Family of the future or technology terror?
OK, so we don’t yet have flying cars or personal jetpacks, but our homes are getting smarter every day. Some of our favorite movies and TV shows have been predicting this technology for decades. But what does it really mean to have a “smart home”?
What exactly is a smart home?
The basic goal of a smart home is to connect several devices that automate your everyday tasks. The devices can be built into the structure of your home, exist as individual smart appliances, or be added to your existing appliances. All of these devices are connected to a hub (like an Amazon Echo or Google Home) via Wi-Fi and can be controlled through your smartphone.
Imagine your front door unlocking for you when you come home from work. What about phone notifications when an indoor motion sensor is triggered? Mood lighting that changes with the movie you’re watching? What about a trash can that reorders the products you throw away?
(No, that last one isn’t actually a thing. Yet.)
Why should I make my home smarter?
There are plenty of reasons you might want to integrate smart home technology into your everyday life:
- Smart technology is convenient. From robot vacuum cleaners to automated pet feeders to refrigerators that make your grocery list for you, automating some of your daily tasks can be super convenient! Being able to monitor your devices (or your entire home) on-the-go through your smartphone can make a huge impact on your daily life. A lot of smart home devices are also built with user-friendliness in mind, so they’re easy to program and use.
- Smart technology can give you peace of mind. Connected lighting, cameras, doorbells, and motion sensors can monitor and respond to any home security threats. Automated alerts from your security system go straight to your phone. No more turning around halfway through your commute to check the garage door… just close it from your smartphone!
- Smart technology can boost your home’s energy efficiency. Lighting and appliances connected to smart home technology power down when you’re not using them. Smart thermostats can also help you save money and decrease your energy usage. A smart thermostat can help by:
- Learning your habits and adapting accordingly
- Adjusting for the humidity in your home
- Linking to your phone location to know when you’re out of the house
- Sensing and adjusting for heating and cooling in specific areas of your home
- Sending push notifications about replacing filters and extreme home temperatures
I’m not sure smart technology is for me.
There’s a lot to consider when adding any new technology to your home. Here are some basic questions to ask yourself:
- Am I comfortable with this level of technology? If you feel uneasy about the amount of technology already in your life, adding more might cause some stress. Some people are also worried about hacking: The more devices and information connected to your Wi-Fi, the greater the chance someone else could access it.
- Who will know how to use, maintain, and fix my new technology? Are you good at troubleshooting technology (or know someone who is)? You’ll need to be able to maintain and repair these tools to experience their long-term benefits.
- How adaptable should my new devices be? How frequently do your preferences and habits change? If your schedule changes frequently, for example, you’ll want a device that can adapt with you (and that won’t cause a headache in the process).
- Am I OK with the up-front costs? New technology is expensive. Consider how much you’re willing to pay up-front and weigh that against how much time, energy, and money it could save you in the future.
If you’re interested in exploring smart home technology, start basic! Think through your daily tasks and see which ones could be automated.
I’m ready to buy!
Smart home products can be purchased at home improvement, electronics, or online stores. There are a lot of options, so doing your research before you walk in will help you choose the right device for your needs. Most importantly, research other products you might need to make your new smart home device compatible with your current technology.
Another important tip? Get your new technology professionally installed. Professional installation can mean the difference between a cool gadget and a useful tool!
What if I need more help?
Wherever you stand with smart home technology, we can help. We’ve been serving the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex for years and would love to earn your business. Give us a call!