Ever fancied turning your home into a smart home? Well, more people than ever are making the change. The US is expected to have 63 million smart homes by 2022. Will yours be one of them?
Or, it might be that you're struggling to open some windows due to injury or age and need a little extra help. If you are looking for a more effective way to open and close your home's windows, maybe you should consider automatic window openers and closers.
These devices make opening or closing a window not only easy but also require very little effort on the part of whoever is using them. Let's take a closer look at this new type of gadget and see how it can turn your home into the home of dreams!
What Are Automatic Window Openers and Closers?
If you find yourself struggling to open and close windows, then window openers and closers are the perfect assistance tool for your needs. They allow the user to do so with relatively low levels of effort.
Motorized electronic window openers and closers, as you'd expect, operate using electricity as opposed to human interaction. The best comparison here is in a car, with the difference between electric windows and manual wind-down windows of yesteryear.
The term "automatic," however, refers to how the command is issued. For example, if a person presses a button on the remote control to open a window, then that is an electric window opener.
Note the term "manual" isn't used here since it's used to compare the original electric vs. manual mechanisms of the window itself.
A motorized automatic window opener, however, needs no human interaction to execute the command. For example, if you set a timer to open a window at 9 pm and close a window at 9 am each day, this is an automatic electric window opener. We'll delve into the details further in the article as to what this entails.
But first, let's take a look at the science behind electric motorized window openers and closers. Then we are going into more detail about the automation capabilities of these fascinating new additions to the modern smart home.
How Do Electric Window Openers and Closers Work?
The best electric window openers and closers use a series of different technologies. Some are motorized, others are manual, and some have specialized features that allow them to work better than others. When these technologies work in unison, the result is a smooth, simple opening and closing of your windows by simply using a remote control.
In more recent times, the demand for smart home tech has seen prices drop. While not always the case, diminishing prices make them a lot more accessible to ordinary consumers. The internet of things is so popular that people will look for the same experience but at a lower price point.
As a result, more and more electric window openers are becoming smart-home ready as well. But what does this all mean? Let's take a closer look at how these openers work and then how the automation supports the mechanism to achieve its task.
How Does the Window Open?
Electric openers and closers rely on different types of mechanisms depending on the kind of window that's opened. Each window opener comprises a mechanism that uses actuators. In most cases, these are universal for manual or electric window openers.
Actuators are machinery that applies pressure to an object to move it, which is done with industrial machinery. Though various scientific disciplines apply the term, its most common meaning is applied to hydraulic and pneumatic actuators, as seen in electronic window openers.
In the window openers, we're discussing in this article, each type of actuator has its case. The mechanisms and use cases are categorized as follows:
Linear Actuator Window Opener
In this project, linear actuators are used to convert movements into linear force. This action contributes to the success of the machine because it is easy to control and can be used for different kinds of movements. If you need something pushing in a straight line, chances are it's using a linear actuator to help with that.
Linear actuators are good at lifting heavy things, and they're best for windows that require a lot of force to open. One example of these is mounting them to a skylight, which may require a stretch upwards to open.
The actuator is a part of the window opener that uses pressure to open the window. It kicks in and creates pressure.
The actuators can either be a simple rod mechanism (a bit like using a stick to push it open) or rack and pinion. Rack and pinion mechanisms work by creating a simple pulley system using a rotational power source in the form of a cog. This conversion from rotational to linear allows heavy force to be transmitted without too much effort.
Chain Actuator Opener
A chain actuator is a mechanism that works in the same way as a garage door opener. That's because when used in the window opening, it's in vertical windows and pushes outwards, following a similar motion to the garage door. This type of actuator is more popular in some parts of Europe than it is in the US.
They work like linear actuators whereby a line is detected and converted outwards with a chain mechanism. The difference between the two is that one has an added pulley at the bottom. This detail makes it possible to lift a heavier load, but it also means making more effort to pull up the weight because of the added weight at the bottom.
The cable then echoes this line, moving the window outwards, which allows it to open. These use the rack and pinion method mentioned above, as the levels of force required aren't as great as the skylight.
