Couple leaving their house and locking the door using a smart home device

How to Make Your House a Smart Home

You may have seen or heard about smart home technology through advertisements or your high-tech neighbors, but maybe you’re not up to speed on all of its benefits. Keep reading to learn about smart homes, how to make one, and the benefits of building a smart home.

What is a Smart Home?

Smart homes are equipped with internet-connected technology that allows you to communicate with your house using smartphones, tablets, and computers.

Here are some of the common actions you do with a smart home:

  • Adjust thermostats
  • Lock and unlock doors
  • Turn lights on and off
  • Record surveillance video footage
  • Set alarms
  • Program security systems

Smart home technology also sends alerts and real-time data to you, which can help prevent and minimize damage to your home. Plus, it makes managing everyday tasks like setting alarms and adjusting thermostat settings more convenient.

Virtual Voice-Controlled Assistants

Virtual voice-controlled assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and Google’s Assistant make using smart home technology even more effortless. All you have to do is say simple commands like “Alexa, lock the front door,” and your assistant will complete the action. Essentially, these virtual assistants act as the middleman between you and your smart home devices.

Amazon’s Alexa offers the most support for smart home products compared to Google’s Assistant and Apple’s Siri. However, Assistant’s artificial intelligence tends to be smarter than Alexa and Siri, while Siri is perfect if you have a complete Apple ecosystem in your home. It’s worth doing additional research to determine which virtual assistant will work best for your needs.

Smart Home Hardware: Amazon, Google, Apple

Once you decide on a virtual assistant, you’ll be able to pick out dedicated hardware that’ll act as your primary smart home controller. Explore your options below:

  • Amazon — Echo Dot, Echo, and Echo Show
  • Google — Nest Audio, Nest Mini, Nest Hub, Nest Hub Max
  • Apple — HomePod mini, iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch

Building a Smart Home

Several products in the marketplace help you build a solid foundation for your smart home. Check out some of your options:

Smart Lighting

Smart lighting allows you to control your lights from anywhere. You can turn lights on and off, manage the brightness, and change the colors. Additionally, you can set up a schedule to turn your lights on and off at certain times of the day, which may help you save on your electricity bill.

Smart Thermostats

Smart thermostats allow you to remotely control your home’s HVAC system via your smartphone, tablet, or voice-controlled assistant. They’re designed to regulate and optimize your energy use, allowing you to potentially save money on your monthly bill. They can also send alerts to your phone if your house gets too hot or cold.

Smart Security Cameras & Video Doorbells

Home security cameras are nothing new, but smart technology has made them more accessible to install and monitor your property remotely. Video doorbells are a popular choice because they’re an affordable way to monitor and answer your front door via your phone, tablet, computer, or voice assistant.

Smart Smoke Detectors

What makes a smoke detector smart? The latest technology detects not only smoke but also heat and carbon monoxide. These smoke detectors will also send alerts to your smartphone, which comes in handy when you’re away from home.

Smart Water Leak Detectors

Water leaks can make a big mess both physically and financially. That’s why you should consider installing a water leak detector. Depending on the device, they can monitor your entire home’s water supply or specific leaky areas like sinks or toilets. When the device detects a leak, it’ll immediately send an alert to your smartphone so you can swiftly address the issue.

Why You Should Care About Smart Home Technology

Smart home technology offers many benefits for homeowners, including:

  • Risk prevention and reduction — When it comes to homeowners insurance, smart home devices such as water leak detectors and security cameras can help reduce the chances of filing a claim.
  • Energy and financial savings — Controlling your lights and temperature may reduce your energy use, potentially saving you money.
  • Peace of mind — Smart home technology can give you peace of mind knowing that you’re safe and secure whether you’re at home or on the road.
  • Easy installation — Most smart home devices don’t require special wiring or professional installation.

Are Smart Devices Worth It?

Smart home devices are a great way to potentially save money, reduce energy consumption, and prevent or minimize home damage. Plus, Mercury Insurance will offer a discount on your homeowners insurance premium  if you purchase smart home products that help protect your house and family.

Talk to a Mercury agent about a homeowners insurance quote today.