For many, summer vacation is just around the corner. As you begin preparing to head to the beach, drive cross-country, or embark on a European adventure, be sure to take your home with you. Of course a home can’t literally travel; however, with today’s smart home technology, you can check the status of your home and manage a variety of setting from nearly any location.
Most Burglaries Could Have Been Prevented
Every summer, about half of U.S. citizens go on summer vacations—meaning there are plenty of vacant houses; whether it’s for days or several weeks. With the popularity of social media networking sites, like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, it’s common for nearly everyone to announce a check-in at a location, upload a photo, etc. But when these same things are done while out of town, it’s the equivalent of shouting, “Hey, I’m not home right now. I’m having the time of my life. Again, no one is home.”
According to the FBI, many neighborhoods will see a spike in home burglaries (of up to 18 percent) in both July and August. Sadly, most break-ins could have been avoided…the right safety procedures just have to be taken.
How Smart Homes Work
Smart homes operate using Z-Wave technology. It integrates lights, appliances, the thermostat, etc. together under a central communication center. You no longer have to manually do things like turn off the lights, adjust the thermostat or turn off an appliance. Smart homes use a simple to use interface, where these can all be done with the press of a button. All that’s needed is an app and a compatible Internet-enabled smartphone, tablet or computer.
It feels like magic, but it’s really a new, better way to manage your home. The benefits of having a smart home include having remote home access/control (which provides better home security) and increasing your overall energy efficiency.
Remote Home Functions
While out of town, you don’t want your house to look unattended. A house with its lights off at all hours, has an overgrown lawn and also has multiple newspapers on the lawn is a dead giveaway that no one is home. Remote home control allows the management of: lights, appliances, door locks, garage doors and thermostats. You can manage what lights turn on at certain times, lock & unlock doors remotely, close or open the garage door—all while you are away.
It’s a great feature to have, especially for all the times that you forget or are concerned about pesky ole light left on, a door that wasn’t locked, or a garage door that wasn’t closed.
Smart Home Energy Efficiency
The cost to heat, cool and light a home has drastically gone up in the last decade. In the last three years, utility bills have increased by 37 percent. And if you own a home that was built after 2000, your home consumes 2 percent more energy than homes built prior to 2000.
The above-mentioned remote home functions provide an easy way to reduce how much energy is used. For example, a ceiling fan left on high will tackle on about $35 annually; leaving a light bulb on throughout the night cost another $21. Having the remote ability to turn lights and appliances from any location makes it easy to scale back and be more energy-efficient.