If you’re considering a smart home, you’ll find that investing in one will have some very real pros and cons that you’ll want to consider when determining if it’s the right choice for you and your family. Here you’ll find all the smart home pros and cons you need to know about before you start building your own smart home.
There will be convenient pros and practical cons to having a smart home. Top pros include:
- Being notified of a break-in or other problem even when you’re not home;
- Controlling your entire home with your mobile device;
- Increasing the value of your home and offering support to older homeowners.
The top cons include:
- Privacy concerns and hacking;
- Costly repairs or replacements;
- The requirement of constant, good WiFi and a reliance on technology that may leave you stranded in some situations.
How do smart houses work?
A smart house integrates modern technology to make it possible to control many main functions using mobile devices. Some of the most common smart devices include light bulbs, thermostats, locks, security cameras, and doorbells. A smart home also includes hubs for assistants such as Alexa and Siri for voice-controlled commands.
The goal of a smart house or home is to replace manual functions of light switches and thermostats, allowing your phone to not only control them directly but also set up a schedule, so they’re coming on and off and adjusting temperatures, etc., when needed for full functionality.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of a smart home?
As we introduced above, there are significant pros and cons to considering if a smart home will be right for you and your way of life. In more detail, these include:
- Notifications wherever you are if there’s a problem
- Controlling your home with one device
- Increasing the potential value of your home
- Offering support to seniors
- Privacy and hacking concerns
- Costly repairs and replacements
- A need for constant, high-quality WiFi
- An unhealthy reliance on technology
Smart Home Pros
Notifications wherever you are if there’s a problem
If you’re sitting at home in your living room, you’ll know that there’s a problem if your smoke detector. But what if you are at work 30 minutes away? One of the main advantages of a smart home is that it can send you a notification when your smoke detector goes off, allowing you to intervene by calling authorities in seconds. This can save precious time for getting pets out of the home and stopping the fire before your home is a total loss.
This also can include carbon monoxide detection, a break-in, and water leaks in your home. Knowing that your phone will notify you of a problem no matter where you are in the world can be really reassuring.
Controlling your home with one device
There’s a lot to be said for controlling your entire home with your favorite mobile device. Since more of us have our phones on us at all times, pulling it out to adjust the temperature or lock the front door can be a huge advantage that will offer up the best perks for controlling your home from your living room or even when you leave work for the day.
It’s also great for kids with smartphones that can use smart door locks and a smart doorbell to protect themselves when they are alone. Using a device you know and trust can help each homeowner feel Ike their home is more under their control.
Increasing the potential value of your home
Having smart functionality can increase the value of your home both while you’re living in it and if you decide to sell it. Living in a smart home often gives you insurance premium discounts as well as helps you protect your home from weaknesses from leaks and break-ins, all of which increase its value.
If you decide to sell, many potential buyers will find smart functionality a significant selling feature. This allows them to use the system themselves, which can get you a higher sell price!
Offering support to seniors
As time ticks on, seniors need more assistance when living in their own homes. A smart home offers valuable assistance in controlling locks to allow entrance to medical professionals, security when worried about a break-in or even a fall inside or outside the home, and more. Seniors who choose to invest in this kind of technology will find that it can allow them to stay in their homes much more safely than without it!
Smart Home Cons
Privacy and hacking concerns
There are noted security concerns to having a home controlled through mobile devices. It means that hacking is possible, and someone can get into your home to override systems and cause panic for the homeowners.
In some rare cases, hackers can even lock out the real homeowners and use it as a ransom situation that can be very hard for police and other enforcement to override.
As modern technology improves, many people hope that this risk will be greatly reduced.
Costly repairs and replacements
The cost of the devices themselves are expensive, as we’ll get into more below, but the repairs can also add up. They often require maintenance, and a power surge can also mean replacement. These rely on specialized technicians, all of which can also add up.
A smart home is not a cheap choice, to be sure, and not doing these repairs or patches can mean that your home and everything in it is vulnerable to security breaches!
A need for constant, high-quality WiFi
While smart homes are designed for WiFi failure due to a power outage or a weak connection, they are designed to have a high-speed and relatively constant connection so that all of their processes and updates can happen seamlessly. If a home has a slow connection or regular outages, a smart home may not be worth the cost since it won’t be able to function entirely for you.