In an electric window opener, the chain connects to the window. When energy is supplied, the chain comes out of the casing on the frame. This movement opens the window.
In a manual window opener, there is no casing. The chains are pushed out of the frame by hand and then pulled back again to close it. That's necessary for heavier windows that require a little more force to open.
Folding Window Opener
Folding window openers are best used for side-opening doors that need minimal effort to open and close. These are typically windows in the kitchen or bathroom.
These also require a lot of force but less than the linear actuator. A motorized arm, mounted on the side, can open and close windows with little effort.
This arm is usually used to open the window, but You may also use it to close the window. It also has a safety feature that will prevent the arm from opening when it senses an obstruction.
To operate, the user presses a button on the remote to open or close the door or issues a command if it is automatic. In a manual window opener, the lever is the part of the device activated by your hand to open windows.
The primary use for this product is opening windows or doors without putting strain on the body. That's because the electric versions of the folding window opener are most popular in areas that are difficult to reach, such as bathrooms. Another example is using them to keep your furniture in front of a window and other hard-to-reach places.
How Does the Electric Motor Work?
Electric window openers and closers also work with a series of sensors and levers that trigger the movement of the window. Several different technologies exist to do this, but ultimately it comes down to the difference between an electric window opener and a manual window opener.
Electric window openers use the principles of electromagnetism to allow the window to open and close. The window itself doesn't move, but a wide series of electromagnets are used to release and re-hold the window. This is possible because a small electric motor with a gearbox is used.
The electric window opener's motor is connected to a wall switch, which activates the motor and uses electricity to open the window. The rear handle releases the window and locks it into place. The gearbox turns the motor in reverse, opening the window in its original position.
Electric window openers use an electrically controlled remote control (RCC) to trigger the movement of the window. The motor is controlled by a series of sensors, which detects when the window is fully open or fully closed. The remote control is the "human interaction" in an electric window opener.
We've covered all of the bases when it comes to electric window openers and closers, but in this next section, we'll be discussing home automation. There are many people out there who would like to know more about the technology but don't have the time to read through all the details.
We're going to summarize what home automation is and how additional, innovative features can integrate with your new automated electric window openers for maximum impact.
What Is Home Automation?
Home automation, also known as smart home technology, uses a series of smart home appliances to make your life easier. You can use home automation on individual or grand scales, such as corporate office buildings, large homes, small homes, and even rentals.
Triggered by the whole "smart home" craze, home automation is a growing trend because it allows you to control your appliances more efficiently. You can turn your lights on and off remotely with home automation, which You can do not only from a distance but also using an app on your phone.
If you have a smart home, youâ€™ve probably had to do some research to figure out which devices work together. Smart lights might not talk to smart locks, and your security system might not work with your home appliances. Thatâ€™s one of the reasons why many are hesitant to start.
It's also why we suggest starting small at first. Otherwise, you'll find it too complicated and harder than necessary.
Advantages of Home Automation
Home automation is the art of controlling your home in different devices, like lights, blinds, and televisions, from anywhere in the world. Home automation can increase the effectiveness and efficiency of your home, which can help reduce living expenses and your energy bill.
Home automation is a smart idea because it can give you the upper hand when living in a smart house. With home automation, you can control your appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers, and even a kettle! Not only that, but it can help to improve your home security and enhance the comfort of your personal space.
It also allows for the automation of various home appliances to be controlled with a smartphone. It's ideal for people working from home, forgetful or have small children, and want to keep the area clutter-free. The main goal is to make your life easier and more organized.
These automation systems often connect to smart devices, including cameras, alarms, and motion sensors. These types of technology can help improve the security of your home by providing information about potential burglars or intruders. If you get alerts that there's some activity in your home, you can immediately check it out from anywhere at any time.
Home automation also has the capability of automating your homes lights and temperature control, among other features. For this, you can use geolocation, so your home knows where you are, or you can control it through your phone. That's ideal for people who often work from home or people who want to save energy.
Disadvantages of Home Automation
Just like anything else, there are some disadvantages to home automation. But you'll find that these disadvantages aren't as bad as they seem.
