Smart Appliances and Systems Connect to the Internet of Things

Jennifer Gagne

By Jennifer Gagne

Many people have heard of “smart” devices in their homes that can make their lives just a little easier. What people may not know, however, is that it’s not just connected coffee makers and “hubs” that tech developers are now releasing to the public which can connect to the internet of things (IoT). At this point, these kinds of systems can be applied to just about anything in the home, from something as unexpected as their beds, to complex systems like air conditioning and heating.

In recent years, homeowners have probably heard about “smart” thermostats that allow them to connect directly to their home heating and cooling systems from just about anywhere in the world, as long as they have their smartphones. While this is certainly an exciting feature that puts a little more power in the homeowner’s hands, the ultimate goal of installing one is to save energy or gas – and by extension, money. The good news is that these devices are already relatively inexpensive to buy, and fairly simple to install.

How Does It Work?
A smart thermostat doesn’t take a lot of know-how to install, and there should be plenty of instruction online to walk any homeowner through the process. Once that’s done, it usually won’t take more than a few clicks on a smartphone to pair the devices so that owners can monitor – and more importantly adjust – their home temperature whether they’re in traffic, at work or out on the town.

With these devices, one won’t have to set the heat as high during the colder months or as cool in the summer. While programmable thermostats allow homeowners to set up timers that switch on heating or cooling systems automatically, smart thermostats go one step beyond that simplicity, allowing for a lot more flexibility.

What About Hot Water?
Of course, when trying to reduce home heating costs, one thing a smart thermostat can’t handle is how much energy is used to heat the water that will be used throughout the home. That’s where smart hot water heaters can likewise make a big difference for homeowners.

Along similar lines to smart thermostats, smart water heaters connect to the internet, and allow users to monitor and control all sorts of functions remotely. Here, too, the ability to control temperatures can keep homes running more efficiently, and potentially safely because these systems oft en also come with alerts that can tip owners off to any potential problems that may be brewing.

How Does a Hub Help?
Among more conventional and widely used smart home features, hubs such as Amazon Echo and Google Home, are already gaining popularity. But as time goes on, it’s expected that these will become even more feature-rich, especially as more competitors enter the field. This may be particularly true when it comes to Apple’s Home app, which comes pre-installed on devices like iPads and iPhones, and may therefore allow for even greater control across all smart devices right from a phone or tablet.

Incorporating that functionality with smart thermostats or water heaters can help get even more value out of such an investment.

Make Sure It’s Protected
When homeowners make the decision to invest in these smart devices, all of which are going to become more common in the future, but decide to sell their homes, it’s vital for them to make sure they have a home warranty in place. Having a home warranty today will provide financial protection to buyers and sellers alike and make sure that when certain things go wrong with their systems or appliances, the cost of repairs or replacement can be covered as quickly and easily as possible.

That, in turn, can provide significant peace of mind not only to homeowners but also agents.

Contact Jennifer Gagne to learn more about how HMS can help save your clients’ money. Call her at (612) 267-7340 or email her at jgagne@hmsnational.com. Gagne, a seasoned REALTOR, joined HMS Home Warranty in March 2011. A reason for her success as a REALTOR was the inclusion of a home warranty in over 90 percent of her transactions. She enjoys educating brokers and agents on how an HMS Home Warranty increases client satisfaction and builds repeat and referral business.