The concept of a smarthouse is a broad one. Some smarthome systems cost well over $1 million, and include such luxurious features as remote control of hot tubs and swimming pools. Lower end systems are available for just a few hundred dollars, and include access to security systems and sometimes door locks or lighting. If you’re considering a smarthome, what should your system include?
1. Remote Access to Appliances
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One of the greatest things about having a smarthome is never having to be late for plans because you had to run back home to make sure the iron, coffee pot, or stove was tuned off. Most smarthome systems allow the user to control these appliances remotely via a smartphone. Some also give you the ability to shut off running faucets, control the settings on the refrigerator or water heater, and even preheat the hot tub.
2. Remote Access to Security Features
Most homeowners realize the benefits of being able to turn on the security system remotely, in case you left in a hurry and forgot to set the alarm. But not everyone thinks of how convenient it is to be able to turn it off remotely. What if your neighbor needs to get in to tend to pets or plants? Maybe your grown children pop in unexpectedly while you’re away and need to get inside. Perhaps your trip gets delayed and a friend needs to bring in your mail. Make sure your system works remotely for arming as well as disarming the system.
3. Programmable Settings for Lights, Televisions, and Stereo Equipment
Remote control of lights, TV sets, and stereos is handy when you’re coming home late to an empty house. But programmable settings can make your home look and sound occupied for weeks at a time, even when nobody is around to turn things on and off at random. If you choose a www.bundle.tv it’s easy to set the system to control everything from the Wi-Fi to the TV and phone just as you would from home.
4. Remote and Programmable Thermostat Controls
Programmable thermostat controls are standard on most high-end smarthome systems. But it’s also convenient to have the ability to remote control it yourself. This comes in handy when the weather takes an unexpected turn, or when you find out you’ll be arriving home later or earlier than you expected. You don’t want to walk into a too cold or too hot house when you could easily set it to a comfortable temperature on your way home. Conversely, you don’t want to have to pay extra on the power bill if your return is delayed.
5. Video Surveillance Cameras for the Interior and Exterior
Exterior video surveillance is another common feature with smarthome systems, but including interior surveillance has multiple advantages. These make ideal baby monitoring systems, nanny cams, pet cams, as well as security systems. If the system has motion detectors, make sure that you can arm or disarm those remotely, as well. Some systems allow you to control the movement of the camera remotely, which is ideal if you’re trying to make sure you’re letting in the pest control technician, and not a burglar.
8. In-House Access to Lighting, Televisions and Stereo Equipment
Some features help you out even when you’re at home. A smarthome system that allows you to program lights, the coffee maker, and the TV or stereo to come on just before you wake up in the morning saves you time. If you spend five minutes going around the house and turning all this on each morning, in one year such a system could save you over 30 hours. These features are also perfect when you snuggle into bed and realize you left the TV on downstairs.
Expect to spend at least $2,500 on such a system, and be prepared for it to run into several thousand dollars as you add additional features. Don’t forget to offset these costs by taking advantage of your homeowner’s insurance company’s discounts for security features. Some security features can save homeowners several hundred dollars per year in premiums.