Smart home technology is relatively new, yet it’s already shifting how we manage and engage with our homes. It’s no longer just an idea found in science fiction novels or reserved for the gadget geeks and Tony Starks of the world. Today, the average household can invest in products that make our homes safer, more secure, and easier to control, while also saving us time and money. Take a look at just a few reasons you should embrace the latest technology in the smart home revolution.

Monitor your home from London, Ontario or London, England

Whether you’re away for a weekend or a month, you can put your mind at ease with smart home cameras that you can access from your smartphone. Some companies also offer cameras that will send notifications to your phone if they detect motion or sound. On your way to the airport and unsure whether you locked the front door? Smart locks can be accessed from your phone to give you that added peace of mind. Want more control? Add window and door sensors and you’re well on your way to a self-monitored security system that can alert you to anyone entering your home. Keep in mind that in most cases, you can only access these types of devices or receive alerts if they’re connected to Wi-Fi and your phone has a cell signal.

Minimize risks and damage

A more connected home means earlier warning signs when something runs amuck. Similar to home security tools, smart smoke and carbon monoxide detectors can alert your phone at the earliest sign of trouble. They may even be able to tell you what the hazard is and what room it’s coming from. If it’s water you’re worried about, new smart flood and water sensors have you covered. These come in different formats, but they all essentially serve the same purpose: to quickly alert you of unwanted water entering your home. This type of technology could help keep your family safe, prevent costly damages, and in the worst-case scenario, help emergency crews respond more quickly.

Save money and the environment

Smart thermostats are one of the most popular trends in connected home technology. These devices help you save money by allowing you to program the temperature in your home based on your schedule. You can also manually turn on the furnace on your way home from work or turn the temperature down a couple of degrees if you’re away for the weekend. This same idea is now being applied to another often-overlooked home staple: the water heater. Water heaters waste a lot of energy maintaining water temperature, even during periods of low demand. New technology is helping them learn our usage patterns to avoid wasted energy — and money. Systems like these are one of the few ways technology could help you save energy and lower your utility bills.

Never forget an ingredient at the grocery store

How many times have you been at the grocery store and wondered if you still had a green pepper in the fridge for dinner? Or needed to know whether there was enough mozzarella for pizza night? Some smart fridges let you access a wide-angle camera in your fridge from your phone so you’ll never forget an ingredient. Smart fridges can also let you know if you’ve left the fridge door open so you can avoid any unfortunate surprises.

Go for the fun factor

While some smart home features can come with pretty big price tags, it usually isn’t too much of an investment to outfit a room or two with entertaining features like wireless speakers or multi-coloured lights. Whether you’re hosting an intimate dinner with friends or a big birthday bash, coloured lights, which can be dimmed or customized with the tap of a button on your phone, are a great party trick. Pair the lighting with the right playlist and you’re all set!

This is only the beginning of a major shift in how we interact with our homes. While some smart home technologies are still disproportionately expensive — or outright science fiction for the time being — there are many that can start saving you money and making your life easier today. Some systems that can help reduce damage to your home (like water sensors, for example) may even qualify you for a discount on home insurance; talk to your group’s licensed broker to learn more.

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