For those of us who are lucky enough to have owned homes for a while, it is definitely worth considering some “smart” technologies to upgrade your home system functionalities. Smart technology can save water, save electricity, save gas, and overall reduce your home’s energy consumption and ecological footprint.
First, I recommend swapping out the old thermostat for a new smart design. There are several on the market but personally I love Nest. The thermostat is sleek, elegant and intelligent. You can precisely control your house’s climate either manually or via the simple app which you can access on your phone, ipad or computer. You can also create a custom schedule for your Nest thermostat, so that you can start the a/c or the heater 30 minutes before you get home to cool or heat your house as needed. The thermostat also has the ability to “learn” from your prior selections and senses when you are home due to motion near the thermostat. The thermostat costs only about $250 and takes very little time/effort to install.
How about watering your outdoor landscape? In California, with our endless drought situation, saving water is a huge imperative. The old controller for sprinklers had no ability to sense if it was raining, could not be fine-tuned at all for quantity of water, and had to be controlled directly at the source. Check out Rachio, the smart water irrigation control unit. Rachio controls your outdoor landscape irrigation usage in three ways: 1. by monitoring weather patterns and reducing/eliminating cycles of watering if there is rain; 2. by adapting to varying climate needs during the year; 3. by eliminating/reducing water runoff by running shorter more frequent cycles to allow water to soak and penetrate into the ground. As with Nest, Rachio can be completely controlled remotely – no more trudging outside while its raining to turn the sprinklers off. Rachio has also developed next generation software to work together with other home functionalities including Nest and Alarm.com
Can’t get to the front door but want to know who’s knocking? A variety of cool devices have recently hit the market including one of my favorites: Ring Pro. This ultra-cool doorbell has a built-in camera/video function and microphone so that you can literally “see” who is knocking and respond to them. You don’t even have to be home to respond to Ring. The UPS delivery person can ring your bell and you can tell them to leave the package at the door, while you are actually sitting in your office, or on a beach in Hawaii or Mexico.
The Ring Pro camera can also be setup to monitor various Motion Zones which are also helpful as a deterrent which you can use in conjunction with an alarm system for your house.
In Part II, I will touch base on other “smart home technologies” including the latest in light bulbs, smoke detectors, cameras/alarm systems, and more. Pretty much every aspect of our home can be made more efficient and versatile with the use of these technologies.
As a residential realtor in Los Angeles, I am seeing more and more incorporating of smart technologies in homes for sale, especially remodels and new construction. Buyers are expecting more convenience and efficiency.
If you have any questions regarding any of the above, feel free to email me at natalie @architecture8.com