Technology That Is Essential In A Truly Modern Home 


Domestic technology has been constantly evolving since human beings first created structures to live in. Here is a very brief guide to the kinds of technology integrated into a well kitted-out modern home. Note that a great many of these innovations are linked to environmental efficiency. 

Efficient Heating, Ventilation And Air Conditioning (HVAC) Systems

HVAC systems control the environment within a home. The best modern HVAC systems use sensors to automatically control the operation of air conditioning, ventilation, humidity and heating elements. This is not a particularly new idea. The first automatic thermostat was developed in the early 20th century, but it has been slow to be implemented in homes. A good HVAC contractor will advise a homebuilder or homeowner on the most efficient type of environmental control unit for their property. Environmentally=efficient HVAC systems use clever ducting, heat transfer and heat storage elements to make heating and cooling a home cheaper and kinder to the Earth. No HVAC system is truly environmentally friendly, but some are certainly less damaging to the environment than others. 

The Internet Of Things 

It is pretty hard to avoid the term ‘Internet Of Things’ today. The much-hyped term refers to the recent development of dispersed systems that communicate with each other via the internet. In theory, objects connected via the Internet Of Things will be able to improve each other’s performance by sharing data and machine learning conclusions with each other. A house that is fully connected should, in theory, become more efficient over time. 

Intelligent Security Systems 

Security is a constant concern when designing a home. Truly modern, up-to-date homes include security cameras that are connected to the internet, multi-factor authentication for home systems and a whole host of other systems. Locking your doors is, of course, still the best deterrent against a theft or home invasion. A well designed and integrated security system can play a large part in the creation of a safe and secure home. 

Environmentally Friendly Insulation

Good insulation is one of the most cost-efficient methods of making a home environmentally friendly. Modern insulating materials are immensely effective at preventing heat transfer. A huge percentage of the heat lost through the surfaces of a home are typically lost through the roof (because heat rises) and the windows (because glass rapidly transfers heat). Good loft insulation and double glazing makes a home far more heat efficient and can reduce the cost of energy bills significantly. 

Independent Power Generation 

The most efficient modern homes are partially independent from the power grid. Until renewable energy becomes the primary mode of power generation, power grid energy consumption will always be environmentally damaging. As fossil fuels become more scarce, power grid electricity will also become more expensive and more vulnerable to things like the impact of wars overseas. There are plenty of ways to generate power away from the electricity grid. Unfortunately, none of them are particularly cheap to set up.

Perhaps the most impressive form of independent power generation is via a water wheel or turbine. This method of transforming the kinetic energy of a stream or river has been in use all over the world for thousands of years and is immensely efficient. Unfortunately, it is also dependent upon the proximity of a home to a flowing body of water. 

Solar energy, however, is far more accessible. Photovoltaic cells that can efficiently transform solar energy into direct current (DC) electricity are readily available. Solar cells are increasingly capable of generating enough electricity to power most of the appliances within a home, although you would need to install a significant number of them if you want to power everything. 

Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Ports 

A modern home should have a modern vehicle on the driveway or in the garage. As we all surely know by now, fossil fuel-powered vehicles are particularly bad for the environment – spewing out carbon monoxide that contributes to the overall global warming crisis that may one day be the death of us all. Electric vehicles purportedly offer an alternative to fossil fuel-based versions. Companies like Tesla and Nissan now make extremely capable electric vehicles. The production of electric vehicles and the production of the electricity that supplies them must change dramatically in order to make them a viable alternative in terms of their environmental impact. In many ways, electric vehicles are more capable than their petroleum and diesel-guzzling cousins. Electric motors are extremely  torque-heavy – meaning that they can accelerate very efficiently. They also do not need to have traditional transmissions, which are both very expensive and heavy. In order for electric vehicles to make economic and practical sense, they must be served by EV charging ports. Modern luxury homes are typically built with an electric vehicle charging port stationed on the property. The ability to charge your car at home is a true game changer. 

Robotic Helpers 

Robotic domestic workers were once the preserve of optimistic science fiction tales. Robotic servants were such a prominent feature of early futurology that they became a cliché – an easily mockable standard memetic feature of any drama set in the far-flung future. They were as mockable as hyperdimensional space travel or laser weapons. Well, the 2020s have arrived. We do (unfortunately) have laser weapons and we most certainly do have robotic domestic workers. They might not be glamorous, but today’s robotic vacuum cleaners and lawnmowers are perfect examples of practical robotics in motion. 

Robotic vacuum cleaners have proven to be an especially big hit – although they are usually reserved for people with high incomes. The eponymous Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner is immensely popular. Over 14 million of the little disk-shaped devices have been sold to date. The Roomba’s manufacturer iRobot claims that around 20 percent of the vacuum cleaners in operation around the world are now robotic. Robots are doing labor in more homes than you might have imagined. Let’s just hope that they don’t get too fed up with doing all the dirty work.