DIY Home Security Systems Can Protect People and the Planet
How wireless security systems
are helping homeowners and renters go green
As the growing emphasis on “going green” has families searching for ways to reduce their carbon footprints, home security systems may not be the solution that instantly comes to mind. But wireless security systems can go a long way toward making homes eco-friendly—helping structures remain airtight, eliminating the need for copper wires, and lowering wasted energy by using smart home technologies.
Let’s examine the ways smart wireless security systems not only offer families protection from criminals, but may also help protect our planet.
DIY home security systems
help energy-efficient homes maintain airtight construction
Demand for energy-efficient construction has exploded in recent years, with the number of LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)-certified projects in the U.S. increasing from 296 in 2006 up to more than 67,200 in 2018.
By the end of 2020, green homes are expected to comprise nearly 20 percent of all residential construction. While eco-friendly homes often cost more to build than standard residences, energy efficiency reduces monthly energy costs. And better air quality in these homes can lead to healthier indoor environments.
Passive House design ranks as one of the best-known methods of energy-efficient construction. These homes are “passive” because they don’t actively use energy to keep the temperature consistent. Instead, they rely on a unique blend of airtight construction and super insulation to maintain comfort while utilizing up to 90 percent less energy than traditional homes.
Airtight construction is key to a Passive Home’s success, rigidly separating outside air and temperature from a home’s interior. In other words, there should be no unintended gaps in the tight “building envelope” that allow air to leak in or out. While penetrations are possible, they need to be meticulously planned and executed to ensure they don’t reduce a structure’s energy efficiency and air quality.
Most home security system installers who put in systems that run wires aren’t trained in the best way to preserve energy-efficient construction. Yet unlike traditional wired systems, DIY (do-it-yourself) home security systems have far less impact on the airtightness of an energy-efficient home because little wiring is involved, and no carpentry or significant alterations are required. Instead of drilling holes through walls, the installation of most components is as simple as setting a device on a shelf or attaching it to a surface with a double-sided adhesive.
Simple installation offers another environmental advantage, as well: with no wires or phone lines, wireless home security systems are simple for homeowners and renters to remove and take with them if they move. Frontpoint Security systems can even be moved to another location free of charge. New equipment doesn’t need to be purchased, and unwanted, older systems aren’t thrown out and wasted, or left to deteriorate in a home.
Wireless security systems
eliminate the need for copper wires
Wired home security systems often rely on copper wire. But while copper is ideal for electrical wiring because it is easily worked, can be drawn into fine wire, and has high electrical conductivity, the processes required to create it comes with an environmental cost.
Most copper for wire and cable can’t come from recycled materials because impurities may reduce its connectivity or cause breakage in the manufacturing process. That means it must be newly mined and developed each time—creating the potential for increasing amounts to enter the ground and groundwater through releases from mining and factories.
Unfortunately, high levels of copper can be dangerous and contaminating to the environment. Since copper doesn’t break down in the soil, it can accumulate in plants and animals in the area. Copper also makes its way in a range of concentrations into many foods and beverages, including drinking water. High levels of copper can damage the health of people and animals.
Only a limited number of plants can survive in copper-rich soils, impacting farmlands. Copper can also interrupt activity in soils, negatively influencing the activity of microorganisms and earthworms and significantly slowing down the decomposition of organic materials.
The insulation that surrounds copper wiring can raise environmental, health, and safety concerns as well, with the potential for toxic and corrosive gases releasing into the air if materials become too hot. Copper wiring that gets hot can also release copper particles that can cause kidney and lung damage.
Wireless power shrinks a home’s environmental footprint by eliminating the need for extensive hardwiring. In Frontpoint’s wireless security system, devices with long-lasting batteries protect homes through 100% 4G LTE cellular connection and built-in Wi-Fi backup.
The devices have a built-in ability to receive and transmit Z-Waves, a low-energy wireless communication protocol that is more reliable and consumes less energy than Wi-Fi. Z-Wave uses secure radiofrequency waves to enable smart devices to "speak" to each other without wires.
