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The average American family suffers from a common ailment: the tyranny of low expectations. Most people assume that houses perform a certain way as a given: upstairs rooms are going to be a little too warm in the summer; basements will be colder and have a whiff of mildew; utility costs are what they are; and indoor air quality is improved through scented air fresheners or candles.

The high-performing home of the future breaks the shackles of that tyranny. To put it simply, the high-performing home delivers a better homeowner experience — affordable comfort, healthier air, energy independence, resiliency from severe weather or grid instability, and more convenience.

Technology and changing consumer preferences are disrupting the housing and home services industry. These high-performing homes are not in the distant future; they are here today.

Higher Expectations for Home Performance

One in five families have a family member with asthma (more than 25 million Americans), which can be exacerbated by poor indoor air quality. According to a summary analysis of several studies, 47% of homes have dampness and mold problems. Nearly one-third of U.S. households reported facing a challenge in paying energy bills or sustaining adequate heating and cooling in their homes. 

To address these issues and others, homeowners are investing in new home technology features, including connected home devices, solar, batteries, electric vehicle charging, energy-efficient upgrades and mechanical systems, and healthy home devices. External factors, such as changing utility rate structures and ”all-electrification” efforts, further push homeowner demand for new technology and solutions.

One example of that change is the rapid adoption of sensors. Homes have had sensors for decades. The humble thermostat senses the temperature and can turn heating and cooling systems on and off. Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms detect health and safety hazards and alert occupants. Humidistats can measure and control humidifiers and dehumidifiers. Even the utility meter is a sensor, measuring how much energy a home consumes over a period of time.

What makes a high-performing home different is the scope, scale, and data granularity of the sensors. Economical sensors are now available that can measure:

  • A variety of indoor air quality pollutants, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs), small particulate matter (PM2.5), carbon dioxide, radon, humidity, and carbon monoxide

  • Electrical usage down to the appliance or plug level

  • Comfort metrics that include not only sensible and latent heat loads, but how these comfort factors vary room by room and over time

  • Durability and maintenance metrics, including water leak sensors and fault detection in mechanical equipment that can alert homeowners and professionals to repair prior to a catastrophic failure

Radon CO2 Mobile

These sample Airthings dashboards show the trend lines of two important indoor air quality metrics — radon and CO2.

The smart home market is expected to grow 400% in the next six years bringing homeowners plenty of data about the most important aspects of homeownership — the health and comfort of their families and how to affordably maintain and operate their homes. Homeowners will also have greater visibility in how their homes may be underperforming on the most important aspects that impact the health and comfort of their families, which will drive higher expectations for how the home delivers traditional benefits.

Conclusion

Greater visibility into how homes can and should perform will drive demand for solutions. The ability of sensors, dashboards, and home reporting systems to measure and display health and comfort metrics will increase the demand for solutions to address these problems.

With the future of the high-performing home here today, stop settling for hot rooms upstairs and mildew-scented basements. Begin implementing the high-performance home upgrades that will improve your home’s comfort, health, energy-efficiency, and convenience.

Log in to Pearl’s award-winning, free Green Door app to build a roadmap for improving your home’s performance based on your house’s unique features, location, and current amenities. You can also use Green Door’s contractor search to identify qualified, third-party vetted contractors to assist with your smart home technology needs. The future of the high-performing home is already here, so don’t wait until tomorrow to start planning for the comfort and health from your home that you deserve today.


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