When we hear the term “home automation”, we probably think of home security. While keeping our homes and families safe is perhaps the most important function of a smart home, smart home technology reaches far beyond security features. Simply put, home automation refers to household utilities and appliances, controlled automatically or remotely. Anything from ambient lighting to digital personal assistants can be governed with smart home technology.
Most home automation technology we’re familiar with likely falls under this category. Smart security systems allow you to customize, manage, and monitor your home security features remotely, from your phone or from any WiFi accessible device. When it comes to home safety, intruders are typically a homeowner’s number one concern, and can be discouraged by automated or sensor-equipped lighting. With automation you can also monitor who’s coming, who’s going, who’s on your property or at your door, all from a phone.
Safety features aren’t only for outside and around your house. Real time video allows you to see what’s happening inside your home and keep an eye on kids, and pets. Motion-sensored lights can illuminate doorways or dark hallways at night, helping you avoid stubbing toes or stepping on tails. Carbon monoxide and pressure sensors help keep your family safe by alerting you to invisible dangers.
Because so many smart devices are compatible with one another, as well as with home automation technology, they can be set to prompt one another for maximum convenience. Smart locks can turn interior lights on as soon as you unlock your door, turn lights off, and even lock the doors when you leave. Imagine never having to entertain the question: Did I lock the door? Can’t remember whether or not you closed the garage? Get visual confirmation, or close it instantly from wherever you are.
Many of us spend countless hours at work each day, away from home and from our pets. We might travel frequently, or stay out late. Smart pet products can help exponentially with basic care, from automatic feeders and smart litter boxes, to smart doggie doors with microchip identification.
Temperature control is important when it comes to comfort at home. Unfortunately, our HVAC systems typically account for the majority of our energy expenses. While most of us have digital, programmable thermostats in our homes, a shocking 40 to 50 percent of us don’t actually program them. While they’re far better than analog, nothing quite compares to the convenience and savings of a smart thermostat. They learn our routines and use algorithms to work as efficiently as possible, and can be controlled remotely with your smart devices.
It’s easy to forget to service your HVAC on a regular basis but, much like with a car, these oversights can turn costly down the road. Neglected HVAC units work 20 percent harder on average than well maintained ones, wasting energy and your money. A smart thermostat will alert you to when it needs service, from a filter change to mechanical repair.
We’re all super busy. Home automation technology can make our daily lives easier, reduce stress, save us money, and even help take care of our children and pets. It is well worth the investment.