Did you ever wonder why we've long had smart technology in our cars, but not our homes? Think about it. If you're low on gas, your car tells you. If your tire pressure is low, your car tells you. If you're short on oil, need to check your engine or are out of windshield wiper fluid, your car tells you. All of this information helps keep your car healthy, and you safe. It also saves you money by taking preventive measures and avoiding costly repairs. But what does your home and its major appliances tell you? Nothing. Powerhouse Dynamics, for one, wants to change this.
The Maine-based company has unveiled the Total Home Energy Management program, which monitors a home's energy use, energy cost and carbon footprint every single minute. Thanks to its detailed tracking, the system can tell you when your energy use spikes and why, allowing you to moderate consumption. It also monitors your appliances, letting you know when maintenance is needed so you can avoid pricey repairs, and even cluing you in when an appliance is so old and energy-inefficient that it's cheaper to chuck it and buy a new one. And new features are constantly being added as the company identifies and addresses the needs of its customers . For example, when the defrost cycle in a customer's refrigerator wasn't working properly, the system was modified to provide an alert [sources: Future Technologies, Powerhouse Dynamics].