As more things become connected to the Internet, the idea of upgrading a house to a smart home has piqued more interest. But what is a smart home? Now that everything from garden hoses to children’s toys can be monitored from your computer, it’s hard to know what’s helpful and what’s not.
Smart Home tech can verge on the ridiculous novelty such as—we’re not kidding here—Bluetooth enabled rice cookers, gas grills that hook up to your smart phone, and garden hoses that wirelessly monitor your water flow. Those aren’t the kinds of “smart” objects we talk about when we talk about smart homes. Instead, TreeHouse is focused on making homes energy efficient, comfortable, healthy, and safe. To that end, smart home technology has come a long way.
In fact, a great way to understand what a smart home can be is to think about upgrading the energy and security systems in your house. With smarter systems you can create a more comfortable environment, save money, and provide heightened visibility and safety. And you can do it while managing those systems from a central spot, such as your phone or a voice activated computer like Google Home.
The best products cover multiple categories. Thermostats are a prime example, and are perhaps the backbone of any smart home. Using sensors and intelligent software, these devices work on their own to save power and make your home more comfortable by intelligently turning temperatures up and down.
The best thermostats are made by Nest. Its “learning thermostat” was first to market in 2011, innovating a category that hadn’t made any real changes in 60 years. Over time the Nest thermostat learns your living patterns and knows when to adjust the interior climate. Plus, you can manage your AC via your phone. It’s the type of product that captures the imagination of what’s possible with a smart home.
In fact, Nest smart home products in general—their learning thermometers, intelligent security systems, and smoke alarms that speak— have earned the company the reputation as the go-to brand for folks who want their homes to be safe and perform well. Their products have a simple design and they’re easy to use. That’s why TreeHouse has an exclusive partnership with Nest. We carry Nest products but we also launched a same-day installation service with some very attractive money saving offers for our customers. Click here to learn more about this service and get in touch with a smart home consultant.
Beyond the Thermostat
Since the launch of their thermostat 6 years ago, Nest has been working on a handful of other equally thoughtful and well-designed products for the connected home. They currently boast an impressive line of home security cameras with unmatched video quality (Nest Cam), elegantly designed smoke and carbon monoxide detectors (the Nest Protect), a video doorbell, and a home security system (Nest Secure).
Besides looking good, Nest products are designed to work together and be easy to use from anywhere. If your Nest Protect detects too much carbon monoxide in the house, it can “talk” to your thermostat, shutting down the furnace which might be the culprit. The security cameras can be accessed and controlled via the Nest app so you can see what’s going on at home with a swipe of your phone.
Works with Nest
Nest has also realized that there are other complimentary products on the market, so they’ve partnered with various brands to establish a “Works with Nest” ecosystem of smart products that easily sync and share information with Nest’s devices. These include lighting systems, garage door openers, smart plugs, and ceiling fans.
Here’s an example: Say you’ve got a Nest thermostat, a Nest Cam, and two other products that work with Nest; a Haiku ceiling fan and a Philips Hue light bulb. Each of these things can be controlled independently via your smartphone. But when they connect and talk to each other, you don’t have to manage those things independently from each other. When your house is empty, your Nest thermostat notices and shifts to the “Away” setting. Your Nest Cam is then also alerted that the house should be empty. If the camera senses movement it can cue the Philips bulbs or the ceiling fan to turn on, simulating someone home.
Managing Your Smart Home
Another “Works With Nest” product is Google Home, Google’s version of Alexa, a voice activated digital assistant. Home can be your single point of contact with multiple parts of the house. If you already own a Nest Thermostat, the Home lets you control it with a simple “Hey Google, turn down the temperature.” Have a Nest Cam or Haiku fan too? Just ask Google to turn them on or off.
Without voice technology, you can manage all your smart systems via the Nest app on your phone. Arm and disarm your security, program your air conditioner, and keep an eye on the family dog. If your alarm goes off, you get a security alert. Should the smoke alarm notice even a hint of vapor, your phone will let you know.
Powered by Nest, Installed by TreeHouse
One of our customers main concerns with smart homes—other than having to navigate the raft of connected devices on the market—is grappling with how to install these products. This is the main reason TreeHouse has partnered with Nest. With Nest products, you get a simple elegant design that’s easy to use. With TreeHouse you get a trusted contractor with deep retail experience in the smart home world. Together, the Nest-TreeHouse team can configure your smart home with the right products and then install those products with same-day service.
A smarter home isn’t about just adding to the number of things we can control with our phones. It’s about using technology to save energy, keep us safe, and make our homes more comfortable.