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Rise of the Smart Home: 4 Systems You Can Automate

Today’s smart homes offer an almost unheard of level of automation, from refrigerators that can put in an order to have milk delivered when you are out, to washers and dryers that turn themselves on in the middle of the night when energy rates are the cheapest. You don’t have to be a multi-millionaire to take advantage of this new technology however. Here are 4 systems you can automate on almost any budget and regardless of whether you live in a home or an apartment.

1. Lighting

Whether you want to come home to a brightly lit home or whether you want to keep burglars and prowlers from knowing you are home, automating your lights is both a convenience and a safety. You can also program your lights to slowly dim in the evening as you prepare for sleep and to slowly illuminate your room in the morning to wake to light rather than using an alarm clock.

2. Heating and AC

Perhaps one of the most popular uses for smart/ automated systems is to heat and cool your home. Older thermostats regulated temperature by waiting until the temp rose or fell several degrees above or below the set temp and then systems kicked in to heat or cool the home to several degrees or above the set temperature. People would often spend the day manually raising and lowering the temperature to try and maintain a steady temp. Today’s air conditioning and heating systems are capable of maintaining a temperature within a few degrees, leaving your home comfortable and saving you significantly on your energy bill. Contact a business like Cape Fear Air Conditioning & Heating Co., Inc. if you have any questions.

3. Windows and blinds

Along with heating and AC, windows and blinds not only give you greater privacy in the evening but also help cut energy costs, by lowering or raising them during the day. In the morning, when temperatures are cooler, you can program blinds to raise to take advantage of the beautiful morning light. In the afternoons, when sun streams straight through the windows, warming the home, you can program the blinds to lower to block the harshest rays of the sun. In the evening, you can program the blinds to raise again to view the beautiful sunset and then lower again to give you privacy in the evening.

4. Appliance and outlet control

Most appliances and electronics still drain a certain amount of power even when you are not using them. Outlets can be programmed to turn off at a certain time and wake themselves up in the morning ready for use.

Home automation is becoming more and more affordable and even available to apartment dwellers. Smart smoke alarms and CO2 detectors, smart doorbells, thermostats and even smart door locks can all be easily installed and replaced with the old equipment when you move and are all available for less than $200 each.

Written by Dixie Somers

Dixie Somers is a freelance writer who loves writing for business, finance, women's interests, or home and family. Dixie lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters who are the inspiration for her writing.