What Are the Benefits of a Smart Home?
Home automation systems increase effeciency and reduce human requirements
By Shelly McRae
A smart home is an automated house where tasks normally performed by humans are handled by internal electronic systems. The systems of a smart house are converged into a kind of mainframe, allowing everything from heating and cooling to landscape maintenance to be handled automatically after being programmed by the homeowner.
A smart house can be equipped with sensors that are activated at specific times to sense illegal entry by way of doors or windows. Similar sensors can be used to detect fire or other dangers and alert the appropriate authorities. The homeowner may also be alerted, even though he is at work or otherwise away from the house. For those who are disabled or elderly, a smart house can be programmed to alert an ambulance should the occupant need help. A pendant worn by the occupant sends a wireless signal to the house to call for help.
A smart house can control the energy use for both the interior and exterior of the property. An automated system for sprinklers will still go off even in the rain, but a smart house system will shut down the sprinkler system when it's raining outside. The electrical system in a smart house may be set on motion-detector sensors. Should there be no motion in a room for more than a designated period of time, the lights will automatically shut off. The same procedures can be applied to heating and cooling. Temperatures in areas of the home not in use can be adjusted to control energy use.
A smart house can be set up for access to wireless Internet, video for monitoring activity both inside and outside the home and intercoms that allow communication throughout the house. Mobile devices such as cell phones, laptops, digital video recorders and personal data assistants (PDAs) can be connected to the smart house computer system. The homeowner can tell the house to record a certain show using a mobile device.
The smart house may not be able to vacuum the rug, but devices that can do such chores without human assistance are on the market. Refrigerators can tell the homeowner when he's running low on milk, and coffeemakers can be programmed to turn on before the homeowner wakes. It's not much of a leap to connecting these devices to the smart house's "brain." One of the benefits of a smart house is the reduction in time spent on chores. For homeowners who would rather be relaxing and spending time with their families than cleaning the house, such a benefit is priceless.
About the Author
Shelly McRae is a regular contributor to DexKnows. She has experience with hydroponic gardening and other areas of the home improvement industry.
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