People come to TreeHouse everyday to ask us to help build them a “smart home.” In our Austin store, our Home Performance consultants work with these customers to help define their needs and build the right package of devices suited for their home and budget. Now, that same experience is available online, where anyone can build a kit of products that work together to automate their home. Today we’re breaking down the concept of the Internet of Things (or IoT) for the home, to help homeowners decode what makes a home a “Smart Home.”
What is a Smart Home?
The “Smart Home” has many names: Connected Home, Home Automation, Internet of Things, etc. You’ve probably already heard of some of these products, whether it is the Nest Thermostat, Philips Hue Light Bulbs, or the August Smart Lock. These devices are connected to the internet and use information from your home and data from the internet to optimize their performance.
When we pair these smart products together, we begin to move towards a more connected home, and a more connected home can mean a more efficient home. The features of a smart home expand on common sense steps most of us already take, they’re just automated. In a connected home, when you leave for the day your thermostat could turn down, and your lights and ceiling fan could turn off automatically, saving you time, energy, and money.
Why Do Smart Home Products Matter?
Our homes use a tremendous amount of energy, much of it wasted. At TreeHouse, we want to help homeowners reduce that energy use, while improving their comfort and lifestyle. We view Smart Home as a critical part of the High Performance home of the future. For our newly released online shop, we boiled down the Smart Home into five, easy-to-understand categories for anyone interested in building the ideal smart home collection for their home.
1. Energy Efficiency
As the initial driving force behind Smart Home at TreeHouse, these products are designed to help lower your energy consumption. They help regulate energy use homeowners might not even be aware of, like shutting off or turning down the HVAC or turning off lights or appliances when no one is home.
TreeHouse recommends: Nest Thermostat, Haiku Fan, Zuli Smartplug
These products allow you to keep an eye on your whole home, from the front porch, to the living room, to the backyard. Cameras are the most common smart security devices and stream video from the home direct to your phone. They can also acting as great sensors for the rest of the smart home, letting you know when people come and go or letting other devices know to turn on/off. Smart locks allow users to give out digital keys to their home instead of making physical copies. There are even devices that protect other smart devices from being hacked or broken into.
TreeHouse Recommends: Nest Cam Indoor, August Smart Lock
We all have that one family member who just can’t remember to turn off the lights. Smart lighting helps reduce unnecessary energy consumption, but it can also improve quality of life at home. Smart Lighting can adjust to fit the mood and mimic the colors of natural sunlight to match circadian rhythm and improve sleep. Lighting it great because it can be upgraded one room at a time, without breaking the bank.
TreeHouse Recommends: Philips Hue White & Color Bulb, Eve Light Switch, Ilumi Smartbulb
Most people don’t know that quality of indoor air can be up to 8 times worse than the air outside. Fortunately, this is a problem we can solve with the right smart devices. Air quality monitors give us an idea of our air quality, while air filters respond accordingly. Smart smoke alarms give real information about toxins in the air instead of just beeping at us.
TreeHouse Recommends: Airmega, Nest Protect, Foobot
Outdoor watering can represent 50% of a home’s water use, because most people just set the sprinklers and forget it. A smart sprinkler controller can reduce outdoor water use by 50% by responding to local weather. Like energy useage, automating your water usage can help significantly reduce your bills and footprint.
TreeHouse Recommends: Rachio Sprinkler
The TreeHouse Difference
At TreeHouse, we are thrilled by the fact that smart home devices are becoming more mainstream and moving beyond early adopters and into everyday homes. We pride ourselves on helping customers build the right solutions for their needs and for their homes. In store or online, we will help you select the products that align with the technology you have already (like an iPhone or Android phone) and deliver the functionality you are looking for.
If you are in Austin, swing by our location in Westgate shopping center and ask for a Smart Home consult. If you are anywhere else, you can use our online smart home configurator to build your perfect smart home - we even have people standing by on chat or on the phone (512) 861-0712 to help you configure your setup. Not sure where to start? Check out our pre-configured kits. Let us help you build a smarter home.