Thinking of investing in a smart home? Chances are you’re not looking to your plumbing. However, technology is playing an increasingly important role in this space, whether your end game is improving comfort and value, creating a healthier home or lowering your environmental impact.
Comfort and value
Stream live music to your shower, or control lighting and water pressure through a digital interface. There are LEDs that light up the toilet bowl for night use, or even LED light rings in bathroom sinks that glow red or blue to indicate water temperature.
‘Touchless technology’ can help avoid the spread of germs. Close the lid, flush the toilet and even wash your hands without having to touch germ-infested surfaces. Better yet, the toilet lid will automatically close, finally putting an end to the ongoing ‘seat up or down’ debate! Clever water filtration systems such as reverse osmosis filtration can even filter out contaminants from tap water.
New smart dishwashers can recycle water from the rinse cycle for the next wash. Low-flow shower heads and faucet aerators can reduce your home water consumption as much as 50 percent, reducing water heating costs. Dual-flush toilets featuring two levers – one for urine and one for solid waste – and home automation technology that can shut off sprinkler systems based on weather reports are both popular water saving options.
Tankless water heaters provide hot water only as needed, using about 20 percent less energy than traditional storage methods. And, of course, the classic greywater system – re-using water that goes down the sink or shower drain for other purposes such as flushing the toilet – is another great innovation.