Life Made Easier: A Smart Home Guide For Beginners
The average person spends about 70 to 80 percent of their time at home. As more and more people are beginning to work from home, that number increases even more! That's a lot of time to spend in your home and the best way to make that time count is by making your house as efficient as possible. A smart home will help you do just that!
Similar to eco-friendly homes, smart homes are increasing in popularity among homebuyers. So keeping your home up-to-date with the latest technology will result in a higher ROI when it comes time for you to sell.
The following article provides an overview of what it takes to create a smarter home and everything you need to know about all the benefits associated with this type of environment. It also includes helpful tips on how to get started if you're thinking about making your own life easier at home.
How Does a Smart Home Work?
It’s easier than you think to make your home “smart,” but how do these devices work together? Here are the basics!
There are many devices on the market that can be installed with voice-activated commands and/or with a mobile app. A virtual assistant is an artificial intelligence that has been programmed with specific tasks and/or services.
Virtual assistants can perform basic tasks such as telling you the time, playing music and setting an alarm, but they can also provide more complex functions such as scheduling meetings or providing reminders.
The most popular virtual assistants include Google Home, Amazon Echo, and the Apple HomePod. You can purchase these handy gadgets at basically any electronics store or easily find them online.
Smart Light Bulbs
Light bulbs are one of the most common products used to bring smartness to your home. With these products, you can set them to turn on or off at certain times throughout the day or you can manually control them. You can preprogram these light bulbs to follow peak/off-peak energy schedules to save money on your monthly electricity bill. You can also purchase light bulbs that will let you know when they’re running out of power with an app notification.
Home Security Systems
If you'd like to make your house more secure, one of the best ways to do that is with a smart home security system. This article will show you what's on offer and help you decide which type is most appropriate for your needs.
There are various types of security systems available on the market. A burglar alarm system can keep an eye on all the entrances to your property, for example, while a fire alarm system detects smoke and alerts authorities if it overheats any unusual activity inside.
Smart thermostats are made to adjust your HVAC unit based on the activity in the house. These devices will track patterns throughout the day, such as when you wake up, come home from work, or go to bed. It can also sense if nobody is around and keep itself turned off until it senses movement again. This means less money wasted on power usage when it’s not necessary throughout the day.
The main purpose of smart outlets is to control and monitor any electrical device plugged into them. These devices help you manage energy usage, create schedules for your plugged-in appliances, and save money on electricity costs over time.
Benefits of using smart outlets include:
- save money on electricity costs over time
- track patterns throughout the day
- create schedules for your plugged in appliances
- control and monitor any electrical device plugged into them
- monitor power usage for appliances you choose to plug in
- record energy use data so you can keep track of your usage over time
Benefits of Smart Homes
The benefits of living in a smart home are almost endless. Here are just a few of those wonderful advantages:
- No longer relying on physical timers to turn lights on and off
- Track patterns throughout the day
- Create schedules for your plugged-in appliances
- Control and monitor any electrical device plugged into them
- Monitor power usage for appliances you choose to plug in
- Record energy use data so that you can keep track of your usage over time
In addition to these helpful and handy benefits to living in a smart home, these futuristic features also improve your ROI when it comes time to sell your home. Many homebuyers these days are looking for homes that boast modern, convenient, and energy-efficient features.
Disadvantages of Smart Homes
As wonderful as smart homes can be, there are always cons to go along with the pros. Here are a few disadvantages of living in a smart home:
- Costly installations
- Technology can always fail to work properly
- You may need to upgrade your appliances to keep up with the latest features
- More expensive than traditional appliances and fixtures
Tips for Building a Smart Home
When you want a smart home, it’s important to know where to begin so that you can have the best possible experience when adopting all these new technologies. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Start small and work your way up as you get more comfortable with the technology. For example, first, you may want to invest in a smart outlet for your lamps and their various timers on/off switches. Once you’re comfortable with that, move on to getting a security system installed throughout your house.
Be aware of third-party devices that aren’t listed by the two major manufacturers of smart homes (i.e., Google and Apple). There are plenty of other gadgets out there to choose from made by different brands but still compatible with both Google and Apple, such as smart locks and thermostats.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Smart home technology can be a little intimidating at first glance, but that doesn’t mean you should shy away from it. If your heart is set on having a smart home, just know that there are many ways to find the answers you seek. Product manuals, online forums, and installation specialists are all great resources to help you stay informed about the process.
If you’re not yet convinced that a smart home is right for you and your family, take some time to think of all the benefits and disadvantages and how they may (or may not) affect your life. If you're currently going through the home buying process, speak with your real estate agent about any possible suggestions they have on homes for sale that include and of these devices and features.