By Trisha Cook
Convenience, security, savings; These are just a few of the benefits of upgrading your home with smart technology. From your garage door to your air conditioning, it’s incredible what we can control with the click of a button from our smart phones. Check out some of these options for boosting your home’s efficiency and living a more “connected” lifestyle.
1. Video Doorbell
Photo from Ring.com
A doorbell, motion sensor, security camera and two-way intercom all bundled into one tiny gadget for your front door. Every time the button is pushed or motion is detected in the area, you receive an automatic alert to your cell phone. From there, you can view a live video recording of what’s happening at your front door and even speak to your visitor. Protect your family and your packages for under $200 with Ring or SkyBell, two of our top picks for video doorbells.
2. Smart Thermostat
Photo from Nest.com
On average, your thermostat controls half of your electricity bill. One of the easiest ways to cut back on energy cost is by switching to a programmable thermostat. The Nest Learning Thermostat goes above and beyond your typical programmable thermostat, however. It requires a super simple installation and after only one week of normal use, Nest adapts to your lifestyle & ideal temperatures and then actually programs itself to save you the big bucks on heating and cooling.
3. Smart Water Heater
Control heat cycling and track usage from an app on your smart phone–and the best part? You don’t have to go out and spend thousands to install an entirely new water heater. Aquanta is a retrofittable water heater controller that allows you to heat your water only when you need it. It also tracks available hot water and can send maintenance alerts. It features “Nest-like” learning automation in that it tracks your usage patterns and adjusts itself accordingly.
4. Smart Fridge
Photos from Samsung.com
Creating grocery lists, coordinating schedules and watching your favorite movie are just a few of the things your refrigerator can do when you own the Samsung Family Hub. Yep, you read that right. With an oversized exterior touch screen and an interior camera, you can see inside your refrigerator without ever having to open the door. Create shopping lists, organize your calendar, set notifications, play music and even mirror your Samsung TV. We could go on and on…but you really just have to see it to believe it.