Technology has made our lives so much easier, especially in the past decade. Sending and transferring money online, ordering all that we could want or need on a single website, being able to talk and see our loved ones anytime we want, and having an AI virtual assistant on basically any device you own.
The rapid evolution of technology has made its way to our homes. Smart hubs and speakers, thermostats you can control from a tablet, robot vacuums, and cameras on your doorbell. You name it and there's probably already a patent filed for it somewhere. It's no question that home automation has increased the level of our comfort and security, but is it worth it?
What is home automation?
A smart home is a residence that uses internet-connected devices to be able to remotely monitor, control, and manage your appliances. A smart home system is composed of several different components and usually includes both hardware and software that work together to provide homeowners with a feeling of security and peace of mind, in addition to servicing their growing technologically supported needs.
CAN I INSTALL HOME AUTOMATION MYSELF OR DO I NEED TO HIRE AN ELECTRICIAN?
Trust us on this one. Unless you are extremely experienced in the field, you are going to save yourself so much time and unnecessary stress by seeking out a high quality and trusted residential electrician.
Although hom automation can save countless hours and make life so much easier once installed, the technology is not quite yet at the point where just anyone can install a home automation system.
Examples of home automation devices and systems:
- A household electrical system monitors any possible electrical surges and shuts off the flow of the current to avoid any potential fires, explosions, or damage to appliances.
- Smart kitchen appliances like;
o A coffee machine that will turn on and brew your coffee at a specific time you set.
o Smart refrigerators that will make a grocery list and keep track of the contents inside as well as their expiration dates.
o A grill that lets you input whatever protein you want to make and cook it for you perfectly without the need for constant monitoring.
- Smart TVs that act as a regular TV, a larger monitor for your computer, or even a piece of art when not in use.
- Thermostats that connect to the internet and can be remotely controlled from an app on your phone. They learn the homeowners’ habits and in time, the software automatically switches between cooler or warmer temperatures. This system also gives energy reports so that you will know exactly how much energy you consume.
- Smart lighting systems can detect when there are people in the room and adjust the lighting in the room as needed.
- Smart locks are among the most popular devices because they bring the level of security in your home to a new level by granting only a certain number of people access.
All these devices are designed to give homeowners a new perspective on what technology can do for their home but as with everything, home automation has its advantages and disadvantages.
The Pros of Home Automation
The ability to remotely turn your lights on and off, control the temperature in whatever room in your house, and make sure your doors are all locked can save you lots of time and worry, especially for individuals who are busy and are out of the house most of the day.
Ensuring the safety of those in your home is a top priority and having a smart home can make that happen by using advanced security systems that have cameras recording all the activity in your house at all times, smart locks that only allow access to specific people, and giving access to a home security company or the authorities in case of emergencies.
Smart homes are ideal for the elderly or disabled because you can equip them with accessibility features that allow for voice commands and can be monitored remotely.
May Increase the Value Of Your Home Value
According to the National Association of Realtors, buyers are willing to spend more money if the house has smart features such as thermostat control, smart locks, and lighting systems that can be controlled using applications on their devices.
Energy Cost Savings
By being able to analyze your usage, a smart home system can automatically turn off appliances when not in use and even stop the flow of electricity completely when the software detects a surge that could potentially cause damage. Energy consumption reports are also useful for homeowners to pinpoint what specific appliance is costing them the most.
The Cons of Home Automation
Expensive Initial Investment
Since this type of technology often requires the use of professionals and contractors to install and integrate these systems into homes, the upfront cost is usually significant.
Companies have not come together to create products that can work alongside each other. In the current state of home automation, homeowners have to stick to one specific brand and buy all the smart appliances from them in order to have a cohesive smart home system.
Vulnerability to the Risks of the Internet
Having all your devices connected online runs the risk of being hacked, this is a key reason some people are hesitant to install smart appliances in their homes. Although keep in mind that the companies selling those appliances have taken this into account and have set out the necessary cyber security and preventive measures.
Another risk is that if the internet goes down, your house will not function properly. Smart homes are ideal for locations that have stable internet connections across great distances.
You should think very carefully before investing. Start by taking small steps toward home automation like buying smart lights, speakers, or locks and then decide if you want to dive in deeper.
The final decision will always be yours. Technology is always evolving and the world will grow with it. Although smart homes have drawbacks now, companies will eventually find a way to mitigate those concerns and provide the best smart home possible.