Is your home stuck in the past? Make a plan to upgrade it in the new year. Technology focused on making life at home more streamlined and efficient could make your life easier. Installing “smart” home products allows you to control the systems of your home from anywhere via your smartphone or computer.
But home centered tech products don’t have to be “smart” to be useful, look for products that both make your life effortless and have a small environmental footprint. Here are a few you should think about:
1. Solar Panels
If the idea of being off the grid and free from dependency on the power grid sounds attractive, solar panels are an expensive investment that can really pay off. They can increase the property value of your home and cut down (and in some cases eliminate) your energy bills. If you decide to install solar panels on your home you are eligible to receive a federal tax credit that covers 30% of the cost of installing the equipment. Many states also have a similar credit in an effort to help solar energy become an affordable option for many homeowners.
Smart lights are an easy entry point into the world of smart home products. Many people find smart lights attractive because of the control they offer. Depending on which lights you choose they can be activated by voice or by phone and you can also change the color and brightness in the same way.
There are many brands to choose from, and if you’re planning to buy other smart home products like a thermostat or a security system it may make your life easier to buy the products from the same brand to ensure they are compatible. If you have a smart home system like Amazon Alexa, or Google Home be sure they are compatible with the lights you purchase.
3. Safety and Security-
Being on the cutting edge of homes safety means installing smart locks and a smart security system. Smart locks allow you to open and lock your home from anywhere via your smartphone. If you have a rental property you can send a “virtual key” to your renters that will unlock the door only during the time they’ve paid to rent your property. If your middle school student comes home after school to an empty house you can set your locks to unlock when he/she comes home and lock once they are inside.
If you’re thinking about purchasing a smart security system be sure to check the compatibility of the system to your other smart home products. Smart security systems eliminate the need to be connected to a home security company. Most kits include a hub, with window and door sensors, and maybe some kind of motion sensor or camera.
4. Climate Control Systems
Smart thermostats have also become quite popular. The main appeal of these systems is their money saving capabilities. There are thermostats that can be programmed and changed remotely through a smartphone, and there are thermostats that “smartly” observe your behavior as it relates to home temperature and change themselves accordingly. These learning systems can sense when someone comes home, when the oven is turned on, and when there are changes to the air conditions and will automatically adjust in response.
Installing many of these high tech home features is not for the faint of heart. Don’t be afraid to call in a professional to handle installation. Find a qualified local professional who has experience with your specific home upgrade.