HOME AUTOMATION: Central Iowa company works on technology to help you save energy while you’re away

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

One central Iowa company is working on new technology that will allow you to control the sunlight coming into your home while you're away.

You've probably heard to open your shades during the day to let in the sunshine during the winter. Pella Windows and Doors Product Specialist Bridget Lind says, "And allow that heat to transfer into the home."

But, it can be difficult remembering to do that before leaving for work. Lind says that's where Pella's new SmartSync technology comes in. She says, "You can set it up automatically remotely or inside your home or wherever you are."

The SmartSync technology will hit stores later this year. Lind says you'll be able to open and close a single shade or an entire room with a tap of your smartphone, a click at your computer or program it inside your home with a new home integration system from Lowes called Iris.

The company hasn't determined a cost for the technology, but Lind says it will be affordable and produce significant savings. She says, "Pella's SmartSync technology is actually two times more energy efficient as blocking the sun's heat than windows without shades or blinds."

Pella Spokesperson Kathy Krafka Harkema says the windows made of wood are also designed to be a sustainable solution. She says "When we factory pre-finish our windows, we're using a water based stain finish, rather than a solvent based. What that means is that's good news for environment because we're eliminating volatile organic compounds."

Krafka Harkema says designers have more work to do before the technology hits stores, but she says the shades will most likely be powered by the sun. She says, "The Pella SmartSync technology will be battery powered, and we anticipate as it comes on the market there will be solar components to recharge those batteries."

Visitors to the Walt Disney World Resort will be able to see the SmartSync technology on display this spring. Pella partnered with a green builder to create the Innovations at Epcot exhibit. It will open to the public in April in honor of Earth Day.