So whether you have bought a fixer-upper home or something far more livable, adding what's hot in smart home features is an excellent move. Many of these improvements will pay for themselves.
Let's take a deep dive into some of the more popular smart home amenities at the moment.
Security With Smart Homes
Today almost everyone thinks a locked home is a safe home, and they are correct, but we’ve come a long way from a simple latch on the door, and now you can have greater peace of mind using smart technology.
The choices of home security systems range from simple to install DIY products from companies like Protect America, Frontpoint, and Cove to more advanced, professionally installed systems like Nest and ADT. Start with cameras and then research smart entryway devices that will allow you actually to speak to anyone that is at your front door.
A dishwasher that is installed today lasts approximately nine years, and a new refrigerator may need to be replaced in thirteen years. Many refrigerators dispense ice and water, but how about a fridge that becomes the family hub?
A smart refrigerator with an LCD screen allows family members to choose individual avatars, create diets, shopping lists, and leave messages for one another. Some have internal cameras that snap pictures of what’s inside your fridge that you can access from your personal smart device so you can know exactly what to shop for before you leave work.
On top of convenience, smart appliances can do wonders for your bank account as well. Sure, life comes easier with intelligent appliances, but wouldn’t you love to save a few bucks? Smart appliances are much more energy-efficient and can go automatically go into energy-saving modes to limit the electricity bill at the end of each month. This could be a considerable impact on the bottom line for many people.
Light Bulbs and Lamps
If you want to start small, consider replacing traditional lightbulbs with LED bulbs. There is a slightly higher price tag for LEDs, but the ROI is far more significant when you realize an LED can last 25 years. Another feature that makes LEDs an excellent choice for your home is the fact that they don’t generate heat.
If Fluffy topples a lamp and it lands in the drapes, there is no chance of a house fire. (You may want to throttle your cat, but that is another story.) LEDs contain no mercury, so disposal is easy. LED bulbs are available in many colors, sizes, and shapes, and they can be dimmable. Smart lighting allows you to control lights remotely, or by voice if a device like Alexa is used.
Smart bulbs, much like appliances, can help you save on your monthly expenses. Old bulbs and lighting methods can suck the energy out of your place like there’s no tomorrow. Smart lighting, on the other hand, can generate enormous savings for homeowners and renters alike.
These lighting options help offer an enhanced level of security, as well. Just think about — you will be able to control your lights while on vacation to ensure that people think you’re home when you’re actually not.
The days of yelling at your kids to “Turn off the lights” may be dwindling. With today’s smart technology, you can turn lights on or off with an app on your phone. Smart outlets can be connected to many appliances and devices in and around your home. These outlets allow you to control your home from anywhere you can get internet access. Outlets like iDevices, Wemo Mini, and TP-Link Kasa are all available online and are all easy to install.
Smart outlets are fantastic. And much like the above appliances and lighting options, smart outlets can help save you money each month. Just get your hands on a few timer power strips (strips equipped with an actual timer) and you’re on your way to automating your home entertainment systems, so you never leave them on all night, along with other benefits.
Smart Audio Visual Equipment
An audio/visual interface can be integrated into your home quickly and adopting this new technology can be seamless.
With remote management, you can monitor usage, generate reports, and receive alerts directly to your personal smartphone. This type of equipment can be installed as a DIY project, but for maximum precision, you may want to hire a company that specializes in audio/visual installations.
Experts in this field can map how sound travels in each room, figure out how to capture sound with no overflow to adjoining rooms. Just think, the kids can play Fortnite a little too loudly in the family room, and you can listen to Aerosmith while preparing dinner all with no intermingling of sound.
Whether you live in a cool Boston brownstone or a condo in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood — or anywhere in between — adding an intelligent HVAC system is simple while integrating a smart system into an older home takes a couple of extra steps. Identify any outdated equipment as older equipment won’t be nearly as energy-efficient as a new system. Have a licensed professional conduct an energy audit of your home, and you will discover ways to make improvements to increase the value of your home.
Smart thermostats can measure the temperature in your home, but really smart thermostats can help you understand how to save energy by reading humidity, occupancy, and other variables.
More Safety for Your Home
The safety of your children and other family members is perhaps the best reason to invest in smart technology for the exterior of your home.
Outdoor cameras allow you to monitor the outside of your home and yard, potentially averting an intruder’s entrance. If you have a pool, smart technology is an absolute necessity. Install smart sensors in the pool and link those to your smartphone and you will receive immediate notifications if anyone or anything is in your pool. Remember, even good swimmers sometimes need help.
Adding smart technology to your home will undoubtedly add value to your home but more importantly, it creates a safer environment for you and your family, and it saves energy.
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About the author: The above article on adding value to your house with smart home features was written by Sam Radbil. Sam is an author at ABODO Apartments, an online apartment marketplace that helps renters find apartments all across the country. ABODO reports on rent rates, the changing of real estate markets, and trends within the real estate industry.