Heating and cooling your home is responsible for a large proportion of your energy costs and associated carbon footprint. Reducing your reliance on your air conditioner is something easily achieved with the modern smart home and automated shading.
How much does it cost?
Canstar put together some information about the cost of running heating and cooling and how it compared to other energy users in your household. Their data is based on reports from the Government of South Australia.
Cooling your home costs between 25c and 90c an hour, averaging out at 60c an hour for most cooling uses. Heating is somewhat more affordable at between 13c and 36c an hour, averaging out at 25c an hour. Ducted whole-home cooling and heating is the most energy-consuming solution, with most systems running between $2.45 and $3.45 an hour to cool and $1.45 to $2.12 an hour for heating.
The most efficient method is a ceiling fan or pedestal fan which average between 2c and 5c an hour to run, depending on the selected speed.
What do you need?
You'll need a few things connected to your Nero smart home in order to start automating shade and reducing your air conditioner reliance.
- Install the Virtual Outdoor Temperature Plugin on your gateway.
- This will create a device in your gateway list that give you access to the weather as shown in the top right corner of the web interface.
- If you are seeing the incorrect weather, make sure you have set your location correctly. Refer to this article for changing your gateway settings.
- Nero Multi Sensors for inside your home, ideally one per room.
- If you have changed the reporting parameters for your sensors, refer to the parameters article to ensure that at least temperature is being reported, no more than every 20 minutes.
- If your sensors are installed in the ceiling with the Multi Recessor we recommend comparing the readings to a thermometer around 1.2-1.6m from the floor in the room. If the values vary significantly over several readings (morning, noon, night, etc example) then we recommend you set the appropriate offset parameter for optimal sensor accuracy.
- ALTERNATIVE SENSOR: If you have many Nero in-wall devices you can have your installed add the Nero Temp to them. You will need to have an appropriate ambient sensing location for this sensor to provide useful feedback.
- Nero Blind or Somfy RTS integration via the EasyBlinds plugin.
- Nero Blind can be used on most 240VAC window coverings including roller blinds, curtains, and awnings. Multiple units can be used in multi-layer coverings, such as when you have a block out blind and sheer blind on the same window.
Ideally, you should also have:
- My Nero installed on each residents device with location services enabled and My House Modes configured to automatically set the house into home and away modes based on occupancy.
- Ensure that each user has their own My Nero login and that any static devices in the home (such as iPads or other tablets) have a separate login with no location services enabled.
How do I start automating shade?
You can reduce your need to run the air conditioner or heater by automatically shading your home, particularly when you aren't home during the day.
- Install the weather plugin if you haven't already.
- Create a scene to automatically close your blinds when the temperature exceeds a given level, usually around 25-28ºC though. Create a similar cold scene for around 15ºC
- When you aren't home (the house mode is away) we recommend closing blinds as a standard action, otherwise, close your blinds earlier than you would when home.
- If you have dual-layer blinds you may want to configure two scenes, closing the block out blinds when not home and the sheer blind when people are home to ensure there is still some natural light.
- You may want to pair this setup with a Nero Reed for locations where you can't or shouldn't close the blind when the door or window is open to block the action. If you are using this method we recommend Reactor for more fine-grain control over trigger conditions.
- As an alternative to using the external temperature, you can also use the temperature report from a Nero Multi to determine when the blinds should be automatically closed. This works particularly well when you aren't home and the air conditioner or heater is likely off. When you have your home climate controlled the temperature from internal sensors won't show the heat coming in, or leaking out, via the window.