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Home Automations That’ll Save You Time and Money

Necessity is the mother of invention, or so the saying goes, and the one thing we all need more of these days is time. Perhaps this is why so much modern technology centers on increasing convenience in order to save time. As a bonus, many tech solutions can also end up saving you money.

This is definitely the case where smart home automations are concerned. These products are not only programmable, but they can be controlled remotely, providing users with myriad benefits. They’re also easy to install and use.

To keep you updated on the home automation products that are getting better (and more useful) each few months, Scott Fabacher, Homestead-based owner of Advanced Overhead Doors & Service, will share a few of the latest home automation ideas you just might want to get on board with if saving time and money are two of your top priorities.

Thermostats

Thermostats were actually one of the first smart home innovations to hit the market, and devices like the Nest thermostats have quickly become must-haves for homeowners interested in cutting their energy bills and their carbon footprint.

Initially, these digital thermostats could be programmed to cut back on usage during times when occupants were out of the house or sleeping. Then they added mobile apps for remote control. Now, the third generation of Nest Thermostats are of the “learning” variety, mapping your lifestyle and automatically adapting to suit your needs.

Lighting

Honeywell, predominantly a home security company, has a slew of automation products that tie into their alarm systems, including not only cameras, locks, and thermostats, but also your home’s lighting. With the Honeywell smartphone app (available for Apple and Android) you can not only control lighting remotely, but set schedules, whether you’re home or not.

If you’re not interested in controls that tie to your home alarm system, consider products from Insteon, which allow you to control wall switches and outlets through an app, including both ceiling lights and lamps (as well as other electronics).

Door Locks

If you’re looking for smart door locks, you might want to turn to home security companies, many of which offer products and apps that tie together all of your security concerns. Vivint was one of the earliest companies to offer smart home security systems with a slew of home automation controls, including door locks that communicate with home-based touchscreen controls, as well as an associated app. Notifications are a plus.

The KwicksetKevo is another good option, with the touch-to-unlock feature and a dedicated key fob for quick entry, in addition to smartphone control options.

Garage Doors

Fiddling with garage door openers that have a range of about fifty feet is so unnecessary these days. What will you do if you leave the garage door open?

You don’t have to worry about it with products like the LiftMasterMyQ that lets you control your garage door from your smartphone and sends alerts when unauthorized activity occurs. This app for the Apple and Android works with LiftMaster, Chamberlain, and other popular garage doors.

Smart Home Hubs

If you’re looking for total automation, you’ll be glad to hear that there is no shortage of products and services that can help you control all the electronics in your house. As noted, Honeywell home security systems can tie in to everything from lighting and door locks to electronics like your TV and stereo.

Insteon also offers a slew of home automation products tied to a central hub, and you might want to check out consumer faves like Amazon’s Echo(and Echo Dot in combination with the Alexa system) and Samsung’s SmartThings, both of which offer voice-control options along with remote controls for round-the-clock convenience.

There’s lots of changes and improvements regularly coming from the home automation industry, but that shouldn’t keep you on the sidelines.

The latest wave of products have been greatly refined from previous generations, making them more functional (and more user-friendly). The prices have also come down.

The main pointer I want to leave you with is to not invest too much at once, while trying to turn your home into something from the Jetsons, but instead to try out one or two ideas at a time, and if they’ve made your life easier and more enjoyable then add other automations that make sense for your lifestyle.

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These articles are not intended to give legal or tax advice, and you should consult your attorney or financial advisor for additional information.

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