different companies and manufacturers, the various solutions cannot be combined, since a standardized communication is missing. At this point, standards show their full potential, underlining again their importance. No matter if we are talking about the fields of mobile phone charging, tools and screws or residential and commercial building control, standards are important and help to create a life without compromises.
Also in the field of smart homes and buildings, the KNX Standard (ISO/IEC, ANSI/ASHREA) advanced to the state-of-the-art technology, being able to combine all smart home appliances. The huge selection from more than 7,000 certified devices by 400 manufacturers also offer unlimited possibilities for smart solutions as well as the highest possible energy saving potential. More than that, as an approved Standard, KNX is also the most sustainable technology, making it easy to make modifications to existing installations, in order to achieve even higher energy saving rates. Being able to look back at the many opportunities KNX, as the only approved world standard for residential and commercial, can make your home not only smart and energy efficient with overall savings of up to 60%, but also sustainable for the future.6
Building automation with KNX has been available now for more than 26 years. Over the time, the various benefits, which have been described above can be found in many projects all over the world. In case you would like to learn more about the overall energy savings and raises in comfort, have a look at the following showcase projects, which have been awarded with the prestigious KNX Award:
- House of former Major League Baseball (MLB) star Eddy Murray, USA
- Shanghai Hongqiao Airport, China
- Finca Los Miticos, Spain
- La Marquise, Greece
- House Doebler, South Africa
- Passief Live, Belgium
- Surf Coast Shire Civic Building, Australia
If you would like to have more information on the many energy saving potentials in buildings, please have a look at this brochure, showcasing more projects with the highest energy saving rates by the simple usage of the KNX technology.
If you would like to get further information on this topic, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
1 Source: Siemens AG
2 Source and further reading: http://www.irees.de
3 Sources and further reading: http://www.greeneducationfoundation.org and KNX Solution Flyer
4 Further reading: Energy Efficiency with KNX
5 For further information, simply search for ‘EN15232’
6 More information at www.knx.us