These days, you can access virtually anything from your smart phone. Your home is no exception. While our homes aren’t (yet) the futuristic “smart homes” that movies predicted, we do have some pretty smart capabilities that are making life easier and our monthly bills lower.
Here are our top picks for home connectivity:
This is possibly the only smart home feature that ends up paying for itself and saves you money as an end result.
Though a little more expensive up front, a smart thermostat learns your home and your family’s habits, and automatically adjusts the temperature of your house according to your usual preferences.
If you lower the temperature every night before bed, it will start doing that for you. If you raise the temperature every day when you get back from work, it will start doing that for you.
And—everyone’s favorite feature—if you’re away on a trip and have your system off of your most comfortable temperature, you can connect to the thermostat from your phone and set it to return to your optimal temperature before you pull in the driveway.
An Inter-Connected Security System
Security systems are no exception to the connectivity era!
Programs like SimpliSafe and Nest allow homeowners to enable and disable their homes both physically and through an app on their phones, and they’re even able to watch suspicious activity from their phones through cameras that are only active when the security system is armed.
Some systems even offer carbon dioxide and smoke detectors, to really complete your home monitoring.
What’s a wi-fi outlet, you ask? It looks like a surge protector, but allows you to control anything that’s plugged into it through an app or through your smart home hub (see next section).
These are useful for making certain things voice-command enabled or for turning things off or on while you’re away from home. Take lamps, for example.
If you have lamps plugged into a wi-fi outlet, you can say “Alexa, turn on my bedroom light,” or even turn on your living room lights from an app when you’re away on vacation.
Smart Home Hub
Many of these products come with their own individual smart phone apps, so you’re able to control each individually.
But it’s wise to make sure that every product you buy has the ability to connect to a smart home hub, such as Amazon Alexa, Google Home, or Samsung’s Connect Home.
Here’s a helpful guide to navigating which is best for you.
When you have one of these hubs, every “smart” product in your home becomes connected, voice-controlled, and accessible from your smart phone.
Seems like an easy choice, right?
If you’re ready to take the first (and easiest) step towards getting a smart home, call your friends at BNG Heating & Cooling. We’ve got the perfect wi-fi thermostat for you!
You may be thinking, “I haven’t had to worry about my thermostat in 20 years! It’s working just fine!”
While we’re proud that your current system has never given you trouble, we must warn you that thermostat function does deteriorate over time. Even if you’ve never noticed a glitch, older thermostats usually read and display your home temperature inaccurately.
And you’ve probably become accustomed to it!
Accuracy is Important!
If your family knows to translate 78° on your thermostat to really mean 70°, your system is probably not achieving optimal energy efficiency. Since, according to the Energy Information Administration, heating and cooling accounts for 42% of home energy costs, every degree of accuracy could save you money!
Even if you upgrade to a thermostat that has no extra features – without WiFi capabilities or a display screen or even programming options, you’ll still be saving money on your energy because you’ll have a more accurate understanding of the temperature and temperature changes in your home.
Take the Guesswork Out of the Equation
When you switch to a programmable thermostat, you no longer have to remember to set the temperature back when you leave for work or when you go to bed at night. You can program it to change the temperature, gradually, at the times of your day that don’t need extra warmth or cooling.
This is where properly installed insulation comes into play. When your home’s energy-saving infrastructure has been well-maintained, it will be able to keep a comfortable temperature without you constantly switching your heating or cooling on and off.
Improve Your System’s Efficiency Today
Have we inspired you? That’s great news!
Upgrading your thermostat is one of the least expensive ways to keep your energy bills in check, and – even better – BNG HVAC installs your new thermostat for free when you upgrade during your spring maintenance check!