How would you like your refrigerator to alert you when you’re running low on your favorite foods? Or tell you who’s ringing your doorbell? With smart home technology, all of these scenarios are possible. If you’re interested in investing in this type of technology, it’s important to be aware of the pros and cons. Read on to learn more — and to find out if home automation is right for you.
Pros of Smart Home Technology
- Convenience: Smart homes are undoubtedly more convenient than conventional ones. All systems can be automated and integrated to meet your specific needs, whether that’s turning up the thermostat before you come home in the evenings or synching media devices in various rooms.
- Energy savings: Smart homes deliver energy savings in two ways. First, you can program climate and lighting controls according to your usage. In addition, according to SmartGrid.gov, smart appliances can avoid using energy during peak demand times by responding to signals from utility companies.
- Safety: Smart homes have advanced home security systems with a variety of cameras, motion sensors and other advanced features that can be monitored remotely either by the homeowner, a home security company or the police department.
- Accessibility: As SFGate points out, smart homes can offer a great solution for disabled or elderly people since they can be equipped with accessibility features such as voice-command systems that can lock exterior doors, control lights and even operate a computer.
- Increased home value: A home with smart features can draw a higher selling price. According to the National Association of Realtors, consumers are willing to pay more for a home with features such as smart security, climate control, appliances and entertainment.
- Insurance incentives: Some insurers may offer a discount for the use of smart devices, so it’s best to check with your agent to learn more.
Cons of Smart Home Technology
- Initial investment: Compared to regular home technology, smart home technology requires a higher investment.
- Power surges: According to the Insurance Information Institute, you need to ensure your home is adequately protected against power surges.
- Compatibility: There are several smart home technology manufacturers, and not all of their products are compatible. Depending on your own tech savviness, you might need to employ a professional to create a system where all devices work seamlessly together.
- Vulnerability to Internet outages: If your Internet goes down, most smart systems and devices have some form of backup that enable them to keep working. However, you might run the risk of losing some of your smart devices’ more advanced functionalities until connectivity is restored.
All things considered, smart home technology offers significant advantages while still having some drawbacks. As the technology matures and advances, it’s likely that manufacturers will be able to mitigate the drawbacks, making smart home technology easier and safer to deploy. And with the current speed of technological advancement, that time could be sooner rather than later.