Smart Home Upgrades | Urban Acres Real Estate Anita Newhouse April 16, 2018

5 Smart Home Upgrades for Your Home

Updating your home doesn’t have to be expensive or messy. Some of the biggest impacts can come from installing budget friendly and environmentally conscious fixtures, featuring the latest in smart home technologies. We decided to look beyond the traditional wireless thermostats and robot vacuum cleaners to bring you 5 unique and often overlooked ways to transform your living space.

Use these ideas to automate your life, increase your home’s energy efficiency, and save you time and money.

Low Flow Shower Head

Did you know the average 10-minute shower uses nearly 30 gallons of water? Installing a WaterSense-approved model reduces usage to just 2 gallons per minute  (GPM). According to the EPA, this cheap and simple change can save the average American family 2,700 gallons of water per year. Additional savings come from your hot water heater—less water usage means less water to heat. If water conservation isn’t exciting enough for you to make the change, buy a new WaterSense-approved, Bluetooth-connected shower head to make every shower an excuse to sing!

Smart Faucets

Replacing kitchen hardware and fixtures is a quick and easy way to update the look of your home. Want to cook dinner, amaze your friends, and save the planet? Install a new, voice-controlled faucet that connects with home automation devices. They can automatically measure water for recipes, heat it up if necessary, and are more sanitary for your family. Most importantly, they shut off automatically when not in use, preventing water waste, and saving you money.

Wireless Outlets

Plan ahead for your next remodel and install wireless, smart home-connected power outlets. Most models work with all popular home automation apps and bridges and reduce the need for secondary wireless adapters. Once installed, you can save energy by remotely turning off your appliances when no one is home. Looking to increase your home’s security? Set the outlet automation timers for your lights, or control from your phone wherever you are. Most importantly, you can conduct a personal energy audit by downloading an app that will indicate which outlets or rooms are using the most electricity, showing you ways to save.

Occupancy Sensors

No, occupancy sensors are not just for commercial bathrooms. Recently, their use has been steadily rising in homes thanks to their many financial and environmental benefits. Similar to wireless outlets, they can be connected as part of a voice-controlled home automation system. They turn off the lights and connected appliances when no one is in the room, preventing energy waste and saving you money on electricity bills. To make your life more convenient, you can set them to automatically dim your lights at certain hours. This can help guide you to the bathroom in the middle of the night or let you get ready for work without waking up your partner.

Smart Toilet

The future has arrived. Manufacturers this year have introduced a line of toilets available for sale in the US that offers a dizzying array of new technology. One helpful earth-friendly and water-saving feature is a built-in sensor that can scan the ‘contents’ of the bowl and adjust the flush rate accordingly to ensure no water is wasted and no clogs will form. The included nightlights can keep you safe in the middle of the night, self-closing lids will keep your dog out, seat warmers help take that chill out of a midwest winter, and a voice- or motion-activated sensor can automatically flush, helping you avoid that nasty handle. There is even a feature that will play music if desired. These toilets aren’t always the cheapest. However, the upgraded throne might be worth it since studies indicate we spend 2,204 hours of our lives… well, you get the point.