Ways to use automation to make your home more efficient
Over the past few months, we’ve all been spending more time at home. Now, more than ever, the home is the nexus of modern American life. As your day fills up with work, teaching the kids, making dinner, and more, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by this new normal. It’s time to work smarter, not harder. Home automation has the potential to take more off your plate, help you stay organized, and remove distractions. In this article, we’ll review just how automation can help and how you can go about making your home work “smarter” for you.
Control every aspect of your home
It’s an old saying that still rings true: knowledge is power. When homeowners are informed, they have the ability to take action and be proactive. With a smart home control system, homeowners can see real-time data and details about their home’s security, energy efficiency, and performance. For example, it can be set up to automatically detect water leaks and send you an alert. Considering that every hour of a leak can cause hundreds of dollars in water damage, knowing there’s a leak right away can save you a ton of money on repairs.
Of course, not all beneficial automation has to be device-based. As we alluded to earlier, even setting up a digital calendar with automated home maintenance reminders can be incredibly helpful. For example, we all find ourselves forgetting to change a Chicago HVAC air filter as often as we should. By setting a recurring reminder on your phone, you can ensure you don’t forget to switch it out every 2-3 months. You can take things even further, however: many retailers now offer recurring purchase and delivery options. That air filter you need every 2-3 months will show up at your door right on time, without you even having to think twice about it.
You set the schedule
If you were to sit down and outline everything you do in a day, how much of your cumulative time and mental energy gets spent on the mundane things? You have to turn down the thermostat at 9 p.m. You need to turn on the hallway light for your daughter before bed. Did you lock the front door? Many of us carry this mental baggage with us in our heads, and then get frustrated with ourselves when something inevitably gets dropped. Home automation can help reduce this load and automate the mundane, allowing you to clear out your mental “to-do list” and live life with less anxiety.
One of the most recognizable home automation devices is the smart thermostat. Also known as programmable thermostats, these units are incredibly helpful. With a smart thermostat, you can schedule out temperature changes in advance, which means no more having to remember to adjust the dial at certain points in the day. Most of these thermostats can also be controlled through a smartphone app. Leave your home for vacation, but not sure if you remembered to set the temperature higher? Just adjust it on your phone, and you’re set.
Your home’s cooling and heating systems aren’t the only things that can be set to a schedule. With smart lights, you can determine ahead of time when you want indoor and outdoor lights to turn on-and-off. Many homeowners use this with their patio light to ensure that it gets turned off before everyone goes to bed. As with your thermostat, smart lights can either be controlled through your smartphone or a voice assistant. This makes it easy to turn lights on-and-off—even if you have your hands full!
Make your home more secure
A smarter home is a more secure home. If you’re looking to automate the security of your home, start with a smart lock for your front or back door. These locks can be controlled through your smartphone, allowing you to unlock the door for your kids, guests, or service technicians while you’re away. Many smart lock features can also provide you with an overview of who is coming and going from your home—unfortunate news for any teenagers sneaking out at night.
Your home security can also be augmented with cameras and motion sensors. These smart devices are designed to work together: for example, a motion sensor being triggered may activate the camera and send your phone a push notification with the live feed video of your home. That kind of combined automation was unheard of even five years ago, and it’s a good example of how automation is making our homes and lives more secure. Many smart security systems can even be set up to automatically notify emergency personnel in the event of a fire, break-in, or carbon monoxide leak.
Once a hobby for the tech-savvy, home automation has gone mainstream. We’re at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what automation can do for us. If you’re just now looking into home automation, you’re at the perfect point to jump in and get started.