If you're looking to remodel or update your home - even in small ways - have you considered smart home automation?
Once only imagined in science fiction stories, smart home automation is now possible thanks to smartphones and tablets that interact with your home via cool home automation gadgets and apps. As a result, you can control your home’s lighting, security systems, entertainment, thermostat and more from far away. It's like having a remote control for the entire house.
In fact, a recent supplement in USA Today titled "Home Remodeling: Update Your Space" discusses how to add value to your home while increasing your comfort and enjoyment. Aside from making life more comfortable and streamlining daily chores, home automation products mean the following:
1. Smart Home Automation Is Convenient
Today’s home automation systems let you manage your home…whether you’re actually at home or not! An air filter monitor, for example, can send alerts to your smartphone, tablet or desktop computer - and even directly to your HVAC contractor - when your furnace filter becomes clogged and needs service.
If you have pets, another interesting device is an automatic pet feeder. It holds pet food in a storage container and automatically releases some into a tray for your four-legged friend. You can program how often and how much your pet is fed, so when you go on a weekend getaway, you don’t have to ask Aunt Fran to feed your dog any more.
Tired of getting out of your warm bed into a frigid room? There is smart technology that automatically heats your room, so you can feel warm and toasty when you get up.
There are countless more devices that are dedicated to making your life more convenient in some way. They make you have to remember less, allowing you more time to do the things you enjoy.
2. A Smart Home Values Security Via Smart Home Automation
Security these days goes beyond wondering if you remembered to lock the front door or not. Peace of mind is everything, but it’s hard to achieve it when there's so much going on in our lives. Fortunately, there are now devices that do all of the worrying for us.
Today, motion detectors, alarms and security cameras are a common feature in many homes to help deter potential burglars or home invaders. Not only do these devices immediately contact the authorities if there’s a problem, they can be monitored by you on your smartphone. As a result, if there’s a problem in your home, you can find out about it from anywhere with a signal.
There are even smart smoke detectors that alert you when an alarm goes off or when it is running low on batteries. This ensures that you are able to detect a fire early and act quickly. Rest assured: your smart home will recognize and deal with nearly any threat that comes its way.
3. A Smart Home Appreciates Automation-Enabled Energy Efficiency
Energy use costs the average American home about $2,000 a year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Wouldn’t it be great if your home was smart enough to save you some of that cash?
Being able to control your lighting, thermostats or appliances while away from home can cut down on unnecessary energy as well. After all, how many times have you forgotten to turn your kitchen light off before leaving the house? Now, you can fix that problem with a simple tap on a touch screen.
Overall, you would be smart to embrace a smart home. With the power to control nearly every device in your home with the tap of a finger, you would lead a simpler, less stressful and less costly life.
Start Small With Adding Smartness to Your Home
Home automation can be as basic as a lamp timer to mimic household activity while you are traveling or as fully integrated and all encompassing as Hal from the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. In simple installations, automation may be as straightforward as turning on the lights when a person enters the room. In advanced installations, rooms can sense not only the presence of a person inside, but know who that person is and perhaps set appropriate lighting, temperature, music levels or television channels, taking into account the day of the week, the time of day, and other factors.
Deciding what you want will go a long way in determining your budget, your method, and how much time you'll be investing setting things up. To put it very simply, if you do something repeatedly, you can probably automate it one way or another.
Here are a few additional facts about smart homes:
- Setting up a smart home can cost, according to Home, Smart Home: How To Talk To Your House, anywhere from $10,000 to $250,000.
- It's easier to install smart technology in a new home than putting it in an existing one.
- Speech recognition technology is also available, allowing you to "tell" various fixtures and appliances what to do.
- Some advanced smart homes run wiring throughout the entire home to integrate everything in it.
- Make sure to research every smart product before purchasing it and be aware that hackers could potentially access your network. Like with anything else, be careful.
Have you brought smart home automation to your home? What do you like most about it? How has it updated your space and made it more enjoyable to live in? Let us know in the comments.