Home automation has advanced rapidly in recent years. Technology is at the point where it is now possible to control important parts of your house (heating, lights, even your home security system) all with a smartphone (or any other smart device of your choosing, like a tablet). Imagine being able to do things like check on your kids, lock and unlock your front door, or raise and lower the heat, all while sitting at your desk at work. Sounds nice, doesn’t it? Well, thankfully, it is now easier than ever to start getting your home automated. Older home automation technology was pretty spotty, and did not always work as advertised. This is not the case with newer home automation technology. But hold on, before making the leap, there are 3 things you should know before considering home automation.
Home automation is, of course, expensive at the start, after all you will likely have to either upgrade a lot of appliances to models able to accommodate automation, and you will probably have to get some other technology installed to go along with it. Things like locks, window shades, doors, etc., may need to be upgraded. That being said, you should not be too overly concerned with cost. If you’re wondering why, the answer is quite simple, home automation gives you a huge amount of control over how much energy you use in your home. The money spent upgrading your home will likely be balanced out in the long run by savings in your monthly energy bill.
For example, everyone loves coming to a cool house in the summer. The current method for keeping your house cool while you aren’t there is to either leave all the windows open, or to keep the air conditioning running all day. Neither of these options is energy efficient and both are bad for your wallet. With automated home cooling, you can turn on the air conditioning while making your way home, that way you walk into a cool home. Even better is the fact that you can program everything so you do not have to control anything yourself. For example, you could program your air conditioning so that it turns off when you leave, and turns at the time you usually leave work.
But of course, everyone has different budgets and different amounts of money they are willing to spend. If after doing the math, you think home automation is not right for you, that’s okay, but always keep in mind that in the long run, you are likely to save money.
Automation, especially if you are not familiar with the technology behind it, can be a pretty major lifestyle change that requires you to learn how to use a bunch of new technology in a rather short amount of time. It can be overwhelming for some. Do not underestimate the difficulty of automating large parts of your home in one go. But that does not mean that you should avoid automation all together. Instead, what you should do is pick one small part of your house (say your air conditioning) and choose to only automate that part. Once you are comfortable with using automated technology, you can begin automating other parts of your house as you see fit. An additional bonus to doing this method, is that if you find you do not like using automated technology, than it is very easy to go back to your old non-automated system (you also will not be stuck with a bill for having your entire house automated).
That being said, home automation technology is relatively easy to use, even if you are the type of person who is not comfortable with technology or computers. Most people will have relatively no trouble getting used to home automation.
Before making the leap into home automation you should consider who will actually be using these new automated systems and how often they will be used. For example, if you plan to let your kids use these new systems, you are going to want to sit them down and teach them how to properly use the systems. You are also going to want to make sure that you get systems that can easily be used by kids; try looking at reviews to see which systems are best for children. You want to avoid getting an overly complicated system that your kids will not understand.
Another important factor to be considered is how often the system will actually be used. Home automation is expensive, and while it will likely save money in the long run, there is no point wasting the money in the first place if you do not actually plan to use the automated system. For example, automated stereos and music systems are great additions to a house and are great for parties; but if you do not listen to music regularly, it’s a pretty big waste of money. When you first look at all the things in your home that can be automated, it can be tempting to run wild, but it is important to seriously sit down and consider what systems you actually use on a regular basis and choose to automate those. For most homeowners, the basics (lighting, air conditioning/heating, etc.) are what should be automated as that is the best way to get the most “bang for your buck.”
There you have it, 3 things you should know before considering home automation. While these may not be the most groundbreaking revelations in the world, they are things that tend to be overlooked by homeowners taking that first plunge into the world of home automation. Home automation is a great way to make your life easier, save some money, and gain greater peace of mind, but it is also a big decision that needs to be given a good amount of thought.