If you’re not up on the latest in Smart-Home technology - don’t worry we are here to help. Many experienced homeowners aren’t completely sure about the advantages and advances in home technology systems. The term “Smart Home” commonly refers to a residence that can be managed remotely from a phone, tablet or laptop. Not only can the lighting, HVAC, entertainment, security, computer and appliance systems be controlled from anywhere in the world, they can also communicate with each other. Though the trend is growing, few homes are being built with this advanced technology. The most common approach for creating your own Smart Home is to retrofit Smart products into your current residence. Retrofitting allows the homeowner to purchase the required appliances and technology as their preferences and budget allow. The Advantages of Smart Technology Have you ever been miles away from home and suddenly become panicked because you can’t remember whether or not you turned off the stove? If you had a Smart oven, you’d be able to check on that appliance’s status through an app on your phone. You could also control lighting, temperature, water the lawn and feed your dog with the right technology. But as cool as it is, convenience isn’t the only reason to invest in a Smart Home. • Safety -- With a Smart security system, you can monitor activity inside and outside of the house even when you’re not there. This provides peace of mind for families with children or elderly parents at home. • Accessibility – Smart home technology can increase the quality of life for people with disabilities and help the elderly live independently. The ability to control the home’s systems with voice commands means even the technologically challenged can benefit. • Energy Savings -- With Smart technology, you’ll never again leave the sprinkler going all night or waste energy heating an empty house. The EPA estimates that upgrading to a Smart thermostat can shave 10%-30% off the average energy bill. And that doesn’t even account for other Smart options like stovetops that won’t heat until they detect the presence of a pan or shower heads that shape individual water droplets to save water without sacrificing the quality of your shower. Timers and monitors can control the use of water, heat, AC, electricity and gas automatically and remotely—all of which adds up to less energy use and lower utility bills. Unlike decorating trends that date a home, investing in Smart technology pays in benefits now and increased resale values later. Making at least some Smart technology upgrades will improve your home’s overall functionality and accessibility while decreasing your energy use. Now, that’s smart!