We’ve all heard of smartphones. But what about smart homes? You can’t fit a duplex, split-level ranch, or bungalow in your pocket. Or can you? New technology is allowing Michigan homeowners to see and control many aspects of their home’s day-to-day activities from nearly anywhere with an internet connection, helping them stay safer and more comfortable than ever before. Here’s what you need to know if you’re considering a system, from the hardware to the ways it integrates with a home security system from Vigilante Security.
How Home Automation Works
Home automation relies on devices connected to the IoT, or Internet of Things. Basically speaking, it replaces things your home already contains — from appliances to thermostats and lighting — with “smart” alternatives that can be controlled remotely and monitored for everything from critical events (environmental monitoring that alerts you to hazards like a water or gas leak, power outage, break-in, or high energy usage), thereby keeping you safe and even helping you save money on things like your energy bill and insurance.
Home Automation Devices
What kind of devices can you use to automate your home? Beyond a growing number of smart appliances from toasters that know how you like your waffles, to refrigerators that alert you when you’re running low on chicken and beer, the choices may surprise you.
- Smoke and CO detectors
- Lighting controls
- Home security systems
- Energy monitoring systems
- Leak and flood detection
- And much more!
While your smart home can be set up, and those settings adjusted, from a desktop or laptop, you’re by no means tethered to your desk. This technology is centered, to a large degree, on apps that can be installed on any phone or tablet. So the functions you need, from monitoring to control, are every bit as mobile as you are. If your kids or elderly loved ones are home, they’re never alone — you can keep tabs from anywhere for your peace of mind and their safety. And with remote monitoring, we’re keeping an eye on things even when you can’t so you can sleep easy.
Home Automation Benefits
Home automation brings homeowners a number of benefits. Your home will be safer, with some systems even helping save money on insurance. You have a smarter and more granular degree of control over heating, cooling, and lighting, so you’re likely to save money on utilities like gas and electricity, too.
Factors to Consider When Automating Your Home
Automating your home can be a simple DIY affair, but that may not be your best path forward. Here’s what you should consider if you’re considering a smart home makeover.
Off-the-Rack, or Custom Installation?
Even though you can buy home automation components in your local big-box store, we suggest custom installation. There are a few good reasons for this. To begin with, those store-bought systems need to work in a wide variety of places, so they’re not tailored for anywhere in particular. Security settings need to be changed to prevent malfunctions and hacking, which can be hard to do if you’re inexperienced. And a custom-installed system has other advantages, from ensuring proper communication among components to being customized to the homeowner’s degree of comfort with technology.
As we mentioned earlier, the ability to monitor your home with a few simple taps on a phone or tablet is a great benefit to home automation. But you’ve got to sleep sooner or later, and there are also times — business trips and vacations among them — when you can’t be glancing at your phone every few minutes. It’s also worth remembering that when an emergency comes up, your first priority is getting yourself and your family to safety, which can delay an emergency response. So rounding out your system with professional security monitoring ensures an added layer of protection that many store-bought systems just can’t match.
Average Cost of Home Automation
Home automation systems, like the home security systems installed by Vigilante Security, are extremely flexible. That allows for a high degree of customization that accounts not only for the size and type of home you live in, but also the people living there and how you “use” your home. As with our security and video surveillance systems, we will sit down with you to determine your needs and goals, design a system tailored to your needs, and provide a cost quote for components and installation.
Call for a Home Automation Estimate
No matter how old your home is, or how traditional it may look from outside, putting home automation at its heart can make it safer, more efficient, and more comfortable. To get every advantage and benefit you deserve, get in touch with Vigilante Security today for a home automation estimate.