You’ve probably heard the term “smart home” a lot lately. After all, almost half of Americans now own some type of smart home technology. Nonetheless, most of us have barely scratched the surface of all the options out there for increasing our homes’ IQ. We know it can be intimidating, and it’s hard to know where to get started. Well, we are here to help!
Reason No. 1: Smart homes are safer
Homes should be our safe space, and a variety of smart home devices can help that. In fact, one survey found that about 63% of consumers cite home security as the biggest reason to buy a smart home device.
The most obvious smart home security devices to use are cameras that will detect break-ins; they can also be serviced by companies that can further assess the danger, and send the police to your door. But burglars aside, smart home devices can detect an array of other threats such as smoke, fire, carbon monoxide, moisture levels, radon, and so much more. Smart locks can also be locked or unlocked while you are away, removing the hassles of lost keys and locksmiths.
Even better, most smart home security products won’t drain your wallet as much as you probably thought. The majority of smart home security upgraders spend just $1,500 or less on these features.
Reason No. 2: Smart homes save money
Want to slash your home’s energy bills? This can easily be done with smart thermostats like the ones from Nest, Honeywell, and Ecobee. These can detect how many people are in a room, and adjust the temperature accordingly. They also allow you to make adjustments remotely, with your phone.
According to a Nest study, the company’s smart thermostat saved consumers on average 10% to 12% on heating and 15% on cooling. Based on typical energy costs, that translates to an average savings of $131 to $145 a year, which would mean this smart device (which costs $249) can pay for itself in less than two years!
Because smart thermostats are fairly cheap (Honeywell’s costs $159) and have a clear payoff, they’re a great way to start smartening up your home. If you’re ready to broaden your home’s budget-friendly amenities, consider smart lighting, smart dishwashers or laundry machine as well. Sure, these items are more expensive—but they’ll save you money down the road by conserving heat and water.
A water-efficient laundry machines use about 13 gallons or less for an 8-pound load—half the 26 gallons sucked down by a regular washer.
Reason No. 3: Smart homes save you time and stress
It’s time for the fun part: Smart homes make life easier! A lot of people don’t want to have to lift a finger around the house. Yeah, ok. It sounds lazy. But imagine this, rather than needing to run across the room to turn on your stereo, you can just tell a smart speaker to play your favorite tunes. And since these speakers also work as virtual assistants, you can ask them for the weather forecast, or how many teaspoons are in a cup in the midst of cooking, or to add toilet paper to your shopping list in the midst of… other things.
Granted, all these little tasks might not seem like much hassle individually, but they add up, and they’re just the beginning. These Wi-Fi-enabled smart speakers can also act as smart home hubs, enabling various smart gadgets to speak to one another (i.e., your smart alarm clock can wake you up and turn on your smart coffee maker, while your smart fridge can sense you’re out of eggs and add that to your grocery list).
Reason No. 4: Smart home gadgets aren’t as hard to install as you might think
You don’t have to be tech-savvy to install most smart home products.
They’re made to be user-friendly, your average human isn’t a rocket scientist. Most of them offer online instruction videos, and most of them operate wirelessly.
Reason No. 5: Smart homes are easier to sell
When you eventually sell your home, smart devices can pay off in a number of ways. Many smart home features can boost your home’s resale value by up to 5%—that’s $15,000 on a $300,000 home. Research also shows that home appraisers are beginning to factor in the value of tech features.
Pretty convincing, huh?