Programmable timers, computers and processors enable homeowners to operate a variety of appliances and systems, such as coffee pots, HVAC units and sprinkler systems. While some devices are best incorporated during the construction period, you can integrate a wide array of new technologies into an existing home. Many of these innovative devices can be controlled wirelessly over the Internet with your computer, a tablet or mobile phone. This guide provides an overview of five ways that technology can make your home safer and smarter.
Wireless Detectors for Environmental Hazards
Homeowners can use wireless smoke detectors equipped with heat and smoke sensors that operate with lithium batteries. These detectors are easier to install because you do not have to wire the equipment into your home’s electrical system. Some devices have a pre-freeze detector that triggers an alarm when the ambient temperature falls below 41˚ degrees Fahrenheit. Homes can also be equipped with monitors that detect carbon monoxide and gas leaks.
Home Monitoring Systems
Advances in automation now enable homes to monitor themselves. Automated security systems protect and secure your home by notifying authorities if someone breaks in. When coupled with video surveillance, the system can provide the evidence required to identify and convict the perpetrator. Some programs enable you to access your home monitoring system cameras and have a video feed sent to your smart phone or tablet. These systems work 24 hours whether someone is home or not, which ensures that your property is always protected.
Programmable Lights and Thermostats
As the seasons transition, certain regions of the country can experience significant temperature fluctuations throughout the day. New programmable thermostats can automatically adjust the temperature in your home based on environmental conditions as well as your lifestyle. These smart thermostats use weather forecasts to raise or lower the temperature as needed. Homeowners can also save money by programming exterior security lights to turn off at sunrise. By scheduling some of your interior lights to come on at dusk, you can make your house a less inviting target even when you are not home. Another way to conserve energy is to program the system to activate your dishwasher or washing machine when the electric rates are lower.
Keyless Entry for Controlling Access
Keyless entry systems prevent burglars from picking the lock. These systems require the use of a key card, a pin code or a combination of the two in order to open the door. Many systems have advanced features that enable homeowners to provide access to out-of-town guests or other authorized individuals by controlling the lock over a wireless connection.
Smart Televisions for Customizing, Limiting and Monitoring Programs
Smart televisions enable you to schedule recordings when you are not home. You can typically access your entertainment system through a smart phone or tablet app. It may be possible to transfer the recording to the cloud and watch the program at another location. Smart televisions can provide a record of viewing history while enabling parents to control access with pin codes.