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You’re getting ready to visit family and friends for the holidays. On your to-do list, aside from packing and wrapping presents, there’s setting aside time to water your outdoor plants, remembering to leave lights on (and try not to think about your future bills) or installing cumbersome light timers, and asking your neighbors to watch for any suspicious activity at your home. It’s a lot, but it doesn’t have to be.

With the rise and ubiquitousness of smart home technology, you can set up smart sprinkler controllers, flip on your porch light, or monitor your home security footage, all from hundreds of miles away. Nearly everything in our daily lives is becoming more automated, more digitized, and more efficient — in other words, smarter — and that includes our homes. Through advanced technologies, we can create indoor environments that are healthier, safer, more comfortable, and more valuable.

What Is Smart Home Technology?

When someone refers to smart home technology, it generally means a gadget, home appliance, or device that can be connected and controlled through a home Wi-Fi network. Increasingly, these objects also have the ability to communicate with one another, hence the word “smart.” They can include anything from lightbulbs to speakers, refrigerators, or bathroom ventilation fans and can be controlled and monitored remotely, usually from a mobile app. Some even have voice-control capabilities.

Smart Homes Are Healthier Homes

It’s not just about remote monitoring from your vacation rental or family reunion. Smart devices also give you control of your indoor air quality and your health. By closely monitoring temperature, moisture, and other factors, smart ventilation appliances like bathroom fans keep airflow at an optimal level and reduce the chances that mold and mildew can grow in your home. Some smart kitchen hoods can also monitor nitrous oxide levels, which is critical if you have a gas-powered stove. Homes with gas stoves have 50% to 400% higher nitrous oxide emissions, which significantly impacts your indoor air quality.

Smart Homes Are Energy Efficient

Smart tech might seem like a big investment, but it can actually save you money by regulating the use of energy in your home and reducing waste. Here are a few devices to think about installing in your home to lower your bills and reduce your carbon footprint:

  • Smart thermostats significantly contribute to creating an energy-efficient home. Because heating and cooling consume the most energy compared to any other home appliance, smart thermostats should be at the top of your list for consideration. These devices enable you to monitor and control your home’s temperature, even remotely. This is an especially great feature for those with pets — you can set minimum and maximum temperatures so that your home never gets too hot or cold during the day while you’re at work. Just set it and forget it!

  • Smart lighting is the easiest way to save energy and money. All smart bulbs are LEDs, which use at least 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs and last approximately 25 times longer. Smart bulbs can also be integrated with other smart devices, such as motion sensors, and can utilize geofencing (which means the lights will turn on and off depending on the location of your smartphone) — meaning you’ll never accidentally leave a light on ever again.

  • Smart outlets and plugs, as well as power strips and surge protectors, are also affordable investments that improve energy efficiency. Smart power strips reduce your energy usage by powering down products that are in standby mode. Smart plugs and outlets work similarly and can also save you money in the long run, whether installed permanently or temporarily in your home.

  • Smart home appliances come in many different forms, including smart refrigerators, washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, and more. Smart refrigerators can optimize internal temperature automatically, without manual adjustments, or alert you when the door is left ajar. Smart dishwashers or washing machines can now be scheduled to run when electricity rates are lowest, saving money in the long run. Smart washing machines can alert your phone when it’s time to remove your laundry and place it in the dryer.

Smart Homes Are More Valuable

In a 2018 survey of real estate agents and brokers, 79% said that buyers are willing to pay more for smart homes. Approximately 21% shared that buyers would always or very willingly pay a smart home premium, and the most-inquired-about smart features included security, energy management, and entertainment. So if you want to sell your home for more, smart home technologies are definitely worth a look.

Getting Started with Smart Home Features

Not all advanced smart home features require a serious investment. You can start by investing in smart bulbs, outlets, and power strips and work your way up to smart appliances and thermostats. It helps to create a plan for short- and long-term investment. That’s where Home Investment Plans in Pearl’s Green Door app come in handy. With just a few pieces of information about your home, Green Door will generate customized home performance recommendations that can help you create a smarter, healthier, and more efficient home. And with our Build with Ferguson integration, you can shop for many of the smart devices we listed above right from Green Door and get them certified by Pearl for free! Get started on your Home Investment Plan today!


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