Smart devices have the power to automate many aspects of housekeeping. They can adjust your thermostat when you leave or activate the coffee maker before you wake up. Although home automation remained costly and complex for over two decades, this has begun to change. It’s possible to computerize housekeeping in at least seven remarkable ways.
1. Intelligent thermostats:
If you control your heating and cooling systems with a simple dial or keypad, you can easily forget important daily adjustments. This wastes energy and makes your home less comfortable. Smart units like the Nest Thermostat automatically change the temperature as you come and go.
2. Appliance management:
You can remotely connect or interrupt power to any device after plugging it into an outlet control unit, such as Belkin’s WeMo product. Modern outlet controllers let you activate appliances with a smartphone or turn them on at specific times. For instance, you could preheat the oven on your way home from a store.
3. Detecting problems:
It’s easy to overlook maintenance issues that put your health at risk. Certain home automation systems will warn you about dirty air filters, power outages or water leaks. SmartThings offers a moisture sensor that can call homeowners when it detects water under a pipe.
4. Intelligent lighting:
Automated outdoor lamps shine at night and turn off when the sun rises. Alternately, these fixtures can light up your driveway when they detect motion. This saves time, protects the home from burglars and reduces your electric bill. Smart indoor lights may also employ motion sensors to conserve power. Here are more intelligent lighting ideas.
5. Advanced protection:
The latest intelligent security systems use mobile phones to alert residents when they sense intruders, smoke or suspicious activity. For example, SmartThings sells a battery-powered sensor that transmits a signal when someone opens the front door. Sophisticated surveillance cameras deliver live video feeds to homeowners’ smartphones.
6. Tracking units:
Small battery-operated devices can track and report any object’s location. For instance, you could attach one to your dog’s collar and receive an alert if he escapes the property. Another option is to fight crime by connecting a tracking unit to a valuable item, such as a boat or stereo system.
7. Automatic locks:
If you don’t enjoy using keys in the rain, consider putting intelligent locks on your doors. You can control them with a smartphone app. This technology also comes in handy when you go to bed or leave home. It lets you instantly lock every door with the press of a button.
This is merely a small sample of the systems that you can use to automate daily housekeeping tasks. Other possibilities include activating an electric heater if the central heat fails or opening the door for a delivery when you’re away. Companies like Apple and Samsung are working to make even more options available in the near future.