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March 26, 2015 • Real Estate History

How Smart Is Your Home?

If you believe the term “Smart Home” refers to the amount of college degrees in your household, please, please read on! If you have an idea of what “Smart Home” is, read on anyway, and find out more!

To put it simply, the term Smart Home or Home Automation refers to the method and technologies that integrate your home’s electrical devices with each other, to be centrally operated by a control panel, or even remotely via your smartphone.

If you really think about it, automation of household activities and chores has been around for a while. We are no longer walking down to the river with a basket of dirty clothes to rinse them out, and hang them on cloth lines — washing machines and dryers do that work for us. To bathe, we no longer need to heat up pots upon pots of water to dump them into a bath — water heaters significantly reduce the time it takes for us to take a bath or a shower. Sophisticated alarm systems have replaced angry dogs as effective methods of security and intrusion prevention, so that our four-legged protectors can nap by the fireplace and get petted instead of holding vigilant guard duty. Home automation is simply the next step, using Information Technology and the Internet to further simplify our household tasks.

How Does it Work?

Without getting into the technical details of computers, the concept is quite simple. Instead of having every light switch, thermostat and garage door wired to their separate appliances, everything in the home is connected to a computer, that is, in turn, connected to you via a control panel, tablet, or smartphone. From these display outlets, you can control your home’s lights, automatic doors, alarms, HVAC. If you go on to integrate more devices into the home automation system, you can even control TVs, water faucets, water heater, washing machines, stoves, smoke detectors, and even your pets’ automatic feeders.

Why Do I Need It?

In addition to it being extremely convenient and impressive to control every appliance in your home from the palm of your hand, home automation can also save you money, and provide increased safety. Ever leave for a business trip or vacation and forget to adjust the HVAC, or leave some lights on? A cold spell in the middle of winter or a heat wave in the summer while you are away could spell a hefty and unexpected electric bill when you return. A simple tap of a screen on your phone can take care of that issue remotely. What about forgetting to turn off your gas or electric range? Now you don’t have to rush home from work to avoid a fire… simply turn it off remotely. If the system is tied in with your smoke detectors, a detected fire can automatically turn off all audio and home theater components and turn on lights to alert you and your family to possible danger.

If you have not yet considered Home Automation, give it a shot during your next home improvement project. It may save you money in the long run and make home operations smoother and more convenient!


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