Updated April 4, 2017 . AmFam Team
As smart home technology becomes more affordable and easier to use, there are some really great options available to give your home a high-tech makeover.
If the convenience of feeding your cat or turning on your air conditioning with a tap on your smartphone isn't enough of a reason to make the investment, consider this: In a recent survey by August Home and Xfinity Home (Opens in a new tab), 63 percent of respondents said family safety was their main motivator for adopting smart home technology.
Are you thinking of going from "home sweet home" to "home smart home"? Here’s a deeper look at some of the benefits of smart home technology.
From Wi-Fi-equipped smoke detectors to plugs with auto turn-offs, smart homes — with their always-on connectivity and notifications systems — allow consumers to quickly respond to the unexpected. For instance, if you install a smart water leak and moisture monitoring device, you can set up alerts on your phone for unusual changes in moisture and stop leaks before they cause major flooding or mold. It's a convenient way to proactively protect your home from costly damage, whether it's an overflowing laundry tub, a cracked washer hose, or a leaky water heater.
Video monitoring, motion detection, and smart locks on the door can help you keep tabs on your middle-schooler when he or she is home alone. You can also check in with an older or sick loved one whom you're caring for, or even tell Fido to get down from the couch through a device's speaker.
If making your home a bit "greener" is important to you, consider it one of the top benefits of smart home systems. Smart thermostats and smart lighting can help you use energy more efficiently by automatically adjusting or switching off when there is no one in that part of the home. Smart systems can help you avoid leaving lights on in the garage overnight, or running the air conditioning in an empty house. By using less power, you'll benefit by reducing your monthly energy costs.
Smart doorbells and locks alert you on your smartphone when someone is at your door. You can even speak to visitors through the doorbell system by talking into your smartphone. So, whether you're at work, shopping for groceries, or enjoying that long-awaited vacation in an exotic, far-away place, you'll have peace of mind knowing you can be "virtually" present when the doorbell rings. Smart tip: We highly recommend the Ring video doorbell (Opens in a new tab), and we'll even give you a $30 discount if you're a new or existing American Family home, condo or renters insurance customer.
When listing the benefits of a smart home system, how could you not address the "cool" factor? We now have the ability to control home appliances and systems with our voices and movements, and as the technology becomes more intuitive, it can anticipate and react to our patterns and preferences.
The best part about smart home technology is that you don't have to make a huge up-front investment to get it going — you can incorporate the various components a little at a time. But don't be surprised if you get hooked. After all, with each addition, you'll be making an investment in safety, security, energy efficiency, and awesomeness.
Smart home technology offers so many great safety and security benefits, which is why American Family Insurance offers discounts of up to 5 percent on homeowners insurance to tech-savvy folks who use qualifying smart devices and systems in their homes. Examples include thermostats, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, motion detectors, moisture and humidity sensors, and security systems that use smart, connected technology. Learn more about our smart home discount, or speak to your American Family agent (Opens in a new tab) today to find out how to qualify for smart home technology discounts.