How Smart Is Your Home?

It used to be that one might be concerned about the beauty of their home, or the size of their home, or the utility of their home, or the value of their home. But now, there is something new to consider. We are now in an era where we need to concern ourselves with the smarts of our home.

These days, home is more than a place where we hang our hats. It has also become more than the place where our hearts are. Home is quickly becoming an extension of ourselves. Home is becoming our eyes and ears and brain. It is serving and protecting and entertaining, and answering our every inane question.

It is not just about smart design anymore. At some point, certain smart home features might become a requirement. There are already consequences for having no smoke detector in the event of a fire. Good luck with that insurance claim. Just how smart is your home? Let’s find out:

Can Your Home Protect You?

Products from Nortek Security & Control represent just one of many options you now have for smarter home security. By smarter, I mean these products can do more than make loud noises when the worst has already happened.

Besides professional monitoring, smart security systems allow you to take control from your smartphone. You can also control other aspects, such as lights and cameras, from an app, or even by voice.

One of the advantages of getting an integrated system is that you can put together an entire smart home suite of devices that all communicate seamlessly with one another. Do it yourself, and your fridge might not know what your toaster is doing.

Put more seriously, your security lights may not work in concert with your outdoor cameras. These devices are most useful when they work well together. If you can only make one smart home upgrade, it should be a smarter security system.

Can Your Home Save You Money?

Besides mortgage and food, heating and cooling is your largest home-related expense. A smart home can help you save money in that department. The main piece of equipment you need for this is a smart thermostat.

The best smart thermostats save you money by learning your heating and cooling habits, and knowing when you are in the house. It only heats or cools the home when it is needed. And it can automatically adjust to avoid the highs and lows that can get so expensive.

Installing a learning thermostat is easier than you may think. It is definitely harder than screwing in a lightbulb. But will not be as difficult as installing a ceiling fan. It resides comfortably in the DIY category. Just be aware that your heating and cooling system is the bottleneck to how much these devices can do for you. A modern, multi-zone climate control system is best.

Can Your Home Understand You?

Some might say your home is not really smart unless it can listen to your requests and carry them out. That includes answering your questions about sports, TV, movies, and music. Speaking of music, it needs to be able to play any song your want to hear whenever you want to hear it.

Right now, your choice of hardware is between Google Home and Amazon Echo if you want a dedicated speaker that is always listening for a command. Apple will be offering a Siri speaker called the HomePod later this year. Of course, you can always set up your iOS devices to listen for trigger words and do the same tasks via the Home app from Apple.

As of now, Apple seems to be the only company doing any real work to secure these home automation tools. But HomeKit is the least supported of the systems because of that. Security is hard work and expensive. And right now, Internet of Things (IoT) devices are notoriously insecure.

Your home doesn’t have to be Einstein to be smart. It just has to keep you safer, save you money, and answer your every beck and call.

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