From “smart” appliances to thoughtful thermostats, technological advances have changed the way we live in our homes. A wave of new products can make your home more comfortable, safer and more energy efficient. Here’s what you should know if you’re considering smart technology in your home, courtesy of Erie Insurance:
Does “smart home” automatically mean “expensive home”?
Not necessarily. No doubt, these advancements come at a cost. Yet, as more products hit the market, much of the technology is becoming increasingly affordable. Many of these gadgets end up paying for themselves many times over.
For instance, a smart thermostat can keep temperature schedules and heat or cool your home automatically – and economically. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, people who work away from home eight hours a day can save $180 annually in heating and cooling costs, using a programmable thermostat.
Do I need to make my home “smart” all at once?
Making incremental but steady upgrades can be easier on your budget, and it allows you to get familiar with the new technology and how it works. There are two key purchases that can pave the way to smart home success from the start: A smart home hub and a good Wi-Fi router. Once you have the foundation in place, you can start adding key features to make your house more livable, safer and affordable.
What are some easy upgrades I can make to my home?
- Awesome outlets: Smart outlet plugs can include motion sensors, so if no movement is detected for a certain amount of time, the power to the appliance will turn off. Some of these outlets can be controlled from a smartphone app.
- Brilliant bulbs: Smart LED bulbs are an easy entry into the world of smart home devices and can be found for under $50 for the hub and two bulbs. Lights can be monitored and controlled from your smartphone.
- Thoughtful thermostats: You can make sure the temperature in your home is always just right while also saving on energy costs. Prices vary, but good models are available for less than $100.
- Synced smoke detectors: Monitored smoke detectors can instantly notify you and a monitoring service to get help fast. Further, Wi-Fi-connected batteries can be installed in any smoke detector, and you’ll receive a notification on your smartphone if the detector is activated.
- Savvy security cams: The days of home security systems breaking the bank are fading fast. For under $100, you can get a no-frills security camera that records activity and has infrared sensors that detect motion. Some units will store up to 20 hours of recordings for free.
- Wise water heaters: Who knew water heaters could get on Wi-Fi? Kits for around $150 can make your water heater smarter through sensors that measure energy uses and connect to your smartphone. You can turn the heater off remotely, saving an estimated 20 to 50 percent of the energy that is lost by water heaters that run constantly.
Anytime you upgrade or update your home, make sure you’re covered. Talk to your local Assure America agent about smart home technology updates or upgrades. Assure America has locations in: Weirton, Wellsburg and Chester in West Virginia; Steubenville, Ohio; Louisville, Kentucky; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
For more about smart homes, click here.