As a teenager, my mom often gave me the chore of sweeping and vacuuming the floors. I frequently commented, “Why can’t someone invent a self-cleaning floor?” And lo and behold, someone invented the Roomba and iRobot floor cleaners. Going back farther in time, someone once said, “Why can’t someone invent a machine to wash the clothes for us?” And someone did!
Today, the opportunities for adding automated features to our homes are growing. Using technologies like WiFi and Bluetooth allows our devices to “talk” to one another and for us to “talk” to our homes, even from long distances.
We call these homes that use automation technologies “Smart Homes”. The benefits of turning your home into a Smart Home are tremendous.
Having remote access to the systems in your home can simplify your life in many ways. You can set your heating or cooling to adjust the temperature once you are on your way home. You can tell your oven to preheat while you are in line at the grocery store. You can see who is ringing your doorbell and even have a conversation with them.
Home security systems have improved dramatically with self-monitoring easier than ever. You can choose such features as cameras, motion sensors, automated door locks, and links to call the local police or private security company. You can even install leak detectors to alert you to an increase in moisture, allowing you to proactively protect your home from costly damage. Fire alarms and carbon monoxide devices can also be connected.
Many accessible features are available for the elderly or disabled. Voice-command systems can control lights, lock doors, operate a telephone or computer. Or they can use a device to control these systems if they are speech impaired. Even labor-intensive tasks like watering the lawn can be automated to make it easier for these people to manage their own homes.
Many automation features can help homeowners live more efficiently. Automatic lights that shut off when you leave the room, thermostat adjustments for when you are away or the weather suddenly shifts, opening and closing motorized shades. Pair these automations with today’s energy-efficient appliances and you can find new ways to save on electricity, water, and natural gas.
Adding Smart Home features is a good way to improve the resale value of your home. These features can attract savvy homebuyers in the future and potentially increase the value of your home.
HOME MANAGEMENT INSIGHTS
Tap into the insights on how your home operates and how you function in it. Monitor what and how much TV you watch, what kind of meals you cook in your smart oven, get an inventory of food in your smart fridge, and a good overview of your energy consumption habits over time. These insights allow you to modify daily habits and behaviors to live the lifestyle you desire and to improve efficiency.
SAVE MONEY ON INSURANCE
If you have home automation technology, check with your insurance company to see if they offer discounts on your homeowners’ insurance. Find out which smart devices and systems qualify for discounts. These may include thermostats, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, motion detectors, moisture and humidity sensors, and smart security systems.
The great thing about adding smart home technology and automation is that you do not have to do it all at once. You can add different features a little at a time, making it affordable as you go. Soon, you will be “talking” with your home and accomplishing more with less effort and thought.