Ask Ann: Put These Smart Home Technologies On Your Christmas List

From showerheads that double as audio speakers to refrigerators that will open at the sound of your voice, a slew of new smart home gadgets hit the market each year.

Choose the right ones this Christmas, and your family could enjoy increased comfort, convenience and in some cases, lower energy bills.

Need a stocking stuffer or just want to dip your toe in the smart tech market? Start with

smart plugs. They allow you to turn outlets on and off at the touch of a button or you can program use patterns. For instance, if you need a little help waking in the morning, you can program a smart plug to turn on your bedside lamp at the same time your alarm goes off.

For several years now,

smart speakers have been a popular Christmas idea. Many have voice control and wireless technology, which allows you to add speakers throughout your home without running miles of speaker wire. There are options for every budget, with single speakers that start under $50 and house-wide systems that run into the thousands.

If you’re after smart home tech that can save you money, consider investing in a

smart thermostat. Some models learn from your behavior and automatically adjust the temperature based on your preferences and schedules. Others can be preset to shut off when you’re at work or when they’re not needed. Either way, by reducing unnecessary HVAC usage, smart thermostats can save you big on utility bills.

Customers praised these smart plugs for their easy set up process and use for indoor and outdoor use.
Customers praised these smart plugs for their easy set up process and use for indoor and outdoor use.

For the gardener in your family, consider smartening up your lawn with

smart sprinklers or a smart irrigation system. Smart sprinkler attachments offer an easy, entry-level approach. They hook in between your spigot and hose and allow you to control your sprinkler from your phone or to preset sprinkling times.

Though more expensive, top-of-the-line smart irrigation systems can go far beyond pre-programmed timer settings. Some can help you save on water bills by adjusting watering times and levels based on the weather or your soil’s moisture level.

A smart sprinkler controller can help revive your lawn this spring.
A smart sprinkler controller can help revive your lawn this spring.

Before you spring for some smart tech this Christmas, there are a few things to consider. First is interconnectivity or compatibility. Most people want to control all or most of their smart home gadgets from one central location or one app. With so many different smart devices and smart systems on the market, it’s important to understand whether the device you are purchasing is compatible with your other smart home tech.

The second thing to consider is installation. Many smart gadgets require little to no installation and very little technological know-how to set up. Others, such as some smart locks, might require you to call in a handyman. Before investing in any smart home tech, make sure you understand the installation process and any costs that might arise from it.

If you’re stuck for Christmas present ideas or are just looking to buy yourself a little treat, consider raising your home’s virtual IQ with these smart home technologies.

Ann Hoke leads the

REAL Trends Top 250 real estate team at Ann Hoke & Associates with Keller Williams. For more information or comments, contact Ann at (615) 397-4024 or [email protected]

This article originally appeared on Murfreesboro Daily News Journal: Smart technology can upgrade your home, save money

Source : https://news.yahoo.com/ask-ann-put-smart-home-020027377.html

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Ask Ann: Put these Smart Home Technologies on your Christmas List

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