Nest thermostat

Get Smart with Your Home Upgrades

Nest thermostatIf you are looking to upgrade your Chicago real estate this spring, either to get it ready to sell or just make your home more comfortable, there are a host of new home upgrades that can make your home easier to control by remote or your smartphone. According to the Pew Research Center, more than half of the adult U.S. population now owns smartphones (56 percent) and more than one-third own tablets (34 percent), so the ability to control your home remotely is one that speaks to both owners and potential buyers.
Three easy-to-add smart systems that will upgrade your home but won’t require a major overhaul are:
Nest Thermostats and Home Protect – this one has been biggest in the news since Nest was purchased by Google a few months ago. The Nest Thermostat is an easy swap that replaces your current thermostat system and goes through your WiFi network, where your home’s temperature can be changed by an app on your smartphone. The other benefit to the Nest thermostat is that rather than being a programmed system, it’s a learning system; so it picks up on your habits and adjusts the thermostat accordingly. For instance, if you tend to cool your home down in the afternoons, Nest will compare temperatures and cool down for you when needed rather than just be on a set schedule. The Nest Home Protect is a smoke and carbon monoxide alarm replacement that gives early warning when smoke is detected and you can turn it off with a wave in the event that you’ve just burned the toast. The Protect system also hooks into your WiFi system to send you messages by email and application when smoke, fire, carbon dioxide or low batteries become an issue.
Hue Lighting System – the Hue system from Phillips is a set of high efficiency LED bulbs that are connected to your router by their own bridge. Once the lights are connected, you can control them from your phone or computer to turn on to a specific brightness and color. All of this can be done on the fly, so you can set morning, mood lighting and more on-the-go.
Wally Home – the Wally home system helps to detect moisture. The Wally system can detect if you have a leak somewhere in your home or have enough moisture to develop moldy conditions, which could save you a lot of money in repairs or remediation.
There are plenty more smart home upgrades, from whole house to item-specific options, and more are on the way, from remote door locks to smart appliances. Do you have recommendations about smart systems for homes? Let us know in the comments!