We are living in the 'smart' age. Smart phones, smart computers, smart cars, and now smart homes. The wonderful thing about these 'smart' objects isn’t that it just makes us look 'smart' or cool, they are more energy efficient and have provided a new height in security. Here are just a few ways you can make your home 'smart.'
Whether you’ve seen the commercials or not, you’ve probably heard about NEST. The learning thermostat isn’t just a cooler way to keep your home cool, it’s also a more efficient energy-saving thermostat. The NEST is considered a 'learning' thermostat as it learns your preferred temperatures and then will automatically schedule those temperatures for you. Another great thing about the NEST thermostat is that when you choose a temperature that will actually save energy, a small green leaf will show up on the screen. NEST thermostats can be controlled from anywhere via its intuitive app.
Another way to smarten your home and also save money is electric meters. These systems basically monitor the amount of kilowatt hour usage in your home and help you see where electricity is being wasted. These meters or systems are designed to help you better manage your home’s energy consumption and help save the planet. An energy management system is also a great investment for buildings and homes to keep track of wasteful renters or for monitoring and billing tenants. Many of these can be set up so that you can wirelessly meter a facility, marina, or housing. Even if you’re just looking at it for personal home use, a power quality meter will help you to see where you’re using the most energy and losing the most money.
Many people are calling the echo the digital butler. Amazon’s Echo is a smart speaker that is designed around your voice (almost similar to your phone + Siri, almost). The speaker is always on and available for you to ask just about anything, from weather, news, music, the possibilities are endless. On top of this, Amazon has designed the Echo to work with other programs and systems within your home.
They’re calling the Echo the new butler because ultimately you could have to tell your dishwasher when to start, turn on your coffee maker, or even turn off the upstairs lights. Echo could even eventually be programmed to do tasks outside of the home such as connecting to your fitness app to check how many calories you’ve burned. With Amazon’s developers kit for Echo set up, the possibilities for just what your new, smart butler could do are endless.
Possibly one of the biggest ways to make your home smart is with a smart home automation system. These systems — provided from ADT,Home Depot,Vivint, and many other companies just about anywhere now — allow you to undertake tasks without barely lifting a finger. Most systems let you control elements like your home’s security system, thermostat, lighting and appliances from anywhere. You can turn your lights on from your car before you’re even in the garage, or even answer the door from your phone no matter where you are in the house.
A home automation system can also heighten your security and even save you money in the energy department. Home automation systems can help you manage your energy consumption to lower energy bills and even control your locks in case someone is locked out or if you forget to lock up when you leave for work in the morning.
Somewhat similar to a home automation system are smart doorbells. The new brand of doorbells come with small video cameras so that when the bell is pushed, you can see live video of whomever is at the door on your phone from anywhere. With a smart doorbell, you can also receive alerts when someone is at the door and communicate with them.
These smart doorbells are a great solution for people who have difficulty getting to the door, for those who have small children who could easily grab the door before you, or even just for those who enjoy the added sense of security. There are many options out there for buying a smart doorbell, some are still in beta mode, but you can find a great guide here.