Maybe you’re a renter who’s landlord won’t let you open up the walls and install something. Or maybe you don’t have the time with your work schedule to learn the complexities of neutral wiring. Either way – you might not have the flexibility or time to dedicate to a complete home automation project.
We put some tips together for you on how to smarten-up your existing home! Hopefully, they will save you time and money for any home automation project.
The first for any smart home assembly should be a home assistant.
Whether or not you choose the Google Home or the Amazon Echo or even the rumored Apple Siri-enabled smart speaker, a home assistant will simplify your life almost immediately. Plus, they’re often compatible with other devices so they’re still useful when the time comes to make a complete smart-upgrade.
To smarten an outlet without having to install something yourself, consider any of the wide variety of smart plugs available.
The Aeotec Z-Wave Plug makes your outlet smarter, as anything plugged into it can be controlled wirelessly through a smartphone.
You can also monitor energy usage through the outlets, so you will know when your laundry cycle is complete.
Other devices for appliances
Other smart devices have been built specifically to spruce up your aged appliances.
The MicroBot Push can be configured so that its rubber arm can press or depress any buttons in your home.
It has a built-in timer that allows scheduling so any appliance can become a smart device. Users can also program stories for the Push that incorporate other smart-sensors in your home. You can start brewing coffee when the door to your bedroom opens in the morning!
Roost’s smart 9v battery is only $35, but allows you to retrofit your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms on par with some of the leading smart alternatives.
The wifi controlled battery will send you an alert when it needs to be replaced instead of chirping throughout the night, and can send notifications to friends or neighbors when the alarm is triggered.
Considering the price and the quick install, the Roost is certainly a cost effective alternative.
The Tado° Smart AC Control pairs with air conditioners who’s remotes display the air conditioners settings. These infrared remotes, however, don’t allow you to control the air conditioner from your smartphone.
The smartphone app uses your location to determine how far you are from your home, which allows you to turn on the AC remotely for a cool atmosphere right when you step in the door. You can also set personalized schedules, and it creates rather insightful reports on energy usage.
If you’re interested in saving money by reducing the energy usage in your home, check out our page dedicated specifically to efficiency!