The Dos and Don’ts of Home Automation

Home automation is a hot new trend many homeowners are jumping on.  If you aren’t familiar, home automation is the electronic control of devices within your home.  These devices can often be controlled through an app or Bluetooth, so even when you are not home, you can still do things like turn on the heater or make sure the lights are turned off.

If home automation is new to you and you aren’t sure where to start, here are some dos and don’ts to get you started.

DO start with the basics – This new world of home automation can be overwhelming.  It’s okay to start small and slowly upgrade the rest of your home.  Maybe start by buying Google Home or an Alexa.  They’re not terribly expensive, and they are an excellent intro to home automation.  From there, you can move on to a smart home security system.  As you purchase more items, it’s important to ensure that each system is compatible with each other and your home.

DON’T buy anything without researching – There are so many different systems that seem to be very similar.  Make sure you take the time to investigate what each system offers, how much it costs, how user-friendly it is, and how challenging it is to install.

DO make sure your connection is secure – If you are planning to get a home smart lock, or any type of smart security system, you need to make sure your internet is secure and not able to be hacked.  It’s wise to invest in a Firewall to protect your home from external threats like hackers.  You should also make sure that your passwords for anything home automation-related are strong and not the same as your regular default passwords.   It is scary to think about, but a hacker can enter your home if your connection is not secure.  Having a Firewall will help to prevent that from happening.

DON’T spend a fortune – Home automation doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg.  There are plenty of systems that can be purchased for under $200 and are easy to install yourself, so you can even skip the installation fees. In our experience, the more expensive the system, the more complicated it gets also. So if you aren’t incredibly tech savvy and you’re new to the home automation scene, save yourself the unneeded stress of an overly-complicated system that is far beyond anything you really need. There are many options out there that will cover the basic functions to get you started, are relatively simple to learn, and won’t break the bank. 

DO consider getting a smart thermostat.  Smart thermostats sounded so unnecessary at first, but once we investigated them, we found that they are pretty neat.  Having a smart thermostat provides you with the ability to control your home’s temperature through your phone. This can be huge in the middle of a scorching hot summer.  Perhaps the most important factor to consider here, is that when you have one, you will always come home to a comfortable home. And the best part is you can save money with the ability to monitor this from anywhere, because it is likely that your energy usage will go down. That is pretty sweet! 

DON’T be afraid to ask for expert advice – home automation is relatively new, and there are so many different options.  Its goal is to make life easier but getting to that point can take a while if you aren’t sure where to begin.  Don’t hesitate to ask the salesperson at your local electronics store for help.  You can also search online for home automation experts in your area who can guide you through the process.

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