Chances are that if you don’t already have a smart home or have seen one, you’ve at least heard of it.
Smart homes are the ultimate dream abodes for those who are passionate about technology and would like to integrate it into their home.
It can seem, at times, that everyone is racing to upgrade their home and make it “smart”.
We’ve got smart phones, smart cars, and now smart TVs in home cinemas, smart speakers, smart fridges and washing machines, thermostats, locks – every aspect of your home can be made “smart”.
But are you a good candidate for that? Do you actually want or need a smart upgrade, or is it just a fad?
What is a smart home?
When we say “smart home,” we’re talking about a house where technology is used to facilitate the use, control, and monitoring of appliances within the home.
These devices benefit from internet access and oftentimes work via apps and remotely with the help of Wi-Fi.
The concept of a smart home is more attainable now than ever, thanks to the excellent broadband speed that is becoming affordable for most people.
That enables you to connect all the devices in the home and create a network of smart devices that can improve your experience.
That goes for any kind of home, including old properties with thicker walls.
What are the advantages of a smart home?
Obviously, there are some indisputable advantages to smart homes. There’s a reason why so many people are making the transition and why the upgrades are so popular.
This kind of technology can make things very convenient, whether we’re talking about at-home entertainment systems or a smart assistant.
It can also significantly increase the efficiency of certain appliances or processes within the home.
Not to mention that so many of these features are highly customizable and can be personalized to your heart’s content.
One of the most important features that smart technology for the home brings is the increased efficiency of the appliances or home technology.
More often than not, the “smart” quality leads to a decrease in energy consumption. That is due to the fact that the devices are perfectly optimized and the processes are streamlined in such a way that reduces waste.
The customization factor is also important, especially when you’re investing this much money.
When you upgrade to a smart home, with everything that entails, you are also paying for everything to be installed according to your specifications.
You can set and manipulate, personalize, and customize anything the way you like it or need it. That is one of the primary things people pay for when deciding to go smart with their home.
The convenience of smart devices can’t really be beat. They are especially designed to make life as easy as possible and to be controlled from far away.
Typically, you are able to use your phone to program and control the devices, no matter where you are. That means that it allows you a degree of control that was previously missing.
What are the disadvantages of a smart home?
Of course, like with anything else, there are also disadvantages to consider with smart homes.
There are significant drawbacks to making a big move like this, so before you decide anything for sure in this direction, you need to be made aware of all the implications of your decision.
What are the expenses of such an upgrade? Is the fact that you need a Wi-Fi connection a problem? And can that mean that you are more vulnerable, from a security point of view? All that and more can weigh on your decision.
- It can be a security risk
The problem with having a home with a network of devices that are all interconnected is that that may put them at a higher risk of being hacked.
If your connection is not protected well enough, there is always a chance that someone can hack into your network and cause some very real damage.
That is a definite deal-breaker for the people who are very concerned with the safety of their home.
We cannot overlook the significant cost that an upgrade like this would entail. Switching to a smart home can be prohibitively expensive for most people, especially if they rely on just one income.
It requires a big investment in the beginning, thus pricing out a lot of people who would maybe otherwise want to upgrade to a smart abode.
- Dependent on Wi-Fi
The fact that you need a stable Wi-Fi connection can be a problem.
While you will usually find that your home will work just fine with no issues, the second your Wi-Fi is down, you might experience some unpleasant consequences and ill effects on your appliances and the devices in your home.
Some people are not comfortable with a home that is basically set up to fail whenever there’s an issue with the internet.
Is a smart home upgrade smart for you?
Now, the question remains whether or not a smart home upgrade is actually a smart idea for you.
Just because a smart home is ideal for someone does not mean that it will suit your lifestyle, needs, and preferences.
You’ve got to consider the cost of such an undertaking and whether the long-term savings are worth the upfront investment you will need to make.
Can you afford to boost your home a few levels and make it “smart”?
Then there’s the problem of how reliant this system is on the internet.
Does that mean that you’re going to be vulnerable to every little drop in signal? And will it be enough to secure your home and all the devices in your network?
In the end, upgrading to a smart house is a big move and it needs to be weighed very carefully.
It’s an option that is excellent for those who can afford the upfront expense, are interested in long-term savings and consumption reduction, and who are looking for the convenience.
If you’re unsure on any of these fronts, it may not be worth the hassle and the expense for something that is still new and has some security risks.