3 Easy Ways to Make Your House a Smart Home
Any house can be made into a smart home. By adding just a few devices here and there, you can improve the energy efficiency, comfort, safety and convenience of your home.
In our latest YouTube video, we take a virtual journey through a home and showcase how smart home devices – like a smart speaker, smart lighting or a smart thermostat – can be used to make your life easier.
Let’s look at a few tips from the video on getting started with smart home tech:
1. “Hey, smart speaker. Set the thermostat to away mode.”
If you’re just getting started with smart home technology, a smart first step is the smart speaker. This device can serve as a hub for your other devices and allow you to control your smart thermostat, smart TV, smart garage door or other devices with your voice. It can also enable you to play music, ask a question, set reminders and more.
While there are many smart speakers out there today, Amazon, Google and Apple make the most popular models. If you already have some smart devices, you want to make sure they’re compatible with whatever smart speaker you buy. If not, do your research and see which one has the features that are most important to you.
2. Add some smart plugs, outlets and/or power strips to your home
With your smart speaker set up, an easy next step would be to add smart outlets, plugs and power strips to your home to make some of your “dumb” appliances smart. For example, your lamp or coffeemaker can be plugged into a smart outlet plug and then monitored and controlled through your smartphone or smart speaker.
Fortunately, smart outlets and plugs are very affordable: A two-pack of the highly rated Kasa smart outlet is available on Amazon for only $15. If you prefer a smart power strip with space for even more devices, a popular model can still be found for around $50. Not a bad investment for something that can help cut back your energy usage and improve convenience.
3. Install a smart thermostat to take control of heating and cooling
Finally, a smart thermostat is one of the best bets for lowering your energy usage. These devices can deliver annual savings of 15 percent or more on heating and cooling, and since this is a major area of the average home’s energy consumption, they can save potentially save you hundreds of dollars per year (depending on home size, behaviors and other factors).
Today, smart thermostats are no longer the luxury device that they were five to 10 years ago, and there’s a whole range of options depending on your budget and desired features. Many power companies also offer rebates to help their customers access these energy-saving devices, so if you’re considering one, it’s worth it to check to see what your power company offers.
No longer futuristic luxuries, smart home devices are now much more affordable and accessible and can deliver many benefits to you. Check out our new Automating the Smart Home video now on YouTube to learn more.