Technology for the home has gone far beyond programmable thermostats. Of course, we’re preaching to the choir, as many Black Canyon Builders’ clients come to us with advanced ideas for incorporating tech into the home. If you’re not an “early adopter” by nature, here are five smart home technologies that are definitely worth considering for your new home.
1. Controlling temperature settings from your phone or computer. Yes, we already alluded to the programmable thermostat that has been around for decades. Updated versions with internet control access, allow you to make last minute changes to accommodate for a particularly cold (or hot) day or a change in your schedule. This is a particularly valuable tool for vacation homes in cold climates, where you may not be able to swing by during a cold snap.
2. Motion sensor or “tap to turn on” water faucets. Banish the thought of the public restroom hand-washing debacle of waving your hands wildly under the faucet in vain attempts get water out. The home models are far more sophisticated, better looking, and more reliable. We also tend to use less water with “tap on” faucets, and spread fewer germs – since you can tap with the side of your forearm, instead dirty hands.
3. Design. The goal of most smart home technology is efficiency – of use and of resources. Though it may not be Wi-fi based or need to be plugged in for power, the most energy efficient home begins with an energy efficient design. Plain and simple, and never to be over-ruled.
4. Automated water monitors. This is one of those things that you buy and never want to hear about it again. Here’s how they work. A plumber attaches the monitor to a primary water line. If the monitor detects a change in water flow, it will message you through an associated app. If you suspect a potential leak or frozen (or clogged) pipes, the system allows you to shut down your water remotely.
5. Just for fun. This could be a double edged sword, but it sounds pretty cool from the start. You can now connect with major appliances, like your refrigerator, stoves and washer/dryer. Some applications seem pretty far-fetched in practicality. Some are goofy, but may add a certain value. An internet connected fridge can play music or catch up on your latest Netflix binge (maybe??). Some companies are working on effective ways for a fridge to take a picture of the food inside and text it to you, answering the daily, family question, “Hey, do we need any milk?”
Of course, nearly everything can be automated now, too. From blinds, to electronics, to watering systems. Not every technology is new and certainly, not every technology will make a true positive contribution to your quality of life. But if you’ve ever been hounded by a particular home question (did I turn off the stove; did I leave the water on; can the refrigerator play Spotify), chances are there’s is now an app for that and it’s worthy of investigation.