Smart home technology has been a rising trend in the last decade with new and upgraded technology hitting the market every day. Upgrading your home with new tech can improve the quality of your life and help cut down on utility expenses. Many smart home upgrades are relatively affordable and most installments can be completed without the help of a professional. A recent survey reported that 77% of Americans would want a smart thermostat pre-installed in their home if they were to make a new home purchase in the next year. That same survey reported that 32% of Americans currently have smart home products installed. This is a 12% increase from last year.
The statistics show that not only is smart home tech rising in popularity, it’s also becoming more desirable for potential homebuyers. These statistics are a good indication that upgrading your home with new tech is a wise investment. Check out these smart home upgrades to make in 2019 to find out what your next investment will be.
Smart thermostats are currently the most desirable smart home upgrade to install. Smart thermostats have increased in popularity for a number of different reasons. The most common reason that this feature has become so popular is thanks to its ability to save you money. Smart thermostats are programmed to learn your schedule. This gives your thermostat the ability to optimize the ideal temperature in your home at all times. Once your smart thermostat has programmed your schedule, it will shut off when you leave the house and turn on before you return home so your house is always set to the ideal temperature. This feature will prevent you from worrying about constantly turning your thermostat on and off throughout the day to save electricity. It is estimated that smart thermostats can save anywhere from $131-$145 annually.
The cost of most smart thermostats is around $100-200. Meaning this upgrade will pay for itself at around the year mark. Having a smart thermostat can not only simplify your life and benefit your wallet. You’ll also be doing the environment a favor since smart thermostats help cut down on the amount of energy you use. If saving money, improved quality of life and green-living aren’t good enough reasons to install a smart thermostat, then maybe you’ll be sold on how incredible sleek and sophisticated they are.
Installing a smart lock on your home can prevent you from ever having to call a locksmith again. Or if you’re someone who has a hide-away key, you can officially say goodbye to that old fake rock. Fumbling for your keys in your pocket? Forget it, that’s a thing of the past if you install a smart lock on your home. Smart locks vary in features depending on which one you purchase. Some smart locks feature a keypad with a numbered code to access your home, whereas others function on wi-fi, automatically unlocking your home when you are within a certain range. This range is customizable to whatever distance fits your needs. If you opt for a keypad smart lock, you can change the access code and provide one-time access for guests when you are away from your home.
If you opt for a wi-fi enabled lock, like the August Smart Lock, you can also unlock your home remotely from your phone. These features are especially useful if you are in the process of selling your home. A smart lock will give your realtor around the clock access without ever having to provide them with a key. Although smart locks won’t cut down on your energy usage, there is a good chance you’ll qualify for an insurance discount. For example, August Smart Lock and Liberty Mutual offer a $100 discount on your August purchase and a 5% discount on their insurance policies.
Installing smart lighting, like a smart thermostat, can help cut down on energy costs by turning your home’s lights off when you are away. Smart lighting can give you peace of mind and prevent you from worrying about whether or not you turned your lights off after leaving your home. An added benefit is that they’re LED, so they’ll last for around twenty years, saving you money on replacing old bulbs. Smart lights have the ability to be dimmed, change colors and can be controlled remotely. This will allow you to turn your lights on from your bed in the morning and set them to the ideal hue, providing a relaxing morning routine. Some smart lights can also turn on automatically when you arrive home.
Although this feature seems trivial, coming home to a lit up house can help you feel more relaxed. Quality of lighting is something that most people don’t think about. Despite this fact, the quality of light that we experience throughout the day can have a direct influence on our moods and mental states. Smart lighting is one of the more luxurious smart home upgrades you can make. This is because many homeowners have multiple light bulbs throughout their house. But if your budget can afford it, it’s worth the investment.
Smart Smoke Detectors
Like smart locks, many smart smoke detectors can qualify you for an insurance discount. The main benefit of installing a smart smoke detector is the ability to be notified if you’re away from your home. Smart home upgrades, in general have the most to offer to users who are away from their homes frequently or for extended periods of time. In addition to knowing if there is a potential fire at your home when you’re away, you also have the ability to turn the alarm off from your phone. Say goodbye to the days of running over to your smoke alarm and frantically waving a kitchen a towel in front of it. If you’re alarm starts to go off and you know there’s no threat of a fire, simply turn the alarm off from your phone.
A smart smoke detector won’t change your day-to-day life as much as other smart home upgrades because you don’t interact with it regularly like you do your HVAC system, front door and lights. Despite this, it still has some helpful features that are worth checking out, especially if you’re already making the investment into other smart home products.
Technology has drastically changed the way that we live our lives and will continue to do so. With that being said, at some point, smart home features are likely to become standard appliances in most homes. If you’re thinking about selling your home in the near future, smart home upgrades can set your property apart from your competitors. If you’re not thinking about selling your home, smart home upgrades can still improve your quality of life and have the potential to save you money in the long run.
Smart home upgrades won’t be the most practical or relevant option for every homeowner. If you only work from home, there’s a chance that you won’t notice the benefits as much as someone who travels frequently or works long hours away from home. Each individual will have their own unique experience with smart home technology. Homeowners should consider their personal lifestyles as well as their budgets before making smart home upgrades.
About the author: The above article “Smart Updates to Make to Your Home in 2019” was written by Matt Edstrom, Chief Marketing Officer of GoodLife Home Loans. Matt completed his undergrad at MIT and his MBA at Northwestern University and has experience in real estate, marketing, and finance.