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What is IoT (And How Can It Help Sustainability?)

Whether you’re browsing the headlines or browsing a store, Internet of Things (IoT) is a phrase that pops up everywhere. Often abbreviated as IoT, the Internet of Things connects devices to the internet that were previously unconnected.

Even if you’re not familiar with the terminology, you’re likely familiar with the Internet of Things. From fitness trackers and glucose monitors to smart thermostats and fridges, the Internet of Things is everywhere—and growing! But what does IoT mean for sustainability?

How Can IoT increase sustainability?

IoT devices are increasingly being used to measure air quality, water quality, and energy consumption.

Farmers are taking advantage of IoT devices to conserve water and other resources. Companies are looking into drone delivery services to reduce reliance on cars. Governments and wildlife conservation organizations can use drones and IoT cameras to collect information on wildlife health and monitor areas for potential poachers.

However, the green benefits of IoT aren’t limited to large organizations. You can use the Internet of Things at home to increase energy efficiency, save money, and live more sustainably.

how can iot help sustainability

How Can I Use IoT at Home for Sustainability?

Smart thermostats are a great way to incorporate the Internet of Things into your home for both money and energy savings. These thermostats track your usage habits, make recommendations, and can be controlled from afar. Forget to set your thermostat before leaving for vacation? You can remotely connect to it using an app on your phone and change the temperature from your destination!

Another great option for your home might be a moisture sensor or water leak detector that connects to the internet. These devices can be placed next to water heaters, in basements, or near other plumbing to monitor for water leaks and alert you when they detect an issue. Some IoT leak detectors integrate with smart water shutoff technology, which allows you to shut off your water completely if you are not home when a leak begins. This allows you to mitigate a potentially costly water bill, and can help you to conserve water.

Smart lights and plugs are another option to consider when you are looking at IoT for sustainability. Smart lights and smart plugs allow you to monitor energy usage in your home, detecting when a device is drawing too much power while not in use. It also allows you to turn devices on and off when you are away from home. With a smart light, power savings are only a click away.

What should I consider when switching to IoT devices?

If you have decided to switch to Internet of Things devices to save money and conserve energy, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

The first thing to consider when using IoT devices is security. To stay safe while building a smart home, change your Wi-Fi name and password from the default. It is also important to change the router password from the default. You may want to consider creating a guest Wi-Fi network specifically for your IoT devices.

If you would like to check on your smart devices while you are away from home, refrain from using the device’s app while on public Wi-Fi, which is generally unsecure. It’s better to use cellular data or a personal hotspot.

internet of things

Another consideration when creating a smart home using IoT devices is connectivity. Ensuring your devices are within range of your router makes a big difference when it comes to performance.

Related article: The Best Place to Put Your Router For Strong Wi-Fi

If your devices are too far from your router, or there are too many obstacles between the devices and the router, they may have a weak connection and performance will suffer. A router or firmware that is out-of-date can also affect your connection. Finally, some IoT devices have specific speed or bandwidth requirements.

How can I start using the Internet of Things?

Creating a smart home is easier than ever before. With a variety of brands and devices on the market, you can read reviews of products you are interested in to make sure you are selecting the IoT device that best fits your needs. Most smart devices are easy to set up and use, and come with instructions to help you get started. Be sure to read the specifications of devices you are interested in, and ensure your router and internet speed are capable of supporting the smart home of your dreams.

If you are concerned your internet package no longer meets your needs, reach out to your internet provider. They will be able to suggest the speeds that you need for the number of devices connected. Many internet providers also offer a managed Wi-Fi service, taking the stress out of choosing a router. Managed Wi-Fi service also allows your internet provider better visibility for troubleshooting, which can help if you are having trouble with your IoT devices.

EPB’s Smart Net Plus provides managed Wi-Fi for only $17.99 a month ($14.99 if you also purchase EPB Gig-speed internet). Our technicians will make sure your home is free of dead zones, ensure all of your IoT devices are connected to the internet, and are available 24/7/365 for continuous support. Contact us any time to start saving money and energy with the Internet of Things!

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