Designing and Building Custom Homes in Beautiful Colorado
Colarelli Custom Homes

Colarelli Custom Homes

Technology for the Home. Part One

Technology is often a driver for customers looking to make their home as efficient, user friendly, and upscale as possible. Over the next few blogs we will cover some of the more popular technology additions that consumers look to add to their custom homes.

Multi-Zone HVAC

In a multi-zone heating system, each room can have a separate heating zone. This brings an end to the arguments with those you share your home with to agree on a temperature. It gives you more control over the temperature of your home and makes comfort not only an achievable goal, but a priority. Splitting your home into separate heating zones can allow for the living room to be cooler than the bedroom or vice versa for example. Depending on how your home is divided, this type of system allows more people to enjoy their perfect temperature inside the home.

While these types of systems increase the complexity and make it seem as though they will be less energy efficient that is not the case when using the system properly. With a multi-zone system, you can set the temperature of less often used rooms cooler in the winter and warmer in the summer while focusing the energy on those more common areas in the home. The less often used rooms do not need to be as comfortable as the rest of the home and can work to help you save money every month, year round.

Many modern conveniences accompany the multi-zone systems. Remote controls offer an easy way to adjust temperatures within the room without having to reach the thermometer. Such remote controls can also include features that control the fan speed or even the humidity level.

It is important to note the drawback of this particular type of heating/cooling system. It is a more complex system and thus requires more duct work and equipment. This will drive up the initial cost of install.

Programmable Thermostat

There are four different types of programmable thermostats available to you, each having a distinct scheduling style. Each will have the same basic set up but they target a different type of schedule. Programming options are based on a wake time, leave time, return time, and sleep time. This allows you to conserve the cool/heat for the times you are home while saving you money during the times you are away.  The first is a 7-day programming. This type of thermostat lets you schedule each day individually. This is ideal for families with more erratic schedules as it is the most flexible. The second option is a 5-1-1 programming. This system allows for one heating/cooling schedule for every day of the week, plus individual schedules for Saturday and Sunday. Similarly, we have the 5-2 programming which is almost identical to 5-1-1, however Saturday and Sunday will have the same heating/cooling plan. The last option is a 1-week programming. In this system, you can set only one heating/cooling plan and it cycles every day of the week.

Energy Management System 

Energy management systems make it easier for you to track your energy usage and manually control it in areas that can decrease your overall all cost and usage. It is a technology platform that includes both hardware and software allowing users to monitor energy usage and production and to manually control and or automate the usage in a household. The hardware acts as a “hub” that allows the goings on in the house to be relayed to the user and in some cases the local utility or electricity retailer. The software is what monitors the ingoing and outgoing data and communications. Usually taking the form of an app or web portal, the software is what allows the user to control functions of the system and allows access to the monitoring data. Some of the monitoring you will be able to do is:

  • Device and appliance data: Which devices are on and off? How much energy is each one using?
  • Granularity of time data: What is the smallest time increment that the system is keeping track of – or that it displays to the viewer?
  • Insights delivered: Does the system send notifications to tip off the user to trends and issues they may not pick up on without parsing through the data themselves?
  • Energy management systems also give users control to do a range of things. For example:
  • Turn devices on and off remotel
  • Set devices to operate on schedules
  • Set up conditional rules for devices operation
  • Manage the flow of energy from solar panels (and other generators) through the home or in and out of batteries
  • Allow “machine learning” to take over and run the system semi-automatically
  • Energy management systems can monitor and manage electricity, solar pv, battery storage and solar thermal.

Still to Come:

Wireless Home Security
Security Cameras
Central Vacuum System
Wireless Home Audio System
Home Theater
Outdoor Speakers and Audio Control
Lighting Control System

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