A Smarter Home – IoT in Your Appliances and Home Systems

A Smarter Home – IoT in Your Appliances and Home Systems

Want a smarter home? Start with smarter versions of appliances or home systems you use every day. Your kitchen, heating and cooling, plumbing, and other devices can benefit from upgrades that use smart technologies. If you’re in the market to replace any of them, you may want to research the latest tech ideas that can help make your home smarter.

Science in Your Appliance

What are these smart technologies? A simple example is when your home gets too warm or too cold for your liking. A smart device can regulate the temperature to your set preferences. How a smart device works has a lot to do with the concept of the “Internet of Things” (IoT). If that’s a new term, you can learn more with a quick web search. A simple definition is the connection of any device to the Internet that you control and use to benefit your life, your work, your home, and so on.

IoT has had impact on many devices. This article offers an overview of the kinds of smart technologies that can replace devices you’re already using in specific areas of the home. A comprehensive list could fill a small book, so we’ll provide guidance on smart devices you can use in the kitchen, in heating and cooling systems, and for plumbing and irrigation. The devices can help make your house a smarter home.

Kitchen

Smart technology continues to revolutionize the kitchen and our everyday lives. Search for:

Smart refrigerators: Newer model “smart refrigerators” now have touchscreen displays that let you browse the Web, check your Google calendar, track grocery lists when foods run out, add a food inventory after store visits, suggest recipes, find coupons, and even send you notifications on expiring food. Other smart models have modules that work with your smart phone. You can alert the fridge to make more ice, or the fridge can alert you when the door is left open. These modules can also set the fridge to energy saving mode when you’re out of town and send you alerts when problems arise with the system.

Smart ovens: You just picked up some dinner that you want to keep warm while you serve the hors d’oeuvres. Smart ovens can preheat remotely using proprietary apps. Remote preheating is also a time-saver when you need to get dinner cooking as soon as you walk in the door. New smart convection ovens go beyond just remote preheating. A smart phone can send alerts via an app when a dish is properly cooked and let you change the oven temperature on the fly. Voice-controlled ranges also have been making some recent heat waves.

Smart dishwashers: Most newer model dishwashers allow you to set a time for the machine to run. Smart dishwashers let you turn it on from anywhere. That can be handy when you realize at work that you forgot to turn it on and need those dishes clean for a dinner party later that night.

Smart coffee makers: Have your coffee ready to drink the minute you wake up and set the times for weekday and weekend times so you never miss a beat. This is the easiest appliance upgrade to make; simply plug in a smart coffee maker, connect it to wi-fi, and save your settings via your smartphone.

Smart kitchen lighting: It’s possible to create smarter lighting within your existing system of dimmers, switches, bulbs, and light fixtures. Search for starter kits that utilize smart switches and bulbs that you can control using home wi-fi and an app on your smart phone.

Heating and Cooling

Regulating temperature in your home saves money, but with smart devices you can do much more. Search for:

Smart air conditioner controls: Now you can use your smartphone to adjust your home’s temperature so it’s cooled down just when you arrive home. If you forget to turn off the AC while you’re away you can also do that from your phone. These smart controls can save you money on energy costs while letting you control the temperature from anywhere.

Smart thermostats: Take your programmable thermostat to the next level when you install a smart one. Beyond the ability to remotely control your home’s temperature, these thermostats track real-time energy consumption, learn from your habits, and adjust temperatures depending on weather and activities in the home.

Smart vents: This is a newer smart tool that shows promise. When you install a smart vent, it uses occupancy sensors that can close vents in rooms it detects as empty. Smart vents also use thermometers to regulate air flow, so the vents will close if they detect that a room’s temperature is too high or too low.

Smart water heater: You can set a smart water heater to turn off when you go to bed since you won’t be needing hot water, and have it start warming up so the water is just right for morning showers. You can also adjust the water heater’s temperature remotely, if you’re on vacation, or a home is empty.

Plumbing and Irrigation

Smart plumbing: You can install smart sensors that use collected data to recommend ways to use less water and save on your bill. The sensors can also detect leaking pipes, which can prevent water damage. Some sensors even provide alerts to potential problems that could lead to future systemic issues.

Smart irrigation: If you install smart irrigation, the sensors can turn off drip or watering systems when it rains, change the amount or the days to run when the seasons change, and more.

Other Ways to Create a Smarter Home

Curious about a smart device you’ve heard about and want to learn more about it? Simply include the word “smart” or “IoT” with your search term — like “smart bread maker,” for example.  You’ll find there’s a lot of science in many types of appliance, new and old.

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