Smart homes utilize automation technology giving homeowners a new level of control. It sounds great, but what about the downside? We will explore the advantages and disadvantages to home automation and let you decide.
A tremendous advantage to having smart home technology is managing it all on one device. Cell phones allow remote access to home functions. Users can adjust heating and cooling systems, lighting, intercoms and multimedia throughout the home from anywhere. If you forgot to turn off the iron, you don’t have to make a trip back home.
Disabled or older residents of a home can utilize home automation accessibility technologies. Voice-command systems can control lights, lock doors, change the temperature and even schedule tasks such as watering the lawn or turning on the coffee pot.
Home security is maximized with smart home technology. Smart home security systems can be activated from anywhere. They usually include cameras which can be monitored at any time and sensors linked to the local police station or a private security company. Also, conventional door locks are being replaced by key cards and fingerprint identification, making it harder to break in. Worried about your kids, pets or aging parents, video monitoring makes it easy to keep an eye on them.
Increased energy efficiency
With home appliances, lighting and thermostats being automated, give homeowners the ability to monitor and adjust while they are away. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) points out heating and cooling consume more energy than any other appliance in the home. Smart thermostats allow homeowners to pre-program temperatures based on the time of day and the day of the week.
“Some home insurance companies offer smart home discounts for qualifying devices such as smart thermostats, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and security systems,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance.
Reliable internet connection is crucial to automate your home. If the internet goes down, so does all your smart home programming. Make sure there is manual operation for all your smart home technology in case of an outage.
Unfortunately, like many things on the internet, smart home technology can be hacked. Home security systems lacking encryption are vulnerable to hacking.
PC Mag reports, “Hackers can sit outside your home and use a laptop and software to intercept wireless signals coming from your system that allow them to suppress alarms and disable sensors. Other devices allow hackers to generate radio noise that can jam communications between the sensors and the hub. Additionally, devices that connect via Wi-Fi, such as security cameras and smart door locks, can be hacked to gain access to your home network.”
Automating your home is an investment. Not only do you have to purchase the systems, but often smart switches or smart outlets are required as well.