10 easy additions to make your home “SMART”

January 30, 2018

in Home,Lifestyle

Imagine making your home safer, more energy efficient and even automated. Smart homes do just that. The following products can connect your home to a main directory or central command center. The systems are controlled via a smartphone app or computer. They can also tap into popular voice controlled cloud systems, like Amazon Echo or Google Home. Turn your home into a Smart Home with these ten additions.  

1. Automate and Track your Solar Energy

If you have solar energy at home, you’ll want to tap into the data to check energy usage and look for spikes or other patterns in energy surges. Green Tech Media talks about Sky, a home assistant that allows inclusion of solar power controls. These systems ensure you are getting your money’s worth, especially if you are using net metering.  

2. Feel Safer with Alarm Systems, Cameras, and Keyless Entry

Security is a critical factor in home purchase and maintenance. Security encompasses both feeling secure while at home and when away. Safety provides an overview of 50 different home security systems. These programs visually access parts of the home whether or not you’re there. Systems also provide features like keyless entry which can help avoid some break-ins and ease entrance. No more searching for keys.  

3. Automate Outdoor Watering and Track Your Water Usage

Have you ever left the water on only to find a flooded patio? Imagine scheduling watering systems with an initial programing and minimal ongoing human intervention. Rachio is one system that seamlessly streams home watering needs into an easy to use application. The wifi enabled system not only runs and manages sprinklers but can also help control water usage depending on weather and needs of your climate.  

4. Smart Thermostats Save Money

Air conditioning and heating both contribute to ever-rising utility costs. Smart home management lowers costs low by tapping into peak times established by some utility companies. CNET provided an overview of the best smart thermostat systems based on price and features.  

5. Automate Lights and Access Lighting From the Office

Are you going to arrive home after dark? No problem, you can turn on your lights using your smartphone at the office. Forget to turn off the kitchen light? No need to leave the comfort of your bed, use your phone to control the lights in rooms around your house. CNET reviewed lighting systems that allow occupants to control lighting in and around the home from a central app or wifi home management system, like Echo or Google Home.  

6. Breathe Safely with Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Sleep with ease and breathe safe with smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. These systems alert occupants the dangerous and odorless gas. Smart phones can run the notification systems with ease alerting you when you are away from home. Imagine simply asking the smoke detector to turn off its incessant chiming when the popcorn burns. Reviewed provided an overview of some of the most popular smoke and carbon detectors for 2018.  

7. Check and Maintain the Health and Safety of Loved Ones

A product through Medical Guardian helps individuals keep track of loved ones utilizing the smart home system. Motion detecting systems alert users of falls loved ones may endure. This feature is especially valuable to those caring for elderly relatives and children. The system has become popular for parents of children with disabilities, especially those who may wonder or are at risk for leaving home.

8. Keep Your Home in Tip Top Shape

Smart homes can even monitor their own well being. Reviewed looked at a few units providing monitoring of home flooding and freezing. These systems are particularly useful when occupants are away and help avoid high costs of clean up and water waste from a burst pipe.  

9. Let a Smart Home Entertain You

Smart TVs have become a staple with their ability to provide endless binging through Netflix and Hulu. Home Stratosphere reviewed top smart home entertainment devices. These products can control several entertainment devices like TVs, stereos and gaming systems with voice command. Singlecue is a product that even leaves voice activation without requiring only gestures for input.  

10. Automate and Track Your Pool Maintenance

Just as the automated thermostat can help save money by running AC and heating during off-peak hours, Smart Homes can put pool pumps on similar schedules. These automated systems save money by tapping into off-peak hour usage. Swim University even covers pool monitors checking water levels and chemistry of the water. No more red chlorine eyes.   Smart Home technology has arrived and most systems are easy-to-use and easy on the wallet. These products not only make life easier, they make homes safer and more energy efficient.  

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Lindsey Renuard is a blogger, YouTube beauty expert, and the Managing Editor of the Skiatook Journal.

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