Not only do these capabilities reduce the wiring, but they also make the system reliable and nearly tamper-proof—eliminating wires that can be easily snipped or fail to function during power outages.
Wireless security systems make
reducing your home’s carbon footprint as simple as tapping a button
The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions asserts that residential buildings create an estimated 17% of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.—and nearly half of that emits from HVAC equipment and lighting. Plus, Americans waste about 9,923 kWh of electricity every year, the equivalent of running an electric oven at 307° around-the-clock for 207 days.
Smart home automation makes reducing a home’s carbon footprint as simple as tapping a button. How many times have you come home after a long day at work and realized you forgot to raise the thermostat? Or left lights burning all day because you didn't want to come back at night to a dark house?
Frontpoint systems enable you to control energy-using smart devices such as lights or thermostats from anywhere. They can even send you reminders to turn off lights if they are left on for too long, or if Motion Sensors detect that no one is home.
In fact, Wireless Light Controls connected to a Frontpoint system can turn any light or a small appliance like a TV into a smart device that can be turned on and off remotely. And Frontpoint’s dimmable, LED smart Light Bulbs are designed with energy efficiency in mind, using just 9 watts to achieve the brightness of a 60-watt incandescent bulb. Even better, the average LED light bulb can last for 15 years or more.
Frontpoint’s smart home capabilities enable you to set lights, thermostats, and small appliances on a timer, preprogram specific settings, have them respond to cues from other devices, tie their operation to particular events, and more. You can manually tap a button to brighten your house when you’re almost home instead of wasting energy all day. If you like to fall asleep watching TV, you can set it to turn off at a certain time, so it doesn't stay on all night.
You could program lights to automatically switch off when Motion Sensors detect you left a room. You might set your security system to alert you if doors or windows are left open. (Can’t you hear your dad’s voice reminding you that “we don’t pay to air condition the whole neighborhood?!”) And if you’re going on vacation, you can program lights and the TV to turn on and off in random sequences that mimic real human behavior instead of leaving them on 24/7— the latter a poor security tactic that wastes energy and fools no one. It may even attract burglars to your house.
A whopping 42% of the energy usage of U.S. households is consumed by heating and cooling systems. To improve efficiencies and reduce energy costs, Frontpoint Security also offers Smart Schedule Activity Patterns. This feature enables users to optimize thermostat settings with data collected by their home security system. Users can schedule their heating and cooling systems to run more efficiently based on when they are likely to be home, saving money on electric bills and reducing energy waste.
Frontpoint’s Geo-Services feature makes it even more convenient to create energy savings, instructing your home to automatically perform specific smart actions based on your location. By enabling Geo-Services on your Frontpoint App and allowing it to use your smartphone's location, "rules" that you set take effect any time your phone crosses a "geofence," an invisible ring around the property.
For instance, you can create a geofence around your home that turns off the lights and raises the thermostat when you leave, so you don’t have to remember to do it amid the hectic morning rush. Another geofence around your office can command your home’s smart thermostat to automatically adjust to a comfortable temperature when you leave for the day, ensuring comfort isn’t sacrificed for energy savings.
Smart home security
systems can improve the eco-friendliness of your home
Many homeowners and renters are searching for ways to make their homes “green.” Smart home security systems may not stand out as an obvious way to make homes eco-friendly. But the energy efficiencies they help create can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, lower monthly energy costs, and ultimately lower the impact families have on the planet.
And far fewer wires mean fewer penetrations in Passive House and LEED-certified structures that require a tight “building envelope.”
Going greener has never felt so secure—or convenient.
Frontpoint keeps families safer and more connected in their everyday lives. We've been revolutionizing the home security industry for over a decade. And we're just getting started. To shop DIY home security systems, check out our Security Packages. If you have questions or would like to discuss a quote, contact us at 1-877-602-5276.
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