The future is here! From automating your interior shades in your sunroom, to warming up your pool, to adjusting the lights and music before your friends arrive, you can now enjoy the convenience, safety and economic benefits of smart home technology. Open sesame!
So what is a smart home, anyway?
A smart home has its devices interconnected through the internet and gives you on-demand access to control your lighting, home security, thermostat regulation and home theater and entertainment. It can be as simple as saying, "Alexa, turn on the living room light." If you're looking to smarten up your home, check out these top five essential systems that can turn your conventional home into one that helps you live in total comfort and convenience.
5. Ventilation, heating and air conditioning system
If you're guilty of rushing out of your house and forgetting to adjust your thermostat on a regular basis, smart technology might just be the ticket. The Nest Learning Thermostat, for example, is an electronic, programmable Wi-Fi enabled thermostat that optimizes heating and cooling of your home to conserve energy. The Nest learns your family's routine, programs itself and adapts to your life and changing seasons (The app also lets you control your thermostat no matter where you are in the world.). It's also ENERGY STAR certified, which means it meets standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or the Department of Energy (DOE), but consumes less energy than other products.
4. Light up your world
Arguably the easiest way to upgrade your lighting is with smart bulbs. You can swap out the existing CFL or LED bulbs in your lamps and lighting fixtures with a Philips , , or . These smart bulbs allow you to control your lights with your phone or or Google Assistant. Plus, you can and dim them at will, even if you don't have a dimmer switch.
If you have a lot of lamps or recessed lighting, smart bulbs can quickly become expensive. The solution? Smart light switches. These control all of the lights wired to one switch, allowing you to turn lights on and off on a schedule or with a smart assistant, without changing your existing light bulbs.
3. Shades, sprinklers and music
Programming your lawn sprinklers to water your lawn at 5:30 in the morning has never been easier with a smart system.And when you're not asking Alexa how many ounces are in a cup or who won best picture in 1989, you can control your other home's systems with just your voice. These include motorized shades and blinds, entertainment systems, lawn sprinklers, and lights. Voice activated products for your home can be especially helpful for busy families, if you're recovering from surgery, getting up in age or have physical disabilities.
2. Intercom system
A smart intercom system offers dramatically more features than a conventional intercom system and allows you to communicate with your family through voice activated devices without having to do anything else. There are a variety of helpful convenient and entertainment options that come with your intercom system so you can connect several rooms within your home. For example, you can use the video chat feature to talk to someone in another room, or someone outside of your front door, such as a deliveryman or mailman. You can set up your entertainment by syncing your music to play through intercoms around your house. You can even send videos around your home through a smart intercom system.
1. Security system
The top component for every smart home is the security system. A security system is there to protect you and raise the alarm in a big emergency like a fire or a break-in. But a smart security system doesn't stop there. Thanks to advanced technology, it makes itself useful every single day.
It can send you a notification when your teenagers get home from school or their part-time jobs. It can show you who's at your front door, and let you talk to them, through a video doorbell. You can see an HD video feed of your kids in the back yard while you're cooking dinner. It can also let you know if a window is open or door is left ajar or if you have a water leak in the basement.
While some smart home gear falls under the umbrella of luxury, there’s simply no substitute for a solid home security system if you want to sleep safer and sounder even when you’re on the other side of the world relaxing on holiday. And while these systems can take a bite out of your budget, in the long run they can help you run your home with less stress and hassle while cutting costs and saving energy.
Tip: Contact your insurance company and let them know you are installing a smart home system to protect your home investment and you may be able to lower your rates and possibly receive home insurance discounts.
Thinking of making some changes to your home and short on cash? Contact one of our friendly loan officers to see what a cash-out refinance or renovation loan could do for you.