Home automation is the residential extension of building automation. It is automation of the home, housework or household activity. Home automation may include centralized control of lighting, HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning), appliances, security locks of gates and doors and other systems, to provide improved convenience, comfort, energy efficiency and security. Home automation for the elderly and disabled can provide increased quality of life for persons who might otherwise require caregivers or institutional care.
The popularity of home automation has been increasing greatly in recent years due to much higher affordability and simplicity through smartphone and tablet connectivity. The concept of the “Internet of Things” has tied in closely with the popularization of home automation.
A home automation system integrates electrical devices in a house with each other. The techniques employed in home automation include those in building automation as well as the control of domestic activities, such as home entertainment systems, houseplant and yard watering, pet feeding, changing the ambiance “scenes” for different events (such as dinners or parties), and the use of domestic robots. Devices may be connected through a home network to allow control by a personal computer, and may allow remote access from the internet. Through the integration of information technologies with the home environment, systems and appliances are able to communicate in an integrated manner which results in convenience, energy efficiency, and safety benefits.
A green home is a type of house designed to be environmentally friendly and sustainable, while also focusing on the efficient use of “energy, water, and building materials.
The parts that make up a green home are not universally agreed upon. There do not exist national standards on what constitutes a green remodel, beyond non-profit certification. In general, a green home is a type of house that is built or remodeled in order to conserve “energy or water; improve indoor air quality; use sustainable, recycled or used materials; and produce less waste in the process.” This may include buying more energy-efficient appliances or utilizing specific building materials that are more efficient in keeping both cool and heated air inside the structure.