Many of us have grown to depend on our mobile devices. Whether it’s to help us get to where we need to go, to remind us to pick up milk on the way home from work or to track our steps, our phones and tablets are with us a majority of the day.
Now, homeowners have a new way to use our digital devices to make life easier: by turning our houses into “smart homes”.
Home automation can seem intimidating, even for the most tech-savvy among us. If you are wondering whether you would benefit from a Smart Home system, know that you can count on ABC Home & Commercial Services to help you understand, install and integrate Smart Home features into your Austin, San Antonio and Corpus Christi home.
What is a Smart Home, Exactly?
We all know what a smart phone is, but what’s a smart home?
As technology provided us with the opportunity to be connected in a way which previous generations never dreamed of, we began to talk about “the Internet of Things”. Computer components became smaller and less expensive, and tiny parts began to make their way onto a wide array of products. Back in 1999, Neil Gershenfeld imagined the possibilities of harnessing the power of tech in his book When Things Start to Think. In it, he said, “The real promise of connecting computers is to free people, by embedding the means to solve problems in the things around us.” The ability to use technology to monitor cargo in shipping containers and to let us know when our tire pressure is low soon extended to the systems inside of our homes.
Although Smart Homes usually refer to your air conditioner and heater, your security system, lighting and voice assistants, some smart homes also integrate your appliances, home entertainment systems and even sprinkler systems.
A small percentage of new homes are designed to be fully integrated with your mobile devices. For those that aren’t or those of us who already own a home, it is good to know that retrofitting these “smart” products into your home is relatively easy and inexpensive. If you’d rather do the monitoring on your desktop, rather than your phone, many Smart Home systems give you that option.
Heating and Cooling With The Touch of a Button
In a typical home, heating and cooling represent almost half of your energy use and therefore a significant portion of your utility bill. Forgot to turn up the temperature on your air conditioner when you left for work, or before you rushed out the door for a trip? A smart thermostat allows you to control your home’s temperature from anywhere, anytime.
Want to get a better handle on your energy costs? You can also use a smart thermostat to monitor your energy use in real time, as opposed to reviewing your monthly utility bills. Want to apply the latest technology to “train” your heating and cooling system to make slight adjustments based on your habits and activity? Your Smart Home system can do that, too.
One way products like Nest make heating and cooling more efficient is through the use of GPS technology and radio frequency identification (also known as RFID). When a user crosses a geographic boundary—within a certain radius of your home, for example—your thermostat receives an alert to turn on so that your living areas are comfortable when you step inside.
Your Smart Home system can also function as an early warning system. You can receive notifications when your home gets too hot or cold, which can indicate a problem with your air conditioner or heater. Keeping track of when to replace your air filter is a snap with accurate alerts based on the number of hours your system has run.
Smart Technology To Keep Your Family Safe
You not only want to keep your home comfortable, but you also want to keep your family members safe. A Smart Home system can help with that, too. Sensors and cameras can detect movement, both indoors and out. Alerts can let you know if either motion or noise is detected in areas you select. Day or night, you can monitor your property, whether you are at home or away. Some cameras even give you the ability to talk through them, so that it sounds like you are nearby, even when you aren’t.
Tired of the loud beeping from your smoke alarm that only seems to go off in the middle of the night? Smart home systems can also let you know if smoke or carbon dioxide has reached dangerous levels inside your home. Not sure if you remembered to switch out the batteries in your alarm? Smart home systems perform more regular checks and updates. This equipment can also differentiate between slow and fast-burning fires so that you can take the appropriate action.
Get Answers From Your Own Assistant
When we want a hands-free experience, we may issue voice commands to our phone, and Smart Home systems also incorporate these features with the help of voice-activated speakers, such as a Google Home device. While you are making dinner, you can find out when the gas station closes, add items to your grocery list or play your favorite song. Voice assistants can also help you monitor and control your home comfort and security systems that are managed through your Smart Home equipment.
What Are the Benefits of Home Automation?
The primary benefits of a Smart Home system are enhanced security, improved comfort, lower costs and added convenience.
We all want to be safe in our homes and to protect our loved ones and belongings. Home automation allows us to protect the things and people we hold dear, no matter where we are. By getting you important information you need in real time, you can feel more secure.
Ultimately, our biggest priority is to be comfortable in our own home. By using technology to help us make the most out of our air conditioners and heaters, we ensure that our systems are in use only when we need them: when we are approaching home or indoors. The ability to customize your experience over time to better suit your needs helps make a Smart Home a more comfortable home.
Heating and cooling alone account for almost $1,000 in energy bills over the course of a year for the average homeowner. With that in mind, even small savings can add up over time. Through the use of algorithms, your smart home system can optimize your living environment to make automatic micro-adjustments which you may not even notice.
We are all busier than ever, so having the ability to easily set and adjust your home’s features has never been more important. As with any type of automation, being able to “set it and forget it” has valuable benefits, and with Smart Homes, the benefits are even greater, since additional adjustments continue to be made over time to optimize systems to best suit you.
ABC Can Set Up Your Smart Home
For decades, ABC Home & Commercial Services has been making homeowners’ lives easier. With these new Smart Home services, homeowners in Austin, San Antonio and Corpus Christi can take advantage of these products and the benefits they offer. You can rely on ABC’s trained and knowledgeable staff to help you decide which components work best for you and your home.