If you’re one of the approximately 77 percent of Americans who own a smartphone, you’ve probably wondered how you ever got by without it — we use them for everything from listening to music and getting directions to doing our banking and downloading concert tickets. But you might not know that “smart” home technology is now available that can change how you and your family live — for the better.
Though the buzz term smart home has been tossed around for years at this point, many don’t actually know what solutions exist. This article will cover some of the most common smart home solutions, how they interact with each other, and how they can make your life easier.
What Is a Smart House?
The term “smart home” refers to a house with interconnected systems and devices such as heating and cooling, appliances, electronics, security, and lighting. A smart house also features home automation that facilitates the control of these systems with minimal human intervention. You can use your smartphone, tablet, or laptop computer to monitor these connected systems’ performance and adjust the settings as needed.
Types of Smart Home Technologies
Taking advantage of smart lighting control in your home or business can save time and money. Features like controlling multiple lights at the same time, controlling lighting with your voice, and being able to turn lights on and off from anywhere with an Internet connection are just a few of the benefits of smart lighting.
By now, everyone is somewhat familiar with the popular smart thermostat solutions. The benefit of these systems is that you are able to control the temperature in your space remotely. Whether you want to turn up your heat on an unexpectedly cold day or turn it off when it might not be needed, smart thermostats are a critical piece of the smart home ecosystem.
Similar to smart thermostats, smart doorbells have become commonplace in homes and businesses. Gone are the days of simple buttons that ring a chime and the hopes that someone heard it and are even home. Smart doorbells allow the end user to be notified through their smartphones any time someone presses the button. And not only do they know when someone pushed the button, but they can see and talk to them. In addition, smart doorbells often allow the ability to view the camera in it real-time.
Smart Door Locks
Smart door locks are a great addition to a smart home because they can limit the number of keys you have to manage, and they help allow access to your home to others without needing to give them a key. Whether it’s a cleaner, babysitter, or contractor, using an app, you can simply unlock a door remotely and lock it when they’re done.
Often considered a luxury item, automating shades are another excellent addition to the smart home ecosystem. Automated shades are a form of lighting control that can provide privacy and protect furniture, art, and flooring. Unlike typical manual blinds or shades, automated shades can be controlled by a smartphone or hub controller.
Why Is a Smart Home Important?
Transitioning to a smart home does require an upfront expenditure on equipment and technology. However, most homeowners discover that their initial investment results in many short-term as well as long-term benefits. The advantages of smart home technology include:
If you’re tired of those spiraling utility bills, smart technology can save money by making your home more energy efficient. Automating the control of your appliances reduces the amount of wasted energy, as you can program them to adjust to a lower setting or switch off when they’re not in use. You won’t waste electricity if you forget to turn the light off in your garage or blast the heat or air conditioning during the day when no one is home; it’s as simple as turning them off through an app.
Smart technology can also make your home safer. Use it to integrate the various components of your home’s security system. For example, if an intruder trips a motion sensor, it can activate the burglar alarm and turn on the floodlights. You can also use home automation to make your home look “lived in” while you’re on vacation. You can program the lights to turn on and off at predetermined intervals. If your home has surveillance cameras, you can use your smartphone as a remote monitor so you can see what’s happening in and around your property when you’re away.
Smart home technology can make your life so much easier. For instance, preprogramming your HVAC system means you won’t have to get up in the middle of the night to raise the thermostat — your home will remain at the ideal temperature on a 24/7 basis. You can also set up smartphone alerts to notify you of everything from a water leak to a possible break-in. You can even see who’s ringing your doorbell when you’re in an upstairs bedroom.
The ability to control who enters your home is another of the many benefits of smart home technology. If you’re expecting a package delivery while you’re at work, you can use your smartphone to see when the driver arrives and unlock the door remotely to let him or her inside. No more worries about leaving packages on the porch until you get home! If your kids forget their house key, you can let them inside with just a few taps on your mobile device.
Smart home technology gives you additional peace of mind if your kids are home alone or you have aging parents living with you. You can use your phone to see what’s happening inside whenever you wish. You can also keep an eye on the babysitter or issue a command to your dog via a speaker to stop chewing on your slippers!
Most of us are concerned about protecting the environment. A smart home’s excellent energy efficiency results in less energy consumption, meaning you’ll live in a more eco-friendly house. The technology is also compatible with renewable energy products such as solar panels and geothermal heat pumps.
Most homeowners experience a relatively quick return on their investment in smart technology — the energy savings alone can range from 10 to 30 percent. Some homeowner’s insurance providers now offer discounts when transitioning to a smart home due to the added safety benefits. And when the time comes to put your house on the market, you may be able to sell it at a higher price — more buyers will seek a home equipped with this state-of-the-art technology.
Embracing the future
It’s becoming increasingly clear that smart home technology is the wave of the future. And the good news is that it’s getting more affordable almost by the day. You’ll be ahead of the curve by transitioning to a smart home now. You’ll also be more adaptive to the inevitable upgrades to the systems and equipment in the coming years. Once you’ve spent time in a smart home, you won’t want to return to your “old” way of living!
How to Make Your House a Smart House
It pays to do some research before making the switch to smart home technology. Read up on all the available products to target the ones that make the most sense for your property. You also don’t have to make the plunge all at once — you can start small and add as you go. For example, something as simple as installing a programmable thermostat allows you to experiment without making a significant investment. You can also purchase a wireless doorbell camera at an extremely affordable price.
Wayne Alarm Systems Can Handle All Your Smart Home Needs
Wayne Alarm Systems has been helping homeowners throughout Massachusetts and Greater New England keep their properties safe since 1968. We can equip your house with the latest smart home technologies at a budget-friendly price. We can install automated lighting, thermostats, camera and video doorbells, smart door locks, and other advanced equipment and devices. Contact us to learn more about smart home technology’s benefits and schedule a no-obligation consultation today.