The Tiny House concept is really taking off in Australia. And while we do not build Tiny Houses, at CATIM we are all about designing, implementing and servicing automated technology that sees tiny houses transform from affordable residences into welcoming homes that are extremely functional, optimised and comfortable. To draw an analogy, a small car used to have windows controlled by a winding mechanism and a not-so-reliable engine; however, this changed dramatically with the advent of electronic automation in the automotive industry. For example, today’s vehicles can announce a developing fault long before it’s critical — likewise, in tiny homes it’s now possible to harness the benefits of proven technologies to manage the control of power supplies to individual devices, ensure water is available at a predetermined temperature, manage waste disposal and ensure your family’s comfort, safety and security at the touch of a button.
And that’s just the beginning…
This first part of our article series looks at how automated technology can positively impact your family’s safety, security and convenience — while also enhancing a more healthy and sustainable home environment.
Wide corridors and stairs have become a luxury not likely to be found in tiny houses due to space constraints. However, lighting corridors and stairs — no matter how narrow — is the obvious solution to illuminate these areas, improve safety and even create atmosphere and architectural highlights. Automating such a feature could mean having lights that illuminate when someone enters the space, and turn off when they leave. Modern lighting technology can really contribute to the ambience of a home or kill it — as was apparent during the LED lighting craze that proved low-quality flood lighting of a space serves only to highlight the dust bunnies on the floor and that today’s designer approach of creating light and shadows makes lighting so much more aesthetically pleasing. Can you imagine subtle, motion-sensor floor lighting that follows people around as they move through the home at night? In fact, these people would be considered by the technology as friends of the home; but this automated courtesy does not apply to intruders — trespassers would receive the strobe light treatment and a shrieking security alarm to scare them off.
Other safety elements you might consider introducing at the design stage of your tiny house build could include CO2 sensors, smoke sensors, cooking gas sensors and many more safety devices that are linked to the automation controller to provide early automatic warnings and enable immediate corrective action.
Finally, a ubiquitous technology has arrived that can provide a secure, trusted method for home access. Near Field Communication (NFC) is a short-range wireless connectivity technology that has revolutionised automated home security because it enables short-range communication between electronic devices. Now seen utilised every day as the ‘tap and go’ payment service that connects mobile phones and bank cards, this technology can also be used for everything from opening your front door to turning on the coffee machine or deactivating an alarm. Likewise, the well-known Passive Infra Red (PIR) red eye alarm sensors have been relied on for years to detect motion and keep an eye on security intrusion; however, gone are the days of needing a third party to monitor alarms as modern automation can keep home owners informed by mobile text. This degree of up-to-the-minute security is guaranteed to bring the tiny home owner peace of mind.
Automated technology can take your home’s comfort to the next level when it comes to convenience. For example, a discreet garage door remote control placed on your key-ring is bound to be always close to hand — but did you know that such a device can be linked to control any aspect of tiny house automation? Imagine having the power to switch off all the house lights using a single button on the remote, whether you’re heading off to work or are flying overseas… CATIM aany appliance can be turned on or off by schedules or, in the case of lights, triggered by motion such as a door opening or alarm PIR sensor, without another third-party expense.
Customising and operating the home automation system from a mobile or tablet is one option — but did you know you can ‘talk’ to your house and request a song or playlist or even a global radio station to be streamed? Today, it’s possible to press a button and turn your shower on instantly at the perfect temperature, which then turns off at a pre-set time to stay within your nominated power and water budgets. Imagine the joy of having the kids’ device access to the Wi-Fi router switched off automatically at 7pm, enabling you to get them to bed at a decent hour so you can stream The Walking Dead in peace as you tuck into your remote controlled slow-cooked dinner. Now, that’s convenience…
But automation can also bring ease and eco friendliness to the garden as well — think water hoses set by timers and even whole irrigation systems that turn on and off, depending on local climate readings, humidity levels and recent rainfalls. The opportunities to set and forget are limited only by your imagination.
Automated technology is taking the healthy home environment to the next level. News articles about the sensing of carbon dioxide (CO) readings show that the percentage of CO inside buildings with closed windows and doors is making headlines as ‘poor indoor quality air’ affects our wellbeing. As tiny houses are by nature smaller and sealed better, the possibility of CO and CO2 (the more poisonous carbon monoxide) density levels building up faster is a real health threat, particularly during winter when more heating is required.
Another important metric for indoor air health is relative humidity, which is tied to temperature. Regulating the relative humidity will decrease dampness and fungal growth, which provides significant health, ecological and economic benefits — damp air is very inefficient to heat, for example. The modern approach — at great cost — has been to dehumidify the air using air conditioning systems; however, ventilating by using fresh air during periods when the air temperature outside is perfect is a much healthier, more economical method. Automation can regulate this metric to a fine degree and work effortlessly at the task. In fact, automation is an easy and efficient way to regulate air quality, humidity and dust content indoors to suit your specifications and your lifestyle.
As you can see, the adaptability, flexibility and customisation of automated technology means that introducing these hi-tech features throughout greenfield or renovated tiny and small houses is more viable, affordable and cost-effective than ever. It truly takes comfortable living to the next level, as you’ll discover in our next article Tiny Houses – Big Power.
Additional Post information
- CATIM house automation see here
- Part of this CATIM article appeared in the ATHA newsletter as here
- If you’d like expert help to take your home from tiny to tech-savvy, contact CATIM by clicking here to discuss how automated technology can take the guesswork out of running every aspect of your home’s technology and features without a second thought.