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Close space still allows for family room theater and separate audio zones.

Interest in energy conservation, coupled with rising costs, is causing people to consider integrating technology into their homes and offices. Integrated solutions improve quality of life and can result in energy cost savings.

The systems can control virtually every sub-system and device in a house or office including lighting, HVAC, shades, AV, and the computer network.

Considerable energy savings can be achieved with these solutions by utilizing daylight and advanced scheduling of lighting and other sub-systems.

Shades and drapes, lights, HVAC, and ceiling fans can all be programmed for economic use. Shades can be manipulated according to the season, sunlight, or time of day. Sprinklers, weather stations, and outdoor systems can also be scheduled to save energy without sacrificing comfort or convenience.

The various systems can be worked from one control platform. Touch panels increase efficiencies by allowing access to all systems, while also providing greater control and feedback of each system.

Systems can be configured for a hands-off approach to green living. Simple acts such as arming the security system when leaving the house can simultaneously switch off light fixtures and AV equipment, while adjusting thermostats. Other factors can be used for scheduling changes in lighting and HVAC.

For example, in a 4,000-square-foot house, where lighting accounts for 10% and heating and cooling for 31% of energy use, scheduling and dimming lights can reduce energy use by 3%. Setting back thermostats can save an additional 4%. Utilizing both, the savings can be about 7%. (source: Crestron)

Technology can be used in new construction and retrofitted in existing buildings. In the past, people viewed this technology as a luxury, but today it’s considered a practical "must have." Still, some companies that claim they can integrate these systems find that their skill level is limited, and the homeowner never fully appreciates the potential savings. Calling on a professional who can install these systems in a neat and timely fashion will help save the green planet and the green in your wallet.