Not long ago, no one gave a single thought about how smart their home was. Simply having Wi-Fi and a flat-screen TV was enough to make a house seem modern. It’s taken a while for wider adoption, but it seems the “Internet of things” is finally making smart homes more desirable.
A recent Coldwell Banker survey found that overall the majority of buyers prefer a smart home over a traditional option. But when you break the information down into segments it becomes clear that smart homes are of big interest to young families and Millennials.
Not only do many smart home devices sync together, they can also interact with your phone, tablet or smartwatch. With the right selection of smart home devices, you can always be connected to your house no matter how far away you are. If you want a “smart home” here are eight ways to make your house more intelligent.
If you want a comprehensive smart home system you’ll need a hub. Hubs can now refer to two smart home devices. The traditional hub connects to compatible devices so that they can access the Wi-Fi and speak to one another. Newer products like Echo are a different type of hub. You can talk to the speaker to activate the virtual assistant feature and it will respond.
Home security was one of the first areas of the house to become smarter. The Wi-Fi technology used to make devices talk and sync with one another was a perfect basis for comprehensive home security that could be monitored from anywhere.
Nortek Security & Control is one of the innovative home security manufacturers that is noticing an increased demand in smart products. The company recently announced plans to expand manufacturing due to the growing smart home technology market. Their experts recommend that a smart home security system includes a control panel with an alarm, motion sensors for the exterior doors, a Wi-Fi connected camera at the front entry and motion-sensor, remote control lights both inside and outside.
Smart home products are an invest, but thermostats like Nest can actually pay for themselves. A smart thermostat eliminates the need to program your HVAC system for maximum efficiency because the thermostat does it for you. After several days of use, a smart home thermostat gathers data on your preferences and schedules to automatically adjust the temperature as needed.
In 2015 alone there were over 1,345,500 fires that caused $14.3 billion in damage and 3,280 deaths. Smoke alarms have long been an essential device in saving lives and minimizing the destruction of a fire. Today’s smart smoke alarms are taking the old technology and using IoT to make the devices even more beneficial.
Not only can a smart smoke alarm send an instant alert to your phone, some are so smart they can tell the difference between a cooking mishap and an actual fire. They also overcome another common problem – failing to regularly test the batteries.
Another money-saving smart home product is intelligent lighting. Smart light bulbs use energy efficient mechanisms, but they can also be scheduled to go on and off at certain times to save electricity. You’ll also never have to worry about walking into a dark home again since you can turn on the lights from your driveway using an app.
Now homeowners can open and shut their blinds or curtains without pulling a cord. Smart window treatments are being touted as energy savers that can both optimize control over natural light and regulate room temperature. A small mechanism in the base of the window treatments connects to the Wi-Fi so they can be controlled via an app. You can also sync some smart window treatments with other devices like your light bulbs.
With today’s latest appliance models you’ll never have to worry about whether you shut doors and turned off the heat. Smart appliance talk to you to alert you if something is wrong. Compatible devices can also be used to provide a virtual look inside the fridge before you go to the grocery store.
There are also a number of small smart appliances like coffee makers that kick on when your morning alarm goes off. You can also start a meal in your smart crock pot and receive an alert when it’s reached the perfect temperature.
Smart TVs have Wi-Fi capability built in so you don’t need streaming devices to play shows from Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and more. Before selecting a model, find out which apps come included.