Connected Home Devices
By: Eric Rosenberg
If you grew up watching futuristic shows like The Jetsons and Star Trek, you might dream of an era with robot housekeepers and a home that responds to your voice. Lucky for us, we don't have to wait to make some of these sci-fi dreams a reality. In fact, your home can already feel a lot like the U.S.S. Enterprise with modern connected home devices.
The benefits of connected home technology go far beyond turning your lights on with your voice and adjusting your home's temperature automatically when you get home from work. While these are great benefits in their own right, connected home devices can also help you secure your home and save money.
How Connected Home Devices Can Bring Safety, Savings and Peace of Mind
Early smart home devices brought small conveniences to our homes, but newer ones can help you revolutionize your home's security. Benefits of smart home technology include options to monitor your home from anywhere in the world and notifications of potential issues before they become catastrophic.
For example, a smart thermostat can do more than adjust your home's temperature. It can also alert you to a sudden rise in temperature that could indicate a fire. It may also help you set minimum temperature monitoring to avoid frozen, broken pipes during a winter vacation, while adjusting temperatures to save you money. This is just scratching the surface of what's possible.
Some households may be hesitant to buy smart home devices because they seem too complicated or lack security. It is important to keep everything updated to the latest software version, use security best practices for your internet router and all connected devices, and avoid buying from brands that don't employ strong, modern security techniques. If you follow a strategy that puts safety and security first, you'll likely stand up just fine to hackers and other bad actors.
Connected Home Devices to Protect Your Home
The best connected home devices keep hackers at bay while giving you powerful tools to monitor and control various parts of your home. Here's a look at some devices that can add safety and security for your family and your property. You might even avoid a disaster or qualify for an insurance discount, depending on which devices you add.
- Thermostat:A smart thermostat allows you to control your home's temperature with precise schedules and a handy app on your phone. Smart thermostats can save money by adjusting the temperature when you are not home. It can add safety, as discussed above, with heat and cold sensing notifications that alert you of potential problems before they spiral out of control.
- Alarm system:A smart alarm system may help you get a discount on your home insurance. It also tells you, and potentially the police, of any unwanted visitors. If you have kids at home, it can also help you keep an eye on them!
- Smoke & Carbon Monoxide detectors:Smart smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors don't just sound an alarm, they alert your smart phone and more if any smoke, heat or carbon monoxide is detected when you're home or away. Depending on the system you choose, it may also integrate into your alarm system to automatically send the fire department if needed, among other perks.
- Video doorbell: A video doorbell tells you who's there without looking in a peephole. You never have to open the door for someone you don't know and may be able to talk to them through a speaker on the doorbell. It also helps you track package deliveries and could deter package thefts.
- Security camera:Security cameras give you an extra set of eyes in the most important areas in and around your home. It could help you detect, or even scare away, a prowler or burglar. If an incident does occur, video footage increases the odds of finding the perpetrator.
- Leak detectors:Leak sensors can notice water dripping from a water heater, air conditioner, washing machine, or any other pipe or appliance around the home. Catching a leak early can help you avoid an expensive and damaging flood.
- Light switches:Smart light switches are fun and add security to your home. You can set vacation and away schedules, turn on the lights automatically as you get home, and turn on the lights in your basement before you go down to avoid the heebie-jeebies of that creepy, little-used space.
A Connected Home Can Save You Money on Insurance
Smart home devices can save you money on utilities, add security and make your home more convenient. But there are more savings to be had: If you work with a forward-thinking insurance company, they may give you a discount for adding a device that detects intruders, fires and/or leaks. Be sure to ask your insurance agent if a discount is available.
There are many benefits of smart home technology. If you can save money and make your home safer at the same time, that could be a big win for your family and your wallet.