Smart Living

“Gadgets” have never been too interesting to me. A remote control, whether universal or not, isn’t something that falls on my radar. As long as it turns the TV on and off, I’m satisfied. Yet, the introduction of smart home technology has captured my attention. It is now easier and more affordable to run our household in an efficient, stylish and yes…fun way.

With a slide or swipe of your Smart phone, you can now instantly link to your smart home. With the barrage of competing programs and apps, it is much easier for consumers to install DIY technology.

First, determine the scope and budget of your project. Do you wish to begin with one project such as programming your doors or lights, or do you want to integrate your entire home? By answering these questions, you narrow down which application best suits your needs. 

My favorite smart home addition is the Nest.  It is a sleekly designed thermostat that learns the behaviors of your home. It is easily programmable and senses when you are in the house or away and manages the air temperature accordingly. I love that when we come home from a trip and land at the airport, I can grab my phone and cool the house down before we walk in the door.

The Nest also has a sister product called Nest Protect, a smoke and Carbon Monoxide detector. This clever device, among other things, monitors its battery levels so there are no more 2am low battery chirps waking you up in the middle of the night. The Protect also sends messages and warnings via your phone so you are alerted even while away from home.

Smart phones can also be the “key” to opening your front door. By installing door handles that feature keypads, fingerprint pads or programmable key locks, you will never worry about losing your keys.  With automated door locks you can give specific passcodes to children, housekeepers or pet sitters to determine who and when someone enters your home. You can also lock or unlock doors while away, giving you peace of mind knowing that your home is secure.

 Additionally, you can install smart doorbells.  These nifty devices can include either a camera or sensor that alerts you when someone is at your front door via your smart phone.

There are plenty of home automation options available. Before purchasing any system, determine if the app is compatible with your phone type - iOS or Android. Realize that certain technology is as simple as a plug-in and download while others require purchasing a central automation system. Do your research first! Once you choose and install your system, your home has gone from average to smart – making you a tech-genius!

To learn more about types of home automation products, check out our blog at www.austinrealestate.com/blog/homesmart

This article first appeared in The Four Points Newspaper - Volume 10, Issue 26, page 4.

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