9 Ways to Make Your Home Smarter
It’s the 21st century so why are so many of us living in homes like we’re still in the 1990s? We can buy things, order food, watch cat videos, and connect with people around the world on our smartphones. Using that same technology at home is just the next step.
Don’t have a futuristic fully automated home yet? That’s okay. You can DIY it and make your home smarter with these products.
Hub and Home Assistant
If you want all your smart tech to work well together and be able to control it easily, it helps to start with a compatible hub and home assistant Take your pick from Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri. The hub you pick will determine what home assistant you need, and vice versa. While some brands require specific apps or products from certain manufacturers, they’re all capable of working with smart home technology.
Smart thermostats let you control your heating and cooling from anywhere. Set a schedule or make your house more comfortable before you get there. The most well known smart thermostat is Nest. You can get it as part of a full-home system or you just buy the thermostat. HVAC manufacturers also offer their own version of smart thermostats available through your air conditioning service company.
Part security measure, part convenience, smart locks let you remotely lock and unlock your doors. Did your child forget their house key at school? You can let them in from your smartphone. You can also create codes for specific people to help track who’s coming and going in your home. Schlage, a well-known door lock company, offers a smart option as do other brands.
In smart lighting, you have a few options. You can replace your light bulbs with smart bulbs or you can replace your switches with a smart light switch. Either way, you’re controlling your lighting from your phone. Turn your lights on or off or create a schedule so they come on at certain times -- handy when you’re on vacation but want it to look like someone’s home. Popular brands include Philips Hue and Lifx bulbs.
With a smart outlet, you can turn any home appliance into a smart one. Install them and plug in your ceiling fans, electronics, kitchen appliances, and more to gain total control over them from your smartphone. Look for the TP-Link smart plug or the iHome smart plug.
Smart Detectors and Sensors
Disaster can strike at any point. When you’re home, you can often take control before it gets too bad, but when you’re out, there’s nothing you can do. Until now. Smart smoke detectors and water sensors alert you to problems before parts of your home can be ruined. Both alert you by sending notifications to your smartphone. You can rush home to deal with it or alert the authorities (in case of fire). Nest Protect and Fire Alert are available for fires and the D-Link WiFi Water Sensor and Aeon Labs Aeotec Water Sensor for water issues.
Living in Orlando, if you’ve got a lawn, you’ve probably got an in-ground sprinkler system. With a smart controller, you can take back control of when and how often your lawn is watered. Hate knowing your sprinklers are going while it rains? You can turn that off! Need to create a specific water schedule, based on drought conditions or to take care of the new sod you put down? You can do that too! Rachio and RainMachine are just two brands that offer smart sprinkler controllers.
Every day new smart appliances and electronics hit the market. Smart refrigerators make it easy to let you know what you have and don’t have in the fridge. Smart TVs let you easily connect to the web and watch YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and more. Robot vacuums not only keep the floors clean, they put themselves on their charging base before their battery dies. As the technology becomes more widespread, the cost of smart appliances continues to drop.
Smart Home Security Systems
Traditional home security is a sign in the yard, a keypad on the wall, and someone in another city or state “monitoring” your home for you. With smart security systems, you can do the monitoring yourself. You can DIY it with systems like SimpliSafe or you can stick with traditional companies like ADT. But the result is the same: you can monitor your own home from your smartphone. And if someone opens a window or comes through the door, you’ll be alerted immediately.
Having a smarter home gives you control and adds convenience to your life. Even better, when you’re ready to sell, it makes your home even more appealing to potential buyers. In fact, the International Builder's Conference in Orlando this past January of 2018 revealed that smart home tech gives you the biggest return on investment by far for any upgrades you can do to your home! No matter your budget, you can definitely add smart technology to your home.
Thinking of selling your smart home or wondering what you should add to it before selling? Give us a call today -> 407.497.5705!