In celebration of National Smart Home Day, we’ll be discussing all things home automation—including what a smart home actually is, the most common ways smart technology and products are incorporated in the home, and the pros and cons of having a smart home, so you’ll have all the information you need about how you can use smart technology and products in your current home.
What is National Smart Home Day and what exactly is a smart home?
National Smart Home Day, occurring each year on November 3, is a celebration of home automation. Put simply, a smart home is a home that incorporates smart technology and products to control aspects of home operation—either through a hard-wired system or more commonly through a wireless internet connection controlled by a cell phone or tablet. Smart homes, especially those controlled by a wireless internet connection, have increased in popularity recently due to their efficiency and relatively low cost.
How can I incorporate smart technology into my home?
Heating and air conditioning (HVAC)
A smart thermostat that connects to your cell phone or tablet is a very common way in which people incorporate smart technology in their homes. Often, smart home products will allow you to control things like temperature settings, humidity settings, and specific start and end times for heating and air conditioning cycles. You may even be able to program certain smart home products to change settings based on if you are in the home or not.
Security systems and related home security products, like smart doorbells, are another popular way in which smart home products are used in everyday life. Not only do they allow you the freedom to set an alarm system from a cell phone, but they can also allow you a window into your home when you aren’t there through remote access to the security cameras installed. Smart doorbells can give you the luxury of seeing and often speaking with whomever is at your home before physically encountering them—increasing your safety. You may also be able to use motion detection settings to receive immediate alerts if something or someone is in or around your home who shouldn’t be.
Lighting, both in and around your home, is another common use for smart home technology. Often you can use your cell phone or tablet to turn lights on and off in your home to both conserve energy and avoid potential injury. This feature can also come in handy to deter unwanted house guests by providing the illusion that you are home even when you aren’t. For instance, set lights on a schedule or even incorporate motion detection capabilities much like you would with a smart home security system.
While some of the previous smart technology and product uses we’ve discussed tend to be top-of-mind, home entertainment is another common area where automation can be very helpful. Often, entertainment systems, like televisions and audio equipment, can be programmed to be controlled by a single device or even through voice control. These capabilities can allow you to enjoy your entertainment of choice with fewer hassles and more convenience.
What are the pros and cons of smart home technology?
Convenience: Easily turn systems on and off and monitor them seamlessly through a mobile app.
Flexibility: Enjoy access and control of your systems anytime and from anywhere.
Cost efficiency: Save on your energy bills over time by programming your systems to increase or decrease energy usage based on when you are home.
Outside security threats: As is the case with anything that connects to the internet, hackers may attempt to gain access to your security system or other smart home products for their own purposes.
Up-front costs: While smart technology and products lower energy bills over time, they are often more expensive than their standard counterparts up-front.
Wi-Fi or internet outages: While smart technology and products can be extremely convenient, they can fail when the Wi-Fi or internet goes down.
So, what’s the bottom line?
As with any homeownership decision, it’s ultimately up to you whether or not incorporating smart technology or products into your home is the right choice. As previously mentioned, smart home technology can often make your life easier, more convenient, and less tedious. They also tend to decrease your energy usage and subsequent energy bills over time. However, the up-front costs and potential security risks can be a detriment. Only you can truly weigh the risks and rewards when it comes to your family, your home, and everyone’s overall safety and comfortability.
For more information on all things homeownership, like home renovation tips, seasonal maintenance tips, home financing information, and more, please visit Blog.FreedomMortgage.com.