What is behind the desire for smart technology? A 2015 Icontrol Networks study put security as a top reason, with 90 percent of respondents ranking it highly. Saving money and energy was the second highest, with 70 percent of respondents considering it important.
Here is a look at some of the latest security and energy efficiency tools for your home:
Keyless locks. If you can start your car with just the push of a finger, why can’t your front door work the same way? It can, with new deadbolt locks that can be opened without rummaging through your pockets. All you need is a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone or key fob. You can even receive notifications when the lock is accessed.
Smartphone-connected security cameras. Like a live version of Google Street View, you can purchase security cameras that provide panoramic views of your property that you can control via your smartphone. And, if you don’t want to constantly monitor a live stream of your home, certain cameras can send notifications, emails or text messages if there is movement, loud noise or a change in temperature. They can even act as a basic alarm system if your home’s security has been breached.
Thermostats that learn your habits. Some new thermostats can automatically adapt to the settings you prefer. If your ideal temperature is 70 degrees during the day, 65 at night and 60 when nobody’s home, the thermostat will learn to adjust without prompting. And, if you feel like being a little warmer or colder than usual, you don’t have to get up. Just change the temperature from your phone, tablet or computer. These smart thermostats may be able to save you enough on energy bills to pay for themselves within two years.
Smart lighting. Do you light up the place whenever you enter a room? You can, literally, if you replace your light switch with a touch-screen panel. It can detect whenever someone enters a room and automatically turn on the lights. When you leave the room, it turns them off. If you or a family member has trouble remembering to turn off the lights, this touch-screen panel could reduce your energy bills. These systems can come equipped with security features, such as the ability to flash lights and send alerts to your phone.
Meters for your water. Do you lose track of time (and water) in the shower? Consider cutting back–water heating is one of the priciest parts of the average U.S. energy bill, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. An easy way to track water usage is with a shower meter. Not only can you track gallons of water used, but you can also see a reading of the water temperature and receive an energy-efficiency grade.
You could save money, enhance security and increase your home’s IQ with these smart technology products. You can make smart decisions about your mortgage, too. Whether you’re looking to buy or refinance, Navy Federal has great mortgage options.