Smart HouseWe have all seen the advertisements from cable companies, phone companies and security companies about enhanced alarm systems and systems that allow us to control our homes remotely. There are a variety of applications that do everything from manage the alarm system, take videos of intruders to locking doors, adjusting the temperature and turning lights on and off remotely. The question that this writer has is whether it is all worth the cost and whether the home insurance company will provide discounts to help defray the cost of installation and ongoing monthly fees? First of all what are the applications that might interest the average consumer?

Ten Smart House applications

One of the better known applications of domotics or smart house features is the presence of movement detectors and alarms to prevent theft. Today, technology has become more diversified providing many more solutions. Here are a few examples:

  1. Remote control of all of the following from your smart phone app
  2. Opens and closes locks.
  3. Automatically adjusts the heating or cooling system when a window is open.
  4. Programs the heating and air conditioning systems based on the temperature outdoors.
  5. Remote control of the heating / cooling system.
  6. Automatically turns off the light when no-one is in a room.
  7. Video recording activated when a door opens, emailed to consumer.
  8. Detects water leaks and automatically turns the water valve off.
  9. Turns the tap on when a hand is placed under it and off when it is removed.
  10. Activates an automatic blocking system if the sewer backs up.
  11. Detects smoke and heat in case of fire and alerts the fire department.
  12. Detects if water pipes are at risk of freezing up. turns on the heating system, raise the interior temperature and notifies the consumer.
  13. Alarm system can be set to present or absent mode (present mode: all lights turn on if there is abnormal movement in the home; absent mode: no light will turn on).

Summary

All of these smart home functions are real possibilities and will improve as time goes on, however are they really needed and will they meet the return on investment criteria.
Bottom line, probably not, unless you attach peace of mind to the equation and consider it high value as well. There just not enough real value to offset the cost of adding all of these features at this time until they come down in price and the home insurance quotes reflect a credit for home alarms and smart home automation.

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