Are Smart Home Upgrades Worth the Price Tag?
It was not too long ago that most people’s idea of a smart home was some shiny futuristic bachelor pad chock full of gadgets, a space better suited to a dystopian sci-fi movie than to normal everyday life. Now, however, smart tech is everywhere.
As technology continues to play a bigger role in people’s daily lives, smart home technology has evolved to better suit people’s home needs. In fact, 7 out of 10 homeowners in the US report having at least one smart tech gadget in their home, and most smart tech users report satisfaction with their gadgets.
Still, to upgrade your home so it offers smart tech functions sounds pricey. Are smart home upgrades really worth the price tag?
In this article we will explore why smart home upgrades are worth the cost- and what factors to consider, to make sure your new smart home tech installations won’t break the bank.
One important factor to bear in mind about the smart home tech price tags is how much an initial investment can save you money in the long run. With some smart home upgrades (namely smart thermostats, smart energy monitors, and smart lighting) you can cut your monthly energy bills by up to one third. So after just a few months, your long term savings will outweigh the initial cost of the smart upgrade.
These smart home upgrades come with the added benefit of reducing your home’s overall energy consumption and carbon footprint. An environmentally friendly upgrade that also helps lower your monthly bills sounds like a dream, but these gadgets are simple. By monitoring and analyzing common factors in the home, they can cut out the wasted energy that would otherwise be produced.
Smart lighting can determine whether or not someone is in the room, and dim or extinguish the lights accordingly, so those bulbs will never be burning watts in a house where no one is home. And they rely on low emission LED lightbulbs, which are better for the environment.
Smart thermostats can be programmed to turn on at a certain time of day each day, or can be controlled remotely from a smart phone or tablet. If you want to reserve the energy inside your home until you are ready to inhabit it, you can wait until your evening commute to program the heating to kick in, for instance. And smart energy monitors provide in depth analyses of how and where your home’s energy is being consumed, so you can closely keep track of your usage and experiment with unplugging appliances, turning off lights, and switching off switches until you have cut down your home’s wasted energy.
With more people working at home and remotely now than ever before, the home office has become an even more essential room in the house. Smart home upgrades can be an important addition to creating the perfect home office space. The most important element of a home office is its high speed reliable internet connection, which will power video calls, smart tech gadgets, and Ecommerce transactions, among other features. Adding smart tech upgrades into the mix, however, can fill out the home office space, increasing productivity and general wellbeing at work.
Installing smart speakers with voice activated capabilities can allow you to customize the sonic atmosphere in your home office. If you work better with soothing ambient noise, inspiring classical music, or even the sound of rain, you can fill your space with the soundtrack of your choosing, simply with a voice command. A smart speaker can also allow you to make phone calls just by voicing the desire out loud, or place orders on Amazon or other online retailers. Some smart speakers can send text messages or record dictated memos so you can keep track of your thoughts as they strike you. Basically, having the right smart speaker with voice activation capabilities is like having an in-houseassistant who can help you throughout your workday.
Your home’s smart thermostat can allow you to customize your home office environment; keeping it cool and temperate can help you stay focused on the task at hand. If your home office is too warm you may get sleepy and lose motivation later in the day. And don’t forget the automated coffee machine, which can be pre-programmed to brew the perfect wake me up cup at significant moments throughout the day.
If you are looking to sell your home sometime in the next handful of years, including smart home upgrades is a great way to make your home stand out to one of the biggest rising demographics: millennials. Millennials are beginning to come into their own. They are starting to reach the stage in their lives and careers when they are ready to settle down. They have saved up enough to buy their first home, or move to a bigger home after renting for years.
So this target audience will be looking for homes that feature the most convenient, up to date amenities. Offering a home all geared up for the latest in smart home technology means that millennial homebuyers may be willing to pay a premium, or jump more quickly on signing a mortgage agreement for a home that is decked out with tech.
Plus, millennials tend to be more environmentally conscious, preferring homes that feature sustainable energy sources and a reduced carbon footprint, so investing in smart home upgrades that improve your home’s energy usage and boost its market value for millennial buyers can be achieved with the same gadgets.
Here is the good news about smart home upgrades. They don’t have to be extremely expensive. Like all smart tech gadgets, you can take stock of what functions and features are most important to you and shop around for the options available. There is a smart tech answer to just about any home issue you can possibly think of- if a gadget doesn’t exist to address the issue today, it certainly will soon.
So it is up to you whether you want to start small, with automated smart alarm clocks and smart fridge magnets, or go bigger, investing in a full-fledged, completely kitted out smart home entertainment system. Keep track of what kinds of costs your smart home upgrade can save you down the line, and weigh the price versus the benefit. In general, the most important thing to remember is that however you choose to upgrade your home, it should always work for you and your specific needs. After all, that is the whole point of the smart home concept: optimum comfort, convenience, and ease for you as you live in your home.
By Emily Miller