In some ways, the modern world is not the one we expected. Childhood viewings of The Jetsons led us all to believe that at this point we’d have flying cars, robot maids, and dinner on demand.
Unfortunately, reality has fallen somewhat short of those optimistic visions.
However, innovations in smart home tech design have accelerated in the last few years, and there are a number of options available in a variety of price points. It’s no robot maid, but a smart home system can help you save money, run your home more efficiently, and have a little more fun with your everyday housekeeping.
Smart Home Tech Core Systems
The first decision you’ll need to make is the type of core system you’ll want to use. A variety of hubs are available that integrate with and organize a range of gadgets and products. The most popular include
- Amazon Echo and Alexa: Amazon’s smart home option does more than play music and re-order paper towels on command. It acts as a starting point for smart home hub integrations that let you automate many of the systems and processes throughout your home.
- Google Home: Google Home not only helps to integrate your smart home devices, but it also uses the power of Google to act as your virtual assistant, managing your calendar and allowing you to make calls through Google Voice.
- Apple HomeKit: Apple’s contribution to the Smart Home tech scene is convenient since it allows you to seamlessly control many of its gadgets directly from the Home app on your iPhone or iPad.
Smart Home Tech Compatible Products
Once you have decided on the system you wish to use, you can begin to purchase products that are compatible with your system. There are a variety of options, some designed primarily for convenience and some more focused on efficiency.
Remember, you don’t have to outfit your entire home in smart devices all at once. Gradual changes can help you affordably transition to a smarter home without breaking the bank. And by focusing on changes upfront that save you money, you’ll find the gadgets literally pay for themselves.
Some of the biggest money savers include:
- Smart Thermostats: This is where you can Smart Lightbulbs, Switches, and Plugsget huge bang for your money-saving buck. Programmable thermostats have been around for a while, but smart home integration means that you can create even better control and specificity. With access from your phone or tablet’s app, you can ensure that you optimize the temperature control in your home for optimal savings.
- Smart Lightbulbs, Switches, and Plugs: With integrated light fixtures, switches, and plugs, you can control a whole range of products throughout your home. One of the biggest wastes of energy is the continual flow of energy into devices and appliances when they are not in use but are still plugged up. With features like energy consumption tracking and motion sensors in these devices, you can create lighting, fans, and other elements that only work when someone is present in the room and automatically switch off when they leave. That translates into huge savings throughout your home.
- Smart Plumbing: From showerheads that track your water consumption to sprinkler systems with smart design elements for maximum efficiency, smart plumbing options can create savings you’ll really notice. If you have a basement that’s prone to flooding, there are smart water sensors that can let you know if there’s an intrusion before water damage occurs. Add smart plumbing features to on-demand hot-water heating and you could see major savings in that department.
Not Quite There
There are still places where smart design has not translated into huge savings.
Refrigerators, for example, often tout smart features, but these are mostly limited to grocery lists and family schedules rather than the energy savings that would truly transform this major energy drain.
Smart AC and heating options are primarily for room-size units rather than whole-house systems. And it remains to be seen whether the variety of new smart home security systems will be as effective as traditional monitored home security.
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