Smart homes are no longer a vision of the future. There are plenty of different devices, apps, and integrations to make your home as connected as possible. Smart homes offer convenience, security, savings, and assurance that your home is safe.
Before smart homes, you would leave your home for work or vacation, not knowing if there is a pipe burst, whether your pets or kids are safe at home, or if you remembered to turn the lights off when you left. Now, being away from home doesn’t mean you’re completely away from home. You can access at-home cameras to see if your children got home safely from school, change temperature in the house to save on electricity, or you can turn your lights on when you’re on vacation to make it appear that someone is home.
What Is A Smart Home?
A smart home, also known as home automation, is a residence that has various devices and systems that are integrated with one another and can be controlled with an app on your phone or tablet. With automated technologies, you have the ability to control your home remotely, and you can always know what’s happening at home.
Home automation allows you to control and program devices such as:
- Electrical outlets
- Audio systems and televisions
- Surveillance cameras
- Door and window sensors
- Door locks and alarm systems
Smart homes are not only beneficial for homeowners or renters, but they’re also great for the environment. You can do your part in protecting the environment while also making your lifestyle easier for yourself. If you’re ready to integrate smart devices into your home, learn which are best suited for your needs.
For those who are forgetful or are often distracted with kids or work, having control over the lights in your home can be a lifesaver. By using an app on your phone, you can see if you forgot to turn off the lights and turn them off, saving you a day’s worth of electricity. It’s also a great way to make sure your lights are off if you’re on vacation. It’s never comforting to come home from a week away to find that your lights have been on the entire time.
Also, you can use lights that can dim the brightness so that you’re not always at max capacity.
The EPA estimates that heating and cooling use as much as half of the energy in your home. Smart thermostats can be the solution to that problem, saving you hundreds of dollars a year. Smart thermostats, like the Honeywell Programmable Thermostat, can be controlled from and scheduled with your phone or tablet. You can set timers for when you’re usually home with the temperatures you find most comfortable. Instead of blasting the AC on a hot July day while you’re at work, you can program your thermostat to be a cool 69 degrees by the time you get home.
Additionally, if you’re away on vacation but have someone house- or pet-sitting and aren’t sure when they will stop by, many smart thermostats have a motion sensor that will activate the unit to a pre-set temperature (set by you) so that they’re comfortable while they’re there. After they leave your house and there is no motion, the temperature will return to its environment-friendly setting, which you can also program yourself. This will keep your sitter comfortable when they’re at your home, but you won’t have to waste electricity on heating or cooling the house the entire time you’re away.
Smart sprinklers are a great solution for regions that are suffering from a drought or even just for homeowners who want to save money on their water usage. These sprinklers can be scheduled to water at certain times or send you an alert when your yard needs watering. You can save up to 50% on outdoor water use with this type of device.
Many of these work by connecting to local weather reports to make sure they don’t turn on if it’s going to rain or is already raining. They can also calculate the rate that water leaves the soil depending on temperature, wind speed, sunniness, humidity, and precipitation.
By saving water (and money), you’re not wasting precious resources if it’s already rained.
But Also Stay Safe: Motion Detectors and Home Monitoring
Minimizing your energy usage doesn’t mean you have to skimp on security. Motion detectors and or motion-activated cameras can alert you when there is activity in your home. You can have alerts sent to your phone or monitor anytime using an app.
If you’re ready to start saving money with smart home devices, Alarm Relay is smart-home compatible by using its app. The Alarm Relay app can turn your security system on or off, control all connected Z-wave devices, manage thermostats, control lights, locks and garage doors.