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What Is a Smart Home?

In a nutshell, it's a home that provides everything from comfort and security to energy efficiency and certain conveniences at all time – even when nobody is at home. And it doesn't have to be an entirely new home. It's possible to turn your existing home into one that's considered "smart" if you make the right additions and upgrades.

Widespread Connectivity

One of the most appealing things about a smart home for many homeowners is the way various electronics are connected. Not only are appliances, lighting systems, heating and AC systems, televisions, security devices, and entertainment systems linked together, they're also capable of communicating. For instance, refrigerators, toasters, dishwashers, and washing machines can be linked to a smart grid power source to automatically optimize power use at various times of day and night.

Customized Options Right for Your Needs

There's no such thing as a one-size-fits-all smart home. You can have a smart home that's totally different from one that one of your neighbors may have. Smart home features include, but certainly aren't limited to, the following possibilities:

  • HVAC systems with time and parameter-based functions
  • Whole-house music and other personalized entertainment features
  • Motion detected or voice-activated lighting
  • System status updates to errors can be detected and corrected
  • Remote appliance turn on/off features
  • Alarm clock functionality to help you wake up

Instant Home Access

Another element that's part of a smart home is the ability to control various devices and systems remotely, usually with apps accessible via mobile devices or through specially designed remotes. It's also common for smart home features, such as temperature settings for individual rooms or home lighting, to be accessible from any Internet-connected device from any location.

Much-Appreciated Savings

A smart home benefit often cited is the ability to enjoy long-term savings. This is usually possible since temperatures in your home can be monitored, controlled, and adjusted so that you're not heating empty or sun-filled rooms when it's not necessary to do so. There are also smart home systems that will provide alerts if there are unusual energy use spikes so potential problems can be identified sooner rather than later.

Improved Peace of Mind

Smart homes also have safety and security features designed to make you both comfortable and secure in many ways. With some smart security systems, for example, you can get alerts when somebody is at your door or when there is motion detected around certain areas of your home. Some smart homes also improve peace of mind by:

  • Automatically contacting emergency services if a gas leak or fire is detected when nobody is at homev
  • Recording footage from both interior and exterior cameras
  • Letting you know if energy usage is spiking for no apparent reason

Convenience of a Smart Home

What's also good about smart homes is the ability to make updates as technology changes. This is often possible since popular systems are typically designed in a way that individual components can be updated without affecting what's already in place. This means a smart home isn't likely to become obsolete since adjustments can be made as technology improves and advances. Lastly, you don't have to complete a smart home all at once. You can pick and choose the smart features that are most important to you and add other capabilities later.

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