Lifestyle Money Technology

How Smart is Your Home?

Installing smart-home technology can make homes safer, more efficient (saving you $) and even increase your home’s value. A 2015 study by Better Homes and Gardens found that more than half of U.S. women, including 64% of Millennials, believe that smart technology makes their home safer and more enjoyable. “The next generation of home owners will lead the way in adopting new technology—making features like the ability to preheat an oven or unlock the front door from your smartphone the new norm in home convenience,” researchers predict. Below are a few smart-home technologies worth considering. 

Nest Learning Thermostat 

$249

In independent studies, the Nest Thermostat saved an average of 10-12% on heating bills and 15% on cooling bills. The Nest Thermostat automatically turns itself down when you’re away to avoid heating or cooling an empty home. It learns the temperatures you like and programs itself. Connect the Nest Thermostat to Wi-Fi to change the temperature from your phone, tablet or laptop. You’ll get an alert on your phone or tablet if your home gets dangerously hot or cold.

August Smart Lock

$200

You may have keyless entry to your car, but how about your home? The August Smart Lock allows you to enter your home using your smartphone, or allow entry to others while you are away from home. Instead of replacing your deadbolt, it covers it with a sleek, eye-catching design.

Lutron Caseta Wireless Light Dimmer Kit 

$60

Turn lights on and off remotely from your smartphone with in-home smart lighting technology. 

Amazon Echo

$180

Consider it Siri for your home. The Amazon Echo does more than play music, it can manage multiple smart home devices. Ask for the forecast, set an alarm, change the thermostat or surf the web using voice command.

Birdi  Smart Smoke & Carbon Dioxide Detector 

$120

An elegantly-designed and powerful smoke, carbon monoxide alarm and air quality monitor that also alerts your smartphone to any potential risks or danger. Proprietary smoke detection sensors minimize false alarms while precision air sensors uniquely track pollution, including PM2.5, CO2 as well as temperature, humidity and ambient light. 

Wink Hub and Touchscreen Controller

$69, $149

Control all of your smart-home devices from one place. Integrates with Nest, Philips and other brands. The app allows you to control all devices remotely from your smartphone.