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Your Home – How Smart Do You Want It?

Technology for the home is growing and changing at a furious pace with new options and solutions being added daily. It can be overwhelming trying to decide if you want to delve into the world of smart homes and searching through options and their benefits to find what works best for your situation. Is it worth the cost? What can I really benefit? Where do I start?

First, let’s look at the main benefits of smart homes – security, energy cost savings, convenience, and added home value.

The primary attraction of smart homes is the added level of security it provides whether you are home or away. From outdoor security cameras or video doorbells to networks of motion-based lights and smart locks, the options to secure your property are ever growing and expanding. Who doesn’t appreciate the peace of mind knowing your loved ones and your house are safe? Whether it’s monitoring your baby, allowing older adults to live on their own more easily, or checking to be sure a door is locked or that the oven is turned off, these technological features can ease many of a homeowner’s most anxious moments.

Not only do they provide extra security, but smart homes also save energy and money in the long run. Research has shown that smart devices can save up to 20% on energy costs by automatically turning off lights and regulating heating and cooling. Intelligent appliances that run at optimal efficiency can help you minimize your energy usage and costs as well.

While the added security and energy-savings help ease a homeowner’s mind, it is hard to beat the added comfort and convenience that smart devices provide. Interacting with smart devices is simple, and with automated devices that learn your preferences, your smart home can make living easier and less stressful in ways you can’t even imagine.

These technological features and devices may not be for you, but smart homes are the future and are attractive to many buyers. If you are planning to sell your home, smart home technology can add value and make it appear more upscale. Recent studies show that millennials represent the largest share of potential home buyers and a majority of this group wants a connected house.

So, if you’ve decided to give smart home living a try, where do you start?

  1. Smart Thermostat: Programmable thermostats have been around for a long time; however, the newer, smart thermostats take most of the thinking out of the process. These newer styles are capable of sensing whether or not you are home and adjust accordingly, saving you hundreds of dollars a year on heating and cooling costs.
  2. Smart smoke detector: Smart smoke detectors can save you money on insurance premiums and potentially save your life. Not only can it detect smoke, but it can also monitor carbon dioxide and general air quality. If anything reads outside of normal levels, the detector will alert your smartphone that something is wrong.  
  3. Smart door locks: Smart door locks will give a sophisticated first impression and eliminate searching for keys or hiding them under a rock. They can automatically detect you by your phone when you arrive home and unlock the door as soon as you’re standing in front of it. You can even program them to allow certain guests to enter which could be beneficial when selling your home.
  4. Smart Lighting Systems: Smart lighting systems can be as basic or revolutionary as you are willing to go. You can begin by controlling lighting remotely, usually with an app on your phone or computer. Other smart lighting options incorporate motion and lighting sensors, turning lights on and off depending on the presence of light or movement in a space. Some of the most advanced incorporate learning techniques to monitor and learn the everyday patterns of people who live in the home. This allows your lights to turn on and off giving the impression that people are at home even when the house is left empty.

There are some concerns and risks to keep in mind with these luxuries, however. Anything connected to the internet is prone to security vulnerabilities. If you are someone who tends to use weak passwords, hackers could gain access to your information and change your settings or steal confidential data. Keeping all systems software up to date is also important, as well as choosing apps with secure permissions.

As you can see, there are many things to consider in the realm of smart home devices. Whether you want to sense moisture in your basement, run your sprinkler system or keep an eye on your pet while you’re away, you just need to decide what your priorities are and where to begin! If you are looking to sell your home and want to know what features would be beneficial, give Jane Fischer and Associates a call to guide you in that area. You can reach us at 641-424-4663. We are here to help!

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