My husband’s favorite episode! This one answers the question – “what is a smart garage?” And, is it smart enough to organize itself ?(I wish!)
Our quest for smart, eco-friendly and efficient continues as we find a garage door opener that you can access and monitor anywhere on the planet, storage cabinets made of new materials, commercial laundry machines that are incredibly energy efficient and a new smart efficient water heater and we protect it all with surge protectors.
Everyone I know, including myself, needs more storage. Maybe most of us are a little pack ratty. I like to hang onto things I might use in the future and some of us have collections of things we just can’t part with. Where does it all end up… usually in the garage.
I see the garage as valuable real estate, an extension of the house. I want it to reflect the overall style, design and color scheme of the house. And, I believe that garage cabinets increase property values or at least encourage the sale a of property – 1 less thing to do.
I’ve long been a fan of rolling garage tool boxes –so good or organizing! When we went on the search for gray garage storage cabinets, to coordinate with the interior renovations, we checked out a familiar brand.
We found great looking, heavy duty gray and black cabinets at Craftsman. All of them come with locks and adjustable shelves. Garage cabinets really make a difference when it comes to being organized… now if I could just find the time to do the organizing…
TIP – Before buying garage storage units, make a list of what you will really want to store as cabinets come in various styles and don’t all work well for all storage needs.
SMART GARAGE DOOR OPENER
New garage door openers are very quiet and smart. The new garage door opener we installed from Chamberlain has an app called MyQ that let’s you access, control and monitor your garage door from anywhere with your smartphone. So, if you drive away from your house wondering if you closed the garage door… you can just look at your app. It will tell you if the door is open or closed.
GARAGE DOOR SURGE PROTECTOR
To protect the new garage door opener and washer and dryer, we installed surge protectors at the outlets. The BlueBolt surge protector by Panamax we used is a SmartPlug which can control and monitor energy use wirelessly. Scheduled conservation and alerts can eliminate wasted power and lower utility bills. All this while safeguarding against power surges.
BluBolt on garage ceiling with new Chamberlain system plugged in
COMMERCIAL LAUNDRY MACHINES FOR THE HOME:
When thinking about an efficient, smart, low maintenance home, we decided we needed to look for a washer and dryer that was efficient, durable and made in America.
Next we thought, who makes washers and dryers for high use like hotels, schools, hospitals, apartment buildings, etc.?
We found a company that’s well known in commercial applications but little known residential – Speed Queen.
Since the laundry is in the garage of the Project House, we ordered a front loading washer and dryer in stainless steel to go with the gray garage cabinets. The machines are efficient and energy star certified.
SMART WATER HEATER:
The next Home Project House is over 30 years old and so were all the systems. Because the systems were so old, they were not efficient.
We needed to replace the water heater and HVAC. After doing some research I found Rheem a company that makes efficient, high quality, made in America water heaters and HVAC systems.
Both the HVAC system and the water heater are EcoNet Enabled which means that they can automatically be switched to an energy efficient mode when you’re away, saving energy on your water heating and money on utility bills.
Water heaters consume about 20% of a home’s energy so being able to smartly adjust the water heater to the most efficient operating mode needed will save energy.
Depending on where you live, air conditioners can play a big role in your home energy expenses for years to come.
Today’s air conditioner manufacturers are required by law to rate their equipment according to its energy efficiency. This rating is known as the SEER, or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating. The Rheem Prestige Series High Efficiency model, for example, has a SEER of 18.00, among the highest available. High SEER models are usually more expensive but can easily make up the difference by reducing y our home energy bill over the long run.
30+ year old Rheem air conditioner
TIP – Look for the SEER rating when buying a new air conditioner, the higher the SEER, the more efficient the equipment.
We replaced a 30 year old Rheem air conditioner with a new one – what a difference! The new unit is much more efficient, and much quieter, than the old one!