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How Do I Pick the Right Home Automation Services For My Family?

How Do I Pick the Right Home Automation Services For My Family?

The variety of home automation services available today can be overwhelming. You can get everything from smart thermostats to smart coffee makers. Start your home automation planning by considering what you are trying to accomplish. This will help you to know the type of systems you should consider. Then take a look at your present circumstances and personal expenses. Know what you can afford and the commitment you can make to services or equipment investment.

Decided What Its Purpose Will Be

Many look into home automation to resolve safety concerns, but some are seeking cost savings or convenience. It is likely that you have a primary purpose in mind, such as safety, but would also like some cost and convenience improvements. In this situation, start by considering home security systems that allow for integration to cost-saving equipment such as programmable thermostats, light switches, and garage doors. If your major concerns are convenience, you may want to look at location-based or motion-sensitive equipment first and then see how these appliances might integrate into a basic security system.

Consider Your Circumstances

Most home automation systems and services come in many levels of cost, complexity, and commitment. For instance, money-saving automation can range from programmable thermostats to an entire integrated system of lighting, appliances, and HVAC. Home security systems come with a variety of conditions - prices, equipment, and contracts are just some of the things to consider when deciding which one is right for you. Know how much you are willing to spend on automation, how long a commitment you can make to your current home, and how sophisticated a system you are willing to install or operate before committing to new home automation. Let’s take a look at three primary uses for home automation and varieties of cost, complexity, and commitment for each.

Safety and Security Systems

Equipment, installation, and monitoring determine the costs of home safety and security systems. Basic equipment includes smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and door alarms. You can also invest in additional equipment, including motion sensors, water leak indicators, window alarms, and cameras. The size of your house will also drive the equipment costs. You may be able to install a simple system yourself. If not, consider installation costs and that those will be sunk costs if you relocate. Finally, evaluate the costs of monthly monitoring.

Energy Savings

Cost of equipment or installation may not be your primary concern if you are interested in energy savings. Make sure that your savings will offset or exceed the investment. And, remember that this calculation may be affected by how long you stay in the home. Installation and complexity are issues to consider. When installing yourself, be sure that you understand the manuals and have a source for assistance before investing in the equipment. If you pay for installation, make sure that you have considered that cost in your energy-saving equation. Finally, if your cost-saving solution is too complex, there is a chance you will not use it and not realize sufficient savings. Know what you are willing to make part of your routine.


Automating your home for convenience is a luxury. Solutions range from programmable coffee pots and garage door openers to refrigerators that monitor their contents and order groceries. Make sure that you have met your basic safety and efficiency needs, then consider some of these investments in your comfort and enjoyment.

Consider Compatibility

Most home automation and security equipment integrate with a central controller. Less often home automation appliances can interact directly. If you want all of your equipment to work together, make sure that it is all using the same communications protocol. Some systems use Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, but others use protocols unique to home automation like X10, Insteon, UPB, ZigBee, or Zwave. Check for communications compatibility before investing in equipment. If you are not sure, ask an expert.

There are many factors to consider when automating your home. Know what you are trying to accomplish, the amount of investment you are willing to make, and the level of system you will comfortably operate. You will be able to put together a home automation system that fits you perfectly.

With all the SmartHome Tech to choose from, where do you start? Click here to learn about 4 of our favorite gadgets.

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