Top Smart Home Tech for Convenience and Comfort
The latest smart home technology for heating, cooling and plumbing makes it even easier to stay on top of your energy usage. It’s also a great way to balance your family’s comfort with lower energy bills.
The best part is that there isn’t much work required on your end. And you can monitor your home and make adjustments from just about anywhere with your phone. Many of these devices can be integrated with existing smart home automation systems, or you can use them on their own.
Here are four of the must-have smart home technologies for convenience, comfort and savings.
The average American family spends about $2,060 on energy bills each year, according to ENERGY STAR®. A programmable thermostat with energy-efficient scheduling can help lower those costs, but a study from Energy Research and Social Science showed most people surveyed didn’t know how to set them.
Smart thermostats take the guesswork out of keeping your home comfortable at an energy-efficient temperature. Most have learning capabilities, which pick up on your desired temperatures and schedule to create a custom program. You’ll only have to set it a couple of times, and then you can forget it, because most thermostats work with your phone to know when you’re at home or away.
Independent studies from Nest, a popular smart thermostat manufacturer, show these devices could help you save around $145 on utilities each year. Combined with ENERGY STAR® rebates that are often available from your local utility company, installing one won’t cost you much at all, especially when you consider the long-term savings.
Smart Home Vents
Smart home vents are a great complement to your smart thermostat. These vents are a less expensive version of a zoning system, which allows you to fine-tune your home’s comfort room by room. The only difference is that smart home vents replace your typical vent covers and can be controlled via your phone.
Sensors know when a room is occupied, and the motorized covers make it easy to adjust vents in hard-to-reach places. That way, you can have the temperature just how you like it.
Smart Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Carbon monoxide poisoning is entirely preventable, yet the CDC says it still kills hundreds of Americans every year. You can’t see it, smell it or taste it, but this toxic gas can make you very sick or kill you if enough of it builds up in your home. This typically happens when a gas appliance, like a furnace, isn’t working properly. Or when fumes from an attached garage spill into your home.
That’s why it’s so important to have one of these detectors on every floor in your home, including outside bedrooms. That way, you can hear the alarm if it goes off while you’re sleeping.
If you’re ever heard a carbon monoxide detector go off, you know it’s a jarring sound. Smart carbon monoxide detectors, on the other hand, use a voice or phone notification to tell you exactly where the problem is. And you can mute it with a tap of your phone.
You also won’t have to deal with any annoying chirps at 3 a.m., because the detector will send you a notification if its batteries are getting low.
Smart Water Shutoff Valves
A water leak can cause thousands of dollars of damage to your home. With a smart water shutoff valve, you’ll be able to monitor how much water you’re using and be alerted via phone when there’s a problem. The valve can automatically shut off the water if it detects an issue, saving you from a big and expensive mess. Some of the valves can also be used to provide similar protection on your home’s natural gas line.