You’ve seen the commercials where the homeowner can control everything from lighting to locking the front door from their phones, no matter where they are physically located. Maybe you’re on vacation, but unsure if you closed the windows in the upstairs bedroom? Well, there’s an app (or two) for that. Here’s what you need to know about them.
What is a smart home?
Essentially, a smart home is a residence that allows you to manage your appliances, lighting, heating, security, and more through your internet-connected devices.
With technological advancements improving by the day, companies promising efficiency, safety, and comfort are saturating the market. For example, smart homes provide individuals with the power to monitor energy usage, close the curtains, set the mood, and control lighting and temperature, all with the touch of a button.
Do you have someone you are unfamiliar with coming in to do a repair or to dog sit for you while you’re out of town? You can place cameras throughout the home internally and externally and access each of the cameras at any point and time via your linked devices or phone. This way you won’t feel like you have any blind spots and you’re able to increase your real and perceived security so you can sleep easier.
Suppose you’re out of the house for a few days and looking to save on your energy bill. In that case, you can control your heating or cooling systems during the most expensive times of the day or year while maintaining a comfortable living environment. You can even equip yourself with a water leak or monitoring device to detect moisture level changes and alert you to leaks of all kinds. Preventing or catching potential damage to your home will also help you avoid costly repairs.
Smart home benefits
Nearly 37% of American households own a smart home device, with over 20 million homes using video doorbells. The convenience and peace of mind of having a smart home make transitioning an easy decision for many. In addition, ring doorbells and systems owned by Amazon can now be spotted almost everywhere you go.
- Many people are primarily concerned about safety in their homes. Being able to see who walks up to your front door is a feature that makes many feel protected and safe. You will get alerts when someone approaches your door, watch the mail or a package being delivered, or screen people approaching your home so you can feel comfortable about who you open your door to or not.
- Not only are the smart home systems becoming increasingly more affordable for Americans, but they have the potential to help you save quite a bit of money. Become a better energy saver with a smart home system. Control the temperature in your home, turn on or off lights, and even control devices like coffee makers and sprinkler systems (shut them off when you don’t need them on a rainy day). More savings could be in the cards if you set up your smart home to be eco-friendly. You may be eligible for tax advantages, government subsidies, insurance benefits, or grants.
- The convenience factor of smart homes is undeniable. As discussed above, the system makes all manner of things easier. Additionally, smart homes also give you the power to let people into your home while you’re out. So, if family comes to visit and you aren’t at home at that moment, with just a click of a button, you can let your family in from wherever you are.
- Smart homes help create a better standard of living for many. Whether you are looking to save on energy bills, improve your sense of security, or customize your access and control of devices and appliances around your home, this technology is popular for a reason. It can also help you take care of aging or disabled family members more easily. Imagine being able to access or control a system at their home. Alerts and safety notifications would come through to your device. All while providing the relative more freedom and flexibility to remain in their homes.
- Customizability is another feature that appeals to many. The ease that the remote control access provides you with, the overall picture of energy usage, safety features, and more make smart homes appealing to you while you live in the house. Additionally, it may even increase your home’s value and resale potential.
Smart home disadvantages
While there are always cons that come with any new kind of technology, the pros far outweigh the cons where smart homes are concerned. The disadvantages listed below are rare occurrences, but should be kept in perspective. You might not have any security system set up in your home currently. So remember, a security system of any kind is an improvement and makes your home safer than it currently is.
- While not a common occurrence, smart devices and routers can and have been hacked. The potential exists for hackers to access your whole routine. While very unlikely, this could lead to criminals accessing images and videos, and obtaining your home’s floor plan. All of this makes it easier for criminals to know the best times to gain entry. As more people adopt smart home systems, security will become more of a concern than before.
- It can be costly to have a system installed, even though the technology has become increasingly more affordable. To equip your home adequately, it can get expensive.
- These systems rely on a stable internet connection. The dependence upon Wi-Fi or Bluetooth technology is another weak spot in overall security. Since Wi-Fi can be hacked, protect your home’s router and be aware of the safety issue.
- Technological difficulties could mean that you might get locked out of your house. You may even experience surges, incompatibility between specific devices, or even loss of security during power outages. These potential pitfalls might make you feel helpless rather than safe and empowered. Some houses may not even be compatible with the smart home technology. So keep that in mind when considering whether to install one in your home.
- While the technology is an excellent way for aging relatives to control appliances throughout the home and make their lives safer, the technology may come with a steep learning curve for those who are not as tech-savvy as the younger generation.
Is a smart home right for you?
When deciding whether or not to install smart home technology into your home, the most important thing to remember is that no system is foolproof. Most who make the switch can’t imagine going back to not having a smart home. The convenience, safety, and money-saving potential make the technology continue to grow in popularity.
As the demand and popularity grow, the technology will get cheaper for the average homeowner. Additionally, the technology will continue to advance and improve as issues are addressed. The system is made smarter over time, so it is a viable option that will remain in mainstream demand. If you plan on adding one to your home, be sure to do your research on the products available to you.
Talk to an agent
Choosing a system that best fits your needs and lifestyle is a great investment. Additionally, it gives you the opportunity to save money, improve peace of mind, and achieve more security. If buying a home new home, and you are interested in homes that already have this system installed to save you time, money, and effort, be sure to ask one of our American Home Agents about adding this feature to your shopping list.
Additionally, when selling your home, let your agent know if you have a smart home installed. This will help them better market your home and its features.
Our agents are here to guide you through the home buying experience. They prioritize taking the time to find a home that will fit your present needs and future goals. So, call us at (303) 695-5900 when you’re ready to start your search or put your home on the market.