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For today’s busy homeowners, smart home technology makes life simpler and is increasing in popularity, unsurprisingly.
The demand for “smart” home devices, i.e. appliances that attach to Wi-Fi and can be operated by a smartphone or voice-activated device, will hit $80 billion in North America by 2021, according to one survey.
These tools not only provide comfort and convenience, but they also remove repetitive manual work from people’s busy lives and can even keep your home cleaner, safer, and more efficient.
They can also save you cash. Many of the most popular smart technologies are designed to reduce home energy use and energy-related bills. In fact, according to this report, smart power strips alone can save you around $200 a year.
Plus, adding smart products to your home can make it more appealing to buyers down the line. Remodeling website Houzz found that about a third of younger consumers – those 25-50 – are now including these technologies in their home renovations and that more than three-quarters of home buyers in this age group would pay a “smart home premium” for a home in which smart technologies were already in place.
Whether you’re looking to lower your energy bills or increase your security, – and also want to potentially increase your home’s resale value – here are some top products to consider.
When You Want to Decrease Energy Consumption
These ‘smart things’ will reduce the total environmental footprint of your house, as well as its energy usage and associated costs.
When these devices are installed, many energy suppliers will also offer rebates and discounts. To find out more, contact your energy supplier.
Some smart thermostats are designed to learn the temperature patterns of your household and then create a custom, energy-saving routine (like the Nest) around it. Others use a sensor system to detect occupancy and (like the Ecobee) set suitable room-by-room temperatures. They save you money either way.
The Nest claims to save 10% to 12% on heating costs and 15% on cooling costs annually for homeowners, while the Ecobee says it can save up to 23% on annual costs.
Smart showerheads eliminate expensive heat-up time and even change the flow of water depending on where you are in the shower. For instance, Evadrop says it cuts the use of water in half. That would equate to savings of around $60 each month for a family of four.
Smart Power Strips
These new-age power strips prevent electricity from being used by consumers when they’re not in active use. They will save you around $200 per annum in energy costs, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and reduce general wear and tear on the devices and appliances plugged into them to boot.
Smart light bulbs are versatile LED light bulbs that can dim, change color periodically, and can be operated by a mobile device. They can be synchronized with music and entertainment often times as well. They save money for sure, but they are also just very cool!
Smart Sprinkler Systems
Smart sprinklers are designed to optimize your watering schedule based on local weather conditions. They also detect leaks and monitor water flow to reduce overall costs. Most come with a mobile app that allows you to control your watering efforts on the go.
If You Want Additional Home Security
Smart home technology will also help to enhance your property’s security and safety, as well as make it simpler and more convenient to monitor those systems. Numerous surveys and reports have also shown that home buyers are often actively looking for these kinds of devices to be in place.
Some of the smart security products that are more popular include:
- Smart exterior lighting systems, which use motion-activated sensors to turn on floodlights and other devices when someone enters the property
- Video doorbells, which allow you to see who’s at your door before even answering it
- Smart garage doors that alert owners when opened and can be controlled with a mobile device
- Connected video cameras that let you monitor your property via mobile app
- Code and/or mobile-controlled locks.
- Smart smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors and water leak sensors that alert you when something is amiss