Some people may think that home automation is complicated and expensive. Some models of home automation systems are a little more expensive than what you'd expect to pay for a regular light switch. But the various components that make up these automated systems can be bought separately, and some are even built into regular appliances nowadays.
Also, you must have a good understanding of electronics and electricity if you want to get the most out of home automation. If you're unfamiliar with these subjects, be prepared to take some time to learn if you want to perform more complex actions.
There is a lot of equipment and wiring involved, so it can be time-consuming to get everything set up. You'll also have to pay attention to how everything operates to avoid problems. But for getting started, sticking to your window openers first until you get used to them is the best way forward.
How Does Home Automation Help Electric Window Openers?
Automatic electric window openers and closers work using the mechanisms mentioned earlier in the article to open and close and lock and unlock the window. The casing also has WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity capabilities that allow each window opener to connect to a central hub in automated models.
Most brands have an automation hub that allows the windows to talk to each other. Whether these hubs have their displays or an app is used, you can program them to activate under certain conditions. For example, you can program them to trigger at certain times of the day.
Some also have additional features built-in. Those which operate using a Zigbee protocol, for example, can act as a repeater for the Zigbee smart home tech. Repeaters allow the signal chain to carry throughout the entire house. The result is a more stress-free, stable, smart home experience.
Now we understand how automation works in electric window openers and closers, let's apply that knowledge to some use cases. These use cases will give you an idea of how you can incorporate all other areas of smart home tech and apply this to opening and closing windows.
Use Cases for Automating Your Electric Window Openers and Closers
If you aren't particularly tech-savvy, it can be challenging to understand how to integrate this into your home life. So we've provided some use cases for you.
You Always Leave Windows Open
For those who like to leave their windows open, you might think about using an automated window opener. The main reason for this is not only convenience but also security. While you may love to leave your windows open as they provide a wonderful breeze, the windows could pose a serious security risk if someone were to break into your home.
The smart home will use geolocation to detect when you aren't in the house. That way, you don't need to command the windows if you forget, but the smart home will do it for you! If you forget, for example, to close your windows after leaving for work, you'll have peace of mind knowing that your windows will close on their own.
The best way to make the most of location detection is using geolocation on your phone or a dedicated device. These dedicated devices often come as buttons or stickers attached to your keyring, bag, or any other item you take out with you.
You Want to Control Temperature and Air Quality
Another use case could be leaving your window open and micromanaging your ecosystem inside the house constantly. Whether you have allergies, asthma, or other health conditions such as these, you may want to control those rooms' temperature and air quality with open windows.
Having automated windows can help you achieve that. The automation will ensure that the window stays open at the right temperature. That way, you won't have to worry about getting up all the time to open and close it.
To make the most of temperature control, invest in a smart heating system that's suitable for your existing home setup. These can control the temperature using thermostats and speak to your window openers to tell them when it is too hot or cold.
You Want Control From Multiple Rooms
Many people control their home appliances using the apps on their phones. But when you want to control your window opener, you can't use this method. Using your phone as a remote for the window is a little trickier than you think.
In these cases, automating the window is a better choice. It allows you to control your home from a distance using your smartphone regardless of what app you're using. You could do this anywhere in the world if you wanted!
To do this, you'll need to set up groups of windows, which can either be done in the proprietary software or a special hub such as a Samsung SmartThings hub. From there, you can connect it to Google or Alexa to issue voice commands as well as through an app on your phone.
You Want to Save Time
Automating the window would help you save a lot of time. Being able to control one window from anywhere means you don't have to spend time walking around the house to close a window. The same applies to closing all the windows at once, or even certain floors.
Not only that, but it will save time having to drive back home if you've forgotten (as we mentioned above), and also, for those with anxiety, you can put your mind at ease knowing that your windows are closed. Thus, you aren't wasting time worrying about the security of your home.
As above, this can be done remotely through an app on your phone or your voice assistant. Remember, though, that if you are driving at the time, do not operate your touchscreen! Use voice commands if your head unit has Apple Carplay or Android Auto!
