What are smart homes?

Today, what seemed largely impossible not long ago, has altered dramatically in recent years, with the invention of fully autonomous cars and drone delivery parcels for instances. Now, it’s flicking the switch of your kettle through your smartphone so that by the time you get out of bed, your morning coffee is ready. So, with the rising popularity of smart technology, automated home technologies mean lighting, heating, plumbing and electronic devices are increasingly remotely controlled by our smart phones or computer, allowing sophisticated monitoring and control over the building’s functions.

For example, a smart home’s refrigerator may be able to catalogue its contents, suggest menus, recommend healthy alternatives and order replacements. A smart home might even take care of feeding the cat and watering the plants. Currently there are some barriers to entry for mass-market smart homes. However, there’s no reason you can’t turn any house smart, with it being predicted a typical family home could potentially contain up to 500 smart devices by 2022. Recent research showed that 50% of consumers said they are going to purchase a smart device for the home in the next year. Presently, home monitoring cameras for door entrances are the most popular, with smart thermostats the second most popular. And it doesn’t seem surprising since 56% of break ins are through the front and back doors, and heating and cooling accounting for almost half of energy use in homes. British Gas recently launched the popular Hive, the wireless thermostat to control your heating and hot water at home, from your phone. Amazon launched the Echo device back in 2014, powered by the artificial intelligence personal assistant called Alexa. The device meant that everything from entertainment and appliances to security, heating and lighting systems could all be interconnected.

Smart home solutions definitely do provide luxury enhancement and a rise in quality of living, but also it could help move towards a more sustainable future, increasing the safety and energy efficiency of our homes. Although there are some risks of connected living at the moment, since if a smart phone was to be the central control element but suddenly became unavailable due to malfunction or theft, it could have a huge impact. Even today, if we lose our phone for 5 minutes, we are thrown into a state of panic. Imagine if your lost smart phone controlled your home and all of its functions…

There is, of course, still a long way to go when it comes to technology and overcoming the limitations associated with smart homes. However, predicted to turn into a billion-pound industry in the next five years, smart homes present some very valuable opportunities to change the way we live and work and to reduce energy consumption at the same time. Imagine controlling your home from anywhere in the world, turning lights on, closing curtains before you arrive back from work, the possibilities are endless… exciting, isn’t it?

To find out about more ways you could reduce your energy consumption, then speak to us at Heywood Heating today!