Making Your Home Work For You

There’s no denying technology has changed the way we live over the last 30 years. On an entertainment level, it’s our ability to browse the internet, watch TV shows, and listen to music from our phones or tablets (I mean I still can’t get over being able to pause live sport, mind blown!) But technology is fast becoming an integral part of our everyday lives at home, too. Smart technologies can help make our homes more comfortable, more environmentally friendly and safer, helping us enjoy more quality time with friends and family. Here are some ways in which technology can help get the best from our homes.

Install Smart Thermostats and Heating and Cooling

In our old 1930s house we don’t even have a thermostat and half the radiators don’t work. Installing a smart thermostat is definitely part of our renovation plans. These tiny devices allow you to manage the temperature of your home without any manual adjustments. They can be set up according to our lifestyles so that every time you come back home, the temperature inside will be comfortable for you.

They also learn heating patterns and adjust accordingly without intervention from homeowners that can lead to unnecessary wastage of electricity and money. It’s meant to be the best sleeping environment to sleep in a cooler room, but during the day we may want it warmer – these are the type of patterns that smart thermostats can learn to help save money and energy. With greater emphasis on the environment and future-proofing our homes, this comes in handy in potentially enhancing your property resale value.

Get a Video Doorbell

This is definitely on our list of home improvements – our doorbell is a fake 1930’s bell that grinds when someone rings it, not ideal. Pete is also very safety-conscious and a video doorbell lets you see who’s at your front door even when you aren’t at home. Our next door neighbour has one and she answers it via her phone from the bottom of the garden. There’s now quite a range in both style and colour so it’s never been easier to find the perfect match for your home.

Currently we have a camera just above our front door which is connected to our phones – it can’t answer the door in the way a video doorbell can but it least gives reassurance that we can spot comings and goings, and definitely acts as a deterrent to any would-be intruders.

Install Smart Light Switches

Most of our table or floor lamps are on smart light switches with timers. We love the security of lights turning on and off even when we’re not here to make it look as though the house is always occupied. Plus, when we are both in the office I’m always first home, it feels safer coming home to some lights on in winter rather than a pitch black house. We also have them set up to activate via our phones, so if it’s a darker day we can easily turn them on.

Fit A Smart Home Security System

There’s no compensation for peace of mind and a smart home security system offers complete protection for our homes. It can be easily controlled via a mobile device allowing us to see what’s happening nearby in real-time. We have a camera just above our front door facing out onto the street and the cameras installed detect even the slightest movement, even a nighttime cat or fox on the prowl. They send alerts directly to our phone which is helpful, and it would be great to have the same coverage throughout our home to know that it’s completely safe.  

A smart home security system offers the ability to quickly set the right environment inside your home through lighting, temperature, music and TV and you can also monitor your pets with a few cameras installed at strategic locations in the house. We even have a smart cat flap so we can control when it locks and unlocks, keeping Boo safe.

Technological advancement means that smart homes are a fast-growing industry with enhanced innovation and new products being introduced to the market every day. Whilst some of it may feel a little extreme or daunting, start small and think about what would add value to your every day lives (imagine getting in to a nice warm home in winter rather than having to wait for it to heat up once you’re home). Also consider that you can often get a much better deal on home insurance if you have increased security. If you’re worried about investing, perhaps talk to a property expert before making changes. No matter what though, never underestimate the importance of feeling safe and comfortable in your home.

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