You Want to Save Money
There are multiple ways automatic electric window openers and closers can save you money. The most obvious one is that it will save you money on your energy bills. You won't have as many temperature fluctuations trying to keep the house cool in summer or warm in winter.
And, not only that but depending on what kind of insurance you have in which buildings, some insurers don't pay out if your home is stolen as a result of an opportunist jumping in through an open window. For the forgetful individual, this more than outweighs the cost of replacing all your valuable items after a burglary.
You can use the same technology as in the temperature example for this one. Otherwise, you can use your hub settings or phone to set timers in a similar way to a traditional digital timer.
You Want Security Integration
Following on from the security theme, automation capabilities expand beyond forgetfulness and money-saving. For example, you can automate the windows to shut if it's the middle of summer, you're fast asleep, and an intruder trespasses on your property in the middle of the night.
Imagine a home security system where your CCTV or smart doorbell picks up an intruder walking up the driveway with a ladder, but then all the windows suddenly shut. This kind of deterrent is perfect, especially if someone vulnerable is living in the house home alone.
You may already have some security systems in your house or business. So check if these can be upgraded to allow for smart home tech. If not, then think about if you're missing any smart security, such as a smart doorbell that can alert you when there's an intruder.
You're a Vulnerable Person
For vulnerable adults like the elderly or those dependent on others, having as much independence as possible is a must. Independence is vital for their mental health and well-being. And automated electric openers and closers are perfect for supporting this independent lifestyle.
Not only do they help with mobility issues such as Arthritis and Osteoperosis, but they are fantastic for anyone who has Dementia, Social Anxiety, or any mental health conditions that could affect their ability to open and close windows by themselves.
If you know someone vulnerable, you may have already considered a device with an SOS button on, such as some clamshell phones or a keyring button. But smart speakers are also a great addition to the home for anyone vulnerable or not used to technology.
That way, if they feel they are in danger for whatever reason, they can alert family members or, in some cases, the authorities through them by talking to the speaker. Alternatively, they can issue commands to close and open the windows.
In a more advanced setup, you can sync all your windows to close at once should a particular event occur. For example, you might want to watch a quiet film, but you live near the main road. In this case, you can sync your windows to close perfectly within the right timeframe.
Therefore, when a smart home mode is activated that, for example, turns your TV on while dimming the lights and putting your phone on silent, it can also close the windows to block out exterior noise.
Imagine watching a horror film and all of a sudden the lights turn off and the windows close or open by themselves. That would also make a great murder mystery party piece or a Halloween party!
Why not kit out your light bulbs with smart lighting that changes color with the smart TV for the best effects? That way, you can live your dream movie experience with a simple command. And, if you're a prankster, you can even sync your smart home with the movie you're watching.
Educate Your Kids on Science and Environment
Automating your windows is a great way to educate kids on all areas of science. They can learn how a window opens and closes, how air circulates a room, how temperature affects humidity, and how it helps the environment.
Not only that, but kids love tech and magic. And anything involving both, in their eyes at least, is the perfect way to educate. Smart home tech is brilliant for teaching about computer science and math.
To There's nothing better than having an excuse to invest in something you like because it's educational to others. But you can also teach about staying safe and concepts such as cause and effect. That way, everybody wins.
To educate others, as long as you've got a hub and a smartphone, you can go anywhere with engaging kids in tech. But if you fancy a project, invest in a Raspberry Pi microcomputer. These little DIY computers are cheap, and you can set them up to create basic smart home commands using online tutorials.
Is Automated Window Opening an Interior Design Must Have?
In the internet age, and the advent of smart homes, window automation is a must. The convenience it brings to your life is worth all the nerdy points you might have saved up for that new computer, or you can show off to the grandkids how tech-savvy you are!
We hope this guide has helped you decide that automatic window openers and closers are the right choices for you. These operate with ease and efficiency, without disturbing any neighbors or keeping unwanted eyes on your activities.
We're big fans of smart home tech and automation/control systems to make life a little easier. So why not take a look at our brand new collection today and let us help you find the perfect setup for your needs!