An unhealthy reliance on technology
Lastly, many feel that a smart home can create dependence and reliability on technology to solve problems. When you’re able to turn down your heater from a different country and tell someone at your front door to go away — from across the world — it can create an unhealthy dependence on the technology to make it work.
So, if that mobile device no longer works or gets lost, a homeowner may have serious problems in accessing their home and the reliance and need that it creates for them to use their devices for literally everything in their life.
Are all smart homes the same?
Smart homes are not all set up the same. Some have smart homes that use only things like smart light bulbs and a security camera that is accessible on their phones. Other smart homes have everything from a smart doorbell to a smart detector that warns them of a fire if they are across the world.
You can choose to invest in this kind of tech in a way that works for you and your comfort. This scalability also allows you to make the best use of your money and create a home that maximizes the pros and reduces the cons.
Are smart homes a good idea?
Smart homes can be a very good idea, particularly for those who embrace technology and its potential to increase a homeowner’s quality of life through control and scheduling. However, many of the concerns of privacy and unhealthy unreliability of technology should also be considered when determining if a smart home is right for you or not.
Are smart homes unhealthy?
Smart homes aren’t unhealthy in and of themselves. After all, they just offer up technology as an option that can add convenience to the task of letting in a repair technician or having the thermostat reduced while you’re not home and increase about 10 minutes before you return home for the evening.
Most experts say something along these lines; smart homes can be practical and healthy ways to increase your phone’s overall convenience through mobile and modern technology. The goal is to add it with functions and processes that make the most sense for you and not rely entirely on it for every function of your home.
Do smart homes save money?
Smart homes can save you money in some cases, even when investing in the technology to set up a smart home. Top ways that smart homes save money include:
- Scheduled thermostat adjustments for low and peak usage
- Lights on timers for maximum savings
- Notifications of a break-in, fire, or water leak for faster action
- Using Alexa/ Google Home, etc., for recipes, scheduling, and more, instead of other gadgets
Can smart homes be hacked?
While there have been great strides forward in increasing the security of your smart home, you’ll want to know that smart homes can be hacked. As modern burglars and other wrong-doers learn how to override security on things like smart locks and even security cameras, it provides more of an opportunity for them to break into your home.
As well, smart homes upload information to the cloud, including footage and personal information. If someone breaks into your smart home, they have access to all that information.
Does a smart home add value?
Smart homes certainly add value to your property since more and more shoppers are looking for smart functionality without having to invest in a lot of the technology to do so themselves.
There are also perks to a smart home when it comes to insurance. Insurance companies like to see smart oaks and security. Cameras and sensors that alert of a problem. It means that their investment is as sound as possible, too. This translates to cheaper premiums and discounts in many cases!
How safe are smart home devices?
The devices used in a smart home are considered very safe. Smart thermostats won’t go rogue, and smart light bulbs won’t randomly explode due to a surge.
That said, smart homes are vulnerable to hacking and security threats, as mentioned. They are also vulnerable to requiring a lot of firmware updates and maintenance and voltage surges from a nearby storm that can fry the sensitive technology.
How do I increase security on my smart home?
When you want to enhance your smart home’s security overall, top recommendations include:
- Do your research on top brands and products for security
- Don’t rely entirely on your smart home for everything
- Keep up to date on updates and patches
- Invest in new technology when new options become available
Using these kinds of recommendations will support you in keeping your smart home network secure, reliable, and safe for you and all those who rely on it in your family and even repair professionals.
How much does it cost to build a smart home?
Building a smart home can have a terrifying price tag. Most estimates will start at $1 000 to add in basic smart functionalities, and they can add up to $15 000 and more, depending on the installation of these advanced features. That is a wide price range, but many companies offer different tiers, so those who want a smart home on a budget can work within those.
There’s a lot of hope that advances in technology and more options on the market will bring the price down significantly so that each homeowner can have the realistic ability to enjoy a smart home in the future!
Smart homes have pros such as notification of a break-in or water leak, controlling your home’s primary functions with your mobile device from anywhere, increasing the value of your home, and offering support to older homeowners who need it.
Cons include privacy and hacking concerns, a costly system and repairs, the need for reliable WiFi connection, and an unhealthy reliance on technology.
Smart homes have great pros and important cons, focusing on convenience and security. Ensure you know what you’re getting into to make the most out of what they offer without putting yourself at risk!