If you’re of a certain age, you probably grew up watching This Old House with Bob Vila (or perhaps you remember your dad watching it on Sunday mornings). If so, you probably recall how much effort it can take to bring an old home up to modern standards. Perhaps you’re now experiencing that yourself as a new homeowner. When it comes to replacing old, out-of-date plumbing or electrical fixtures, there’s often no way around it. And yet, you may be surprised at how easy it is to transform an old home into a “Smart” home. You may just want to try it yourself. Here are simple ways that you can modernize your living space today.
Home Automation Systems
If you have a wireless router and a smartphone, you’re just a couple of steps away from having a “Smart” 21st century house. One way to drastically transform your old home, improve its usability, and enhance its functionality is with home automation products. In combination with each other, these products can work together to create a home that is not only smarter, but easier to live with as well. Home automation systems, like those offered by ADT, allow you to remotely control your house using your smartphone, automate many of your house’s daily functions, and enjoy greater peace of mind thanks to improved security measures. In plain terms, your home will simply function better than ever before.
A “Smart” home will self-regulate its temperature and energy output, allow you to remotely control things like lights and appliances, enable you to lock and unlock doors from your phone, and make it possible to actively monitor your property with small, indiscreet security cameras. A Smart home will also allow you to create custom settings, receive alerts on your phone, and activate or deactivate the system whenever you feel like it. As the name implies, these systems – which consist of a suite of different products working in conjunction with each other through a connected wireless network – are designed to automate your life. In other words, they let your house work for you rather than the other way around.
Smart Media Centers
One area of the home that has seen dramatic changes in the past decade is the living room – specifically the home media center. Gone are cable boxes, large stereos, and bulky surround sound systems. In their place are small, mobile, flexible entertainment solutions. Wireless speakers are making traditional surround sound systems obsolete, Pandora is replacing music catalogs, and streaming devices like the Apple TV and Roku have all but killed traditional cable television. With Netflix and Hulu now commonplace in households across America and the world, people can watch what they want, when they want, right from their smartphone, television, tablet, laptop, or set top box.
Smart routers are also starting to make their way into the home, which makes sense when you realize that wireless routers are about as ubiquitous as televisions these days (and perhaps even more important). Devices like Google Home and Amazon Echo are set to transform the way that you interact with your media devices, which in turn, will change the way that you interact with your home. Think about it: Is talking to your W-iFi router really any different than talking to your house? From your perspective, they might as well be the same thing. Once your house starts talking, how much smarter can it get?
It isn’t just the living room that is seeing an influx in smart technology. Though Smart TVs with curved 4K displays certainly might be more glamorous, smart washing machines, smart dishwashers, and smart refrigerators – like those offered by Samsung and LG – are certainly no less useful or helpful around the house. Imagine being able to check the contents of your fridge while shopping at the grocery store. Or being able to run a load of wash while at work, right from your phone. Or perhaps you simply want a dishwasher that is smart enough to know how full it is, and use water accordingly. That is what today’s smart appliances promise. Like their digital cousins, home automation systems and smart media devices, they are designed to make your life easier and more enjoyable.
Setting Up a Smart Home is Surprisingly Idiot-proof
Smart appliances, home automation systems, and multimedia devices work because they are connected. Thanks to the modern wireless router and the proliferation of the smartphone, the long-promised Internet of Things is finally a reality. It is now possible to “talk” to your refrigerator right from your phone. And though your first reaction to that might be of dismay, once you experience the many real-world benefits this technology can provide, you will be a believer. And you don’t need a new home to take advantage of this technology either. If you have a wireless router in your home, then you have a Smart home in waiting! Why not give your old house an IQ boost, and turn it into a Smart home?