What Is a Smart Home?

smart homes

If you can turn the lights in your home on and off from your cell phone, you have the beginnings of a smart home. Smart home technology is now available that allows you to remotely control a variety of electrical appliances and components in your home, even when you’re not there. The purpose is to let you make your home more comfortable, secure and energy efficient.

While smart home technology is still in its infancy, there are already many ways you can make your home smarter. Here are just a few examples:

Smart Thermostats
Programmable thermostats have been around for a long time. These thermostats can make you more comfortable at home by, for example, turning the heat down around the time you leave for work, then turning it back up before you get home from work. It keeps the temperature in your home just where you want it.

However, there are now smart thermostats that can do even more. For instance, they can be controlled from a smartphone, and also come with sensors that can be placed in different rooms. So, if you have one room in the house that always seems cold, the heat won’t turn off until the sensor in that room indicates that it has reached a satisfactory temperature.

Smart Speakers
Smart speakers, like the Amazon Echo, Google Now and their competitors, let you talk to your house. Smart speakers control a voice-activated smartphone assistant, and provide a wide range of capabilities, such as:

•             If you add something like Amazon Prime or iHeartRadio, you can ask the smart speaker to play a specific song for you.

•             Add your home and work addresses to the application, and you can ask the smart speaker how long of a commute you’ll have.

•             The application will maintain a shopping list and you can add to it using voice commands.

There are hundreds of other features for these smart speakers that will help you manage your home!

Smart Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Have you ever talked to someone whose house burned down when they weren’t home? It’s a tragedy because often the home is lost before a neighbor or someone driving by notices the problem and calls for help.

With a smart smoke/carbon monoxide detector, you’ll be notified on your smartphone immediately. If you’re not sure whether someone is home, you’d want to call first just in case a family member is burning something on the stove. Otherwise, you can contact emergency services almost as quickly as if you were home.

Smart Slow Cookers
Anything that has electrical components might someday be made into a smart device. In fact, Belkin has introduced a crock pot that can be controlled from your smartphone. You can turn the temperature up or down, adjust the cooking time and more.

Smart Refrigerators
Companies like Samsung are making smart refrigerators. The Samsung version boasts a large touchscreen that allows you to leave notes for other family members, play music and even watch television. The biggest advantage for many people are the three cameras that live inside the refrigerator itself. You can use your smartphone to find out if you need milk while you’re at the store.

Smart Home Hubs
If you plan to install several smart home gadgets, you’ll want to control them all from one smartphone application. There are a variety of hubs that let you control multiple devices. Just be sure that the hub you purchase and the individual devices you want to use are compatible.

If you plan to buy or sell a home in Ottawa or surrounding areas make sure you get the professional assistance you need to get the most from your next real estate transaction. Contact us at 613-725-1171 or send an email for more information at info@teamrealty.ca.