There was a time in human history when we were all excited to have the ability to clap our hands twice to turn our lights off or on with the Clapper. While at the time is pretty cutting edge, it’s nowhere close to where we are today with the advent of smart homes. A smart home is when devices of your home are all connected and can be operated with your computer or cell phone with ease.
At first, smart home technology was wildly expensive and not accessible for most people, but times have changed quickly. Now, around half of the homes in the United States are classified as ‘smart homes’ with that number expected to reach two-thirds within just a few years. With the growing number of houses switching over to smart home technology, there are a lot of new people with questions about how to make the transition. Let’s take a look at how you can prepare your home for smart home technology.
Determine Your Needs
Not all houses are going to need every smart home capability imaginable. There are certain smart home devices that are more of a luxury than a money-saving necessity. If you’re someone who has a very small lawn that only needs a regular sprinkler running for a few minutes per week to stay green, you probably don’t need to invest in a massive smart irrigation system. Some things are more practical that can save energy and money throughout the year.
Smart thermostats have become one of the more popular pieces of smart home technology because they can save you hundreds (if not thousands) per year. When nobody’s in the home, the temperature will be set to the most energy efficient. You can control the thermostat from anywhere, so when you’re about to leave work and head home, you can kick on the air conditioner or furnace so that it’s more comfortable when you get home.
Find The Right Hub
One of the reasons that smart home technology has become so affordable is that there has been a lot of competition from some of the biggest tech companies in the world. The easiest, cheapest, and most efficient way of equipping your smart home is to have all of your devices be the same brand and connect them to the accompanying hub.
There are a few hubs that are hailed as the best in the business. In no particular order, Amazon Echo, Apple HomePod, Aeotec Smart Home, and Google Nest are all familiar names that come with high ratings. These hubs have a ton of compatible devices, and once you determine what you need, you can pick the one that has the highest-rated devices.
Don’t Go All Out To Start
There is a lot of temptation to grab every single device that’s available for smart homes when you decide to make the transition. However, try focusing on one thing at first so that you’re comfortable with the installation process and how to use these devices. If you begin with something like a security doorbell system or blinds/curtains, you’ll get the hang of how it all works.
Over the course of the next few weeks and months, you can start to add to your collection until your house is fully smart home integrated. Plus, if you start by adding just one device at a time, you can make sure that everything’s compatible. You don’t want to buy everything all at once only to have to return half of the items, figuring out which ones didn’t work out.
Stay On Top of Security
When we say that you should be at the forefront of security in your smart home, we don’t mean that you should be watching your home security cameras 24 hours per day. What we mean is that you should always be checking to see if your smart home is secured, switching up your passwords regularly, and always read the privacy policies before accepting anything.
There have been many instances of smart homes being hacked, including smart TVs being taken over, which can be a frightening experience. Make sure that your home’s Wi-Fi network is secure and use multi-factor authentication. Devices that are outdated are also more prone to attacks, so install any update as soon as possible to keep yourself away from risks. Many of us assume that our smart devices will take care of themselves but that’s not always the case.
The transition from traditional to smart homes should be a painless and exciting one, and it will only get cheaper as time goes on. As long as you’re easing yourself into things and staying on top of security, you’ll be enjoying your updated home more than ever before while also saving money in the process.