If you’ve seen movies where smart home technology has wreaked destruction in the homeowners’ lives (e.g. Disney’s 1999 movie, Smart House) you might be wondering if giving our homes (and the appliances in them) intelligence is a dumb thing to do.
Scary stories aside, the decision on whether or not to use smart home tech shouldn’t be based on fiction.
It should be based on facts.
When you look at the pros and cons of smart home technology you’ll have the information you need to make a decision that works for you and your family.
Smart technology can help you save money
Nest reviewed their customer data from 41 states. It showed that the Nest Thermostat, on average, saved these consumers 10 to 12 percent on heating and 15 percent on cooling costs.
When you base this figure on average energy costs, individuals saved anywhere from $131 to $145 annually. The return on their investment into smart home tech returned in less than two years.
You probably already use smart technology to help you remember the milk…and of course the donuts…on your way home from work.
It’s called a note or calendar notification. This notification is set and goes off right before you leave the office.
We’re increasingly dependent on smart technology to help us in our everyday lives. So it’s not a small leap to add more technology to help us with more intricate tasks such as warming the house up before we get home. Or alerting us when the kids get home from school.
As more companies jump into the smart home space we’re going to see more and more innovative ways that AI (artificial intelligence) will be applied to our lives.
From moisture sensors that will shut off your water to video doorbell technology that lets you answer your doorbell even when you’re not home. Smart home technology creators are designing ways you can keep an eye on your home to keep it safe.
Unless you’re having it installed as part of your home building project, installing smart home tech can be fairly simple.
Many after-market smart home technology is wireless and only requires connection to electrical power. And most manufacturers give you a step by step online setup.
Save on insurance
Some insurance companies will discount your premiums if you’ve installed smart home technology. As the market continues to mature we’ll likely see even more companies offer discounts to retain or acquire customers.
Smart home technology is still in its infancy, so until the smart home technology industry successfully resolves each of these issues, users may experience less than optimal results.
Wireless technology means that signal interference is possible from other devices in the home.
This can lead to slower response times and draining batteries.
The cost to purchase smart home technology is dropping, but it’s still relatively expensive to buy both the equipment and – if necessary – to pay for its installation and ongoing maintenance costs.
Sometimes it’s just easier to do things the “old-fashioned” way and turn off the light switch instead of using your smartphone.
And the disparity among manufacturers means that not all systems can cooperate. This means you’ll probably need a central controller if you want several smart home devices, which only increases your costs.
Yes, some products have security flaws which could make them hackable.
- ⬥ Some product developers don’t have a background in security so they don’t have the knowledge and experience to address possible hacking scenarios.
- ⬥ Surprisingly, no industry standards have been set. It’s a little bit like the “Wild West” right now in smart home manufacturing.
People with communication and/or mobility issues
Smart home tech can sometimes be a lifesaver.
From verbal commands to call the ambulance to opening the door when they arrive, smart home devices can provide assistance when people are at their most vulnerable.
Finally, as the industry matures and competition increases, we’ll continue to see a shift toward more smart home devices. And we will see more affordable devices that can make a difference in peoples’ lives.