5 Gadgets to Help You Join the Smart Home Era

by Kylie Ora LobellDecember 14, 2017

Smart homes are becoming the norm. About 12.5 percent of total U.S. households are currently smart homes, and it’s predicted the number will climb to 28 percent by 2021.

Save time and energy and improve your lifestyle by adding smart versions of these five common household devices to your home today.

Bathroom Fan

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Smart bathroom fans feature built-in Bluetooth speakers, so you can safely play music while showering or getting ready. Wi-Fi-connected controls allow you to turn the fan and light on or off from your smartphone, meaning no more accidentally leaving the fan on for hours. Many smart fans are also Energy Star-qualified and are built to conserve electricity.

Thermostat

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A smart thermostat hooks up to your Wi-Fi to control your home’s temperature. It can even learn your preferred temperature and habits and adjust itself automatically.

Nest is a popular smart thermostat option that can learn your habits in a week and reduce your heating and cooling bills by 10 to 15 percent. Nest will also send indications to your smartphone to help reduce your bills even further – for example, when your home reaches unusually hot or cold levels, the thermostat will send you a message. If your Nest thermostat is paired with Nest Protect, a smart carbon monoxide and smoke detector, it can shut down the furnace if it detects unsafe levels of carbon monoxide.

Refrigerator

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Smart refrigerators offer a new level of convenience. Some models feature cameras that allow you to see inside your refrigerator and screens that let you set expiration date notifications, create shopping lists, play music, and leave digital notes for your family members.

Other smart refrigerators give you the power to set different temperature zones for specific groceries, so meats stay colder than fruits and vegetables. If you need to chill or freeze certain foods fast, you can do so quickly with power freeze settings to cut down on waiting time. You can also receive alerts if the door is open and track your power usage.

Washer and Dryer

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Smart washers and dryers are catching on in the market. Whirlpool’s version of this technology allows you to use your smartphone to start and stop your washer and dryer, monitor your laundry’s progress, view your energy usage, and activate the wrinkle shield feature. It can also be paired with a Nest thermostat to delay the laundry cycle until after peak energy hours, helping you save energy and money.

Security Lighting

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Wi-Fi-connected lights add an extra layer of security by learning your regular lighting habits and switching the lights on and off at the appropriate time. This is especially useful if you travel often or work late. Your smart lights can also be triggered when someone rings the doorbell to act as a shield against intruders. Some systems feature a battery-powered backup, so if the power goes out, the lights will stay on. They will also turn on if the smoke detector is activated so that everyone can see a clear path to the door.

The Benefits of a Smart Home

Your home doesn’t have to be new in order to be smart. Any house can be retrofitted with smart devices — they’re a great way to bring an older home into the 21st century. Smart devices can also boost your resale value. Consumer Reports found that younger buyers are willing to pay three to five percent more for homes with smart amenities.

In the meantime, your smart home can save you time and money and make your day-to-day life easier. With a multitude of devices working together, your home can become a more comfortable, functional place to be.

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About The Author
Kylie Ora Lobell
Kylie Ora Lobell is a freelance writer in Los Angeles specializing in the content marketing, small business, tech, and legal niches. She also writes for The Home Depot, which carries a wide array of smart homes items including the Bluetooth bath fan mentioned by Kylie.