Before delving into the pros and cons of home automation systems, first, let us understand what a smart home is. Briefly put, a smart home is a home where everything from electronic devices to security systems, ventilation to heating, air conditioning, etc., are controlled by you by a click of a button, either using a smartphone or any other device. You can control your appliances like stoves, refrigerators, washing machines, dryers, etc., too. It all depends on how much control you want. For instance, with a click, you get to decide whether the lights should be off or the cooling on. Great, isn’t it?
The use of home automation has dramatically increased in recent years. Many people now want to get smart home technology installed because of the convenience and flexibility it provides. Home automation systems really are enticing; being able to remotely control everything at your house gives you higher control over every aspect of your home. From security to food, you will have an eye on everything, and it will incredibly add convenience to your life.
However, do you think it is the right thing for you? Some essential things are to be kept in mind before installing home automation systems in your homes. Let us look into the pros and cons of home automation systems, making deciding so much easier. Before that, let us understand how a home automation system works.
How Do Home Automation Systems Work?
For smart homes, all you need is installing a certain technology, your smartphone or any other device, and an internet connection. With the help of advanced routers and high-powered wireless coverage, you can use it to connect your entire home.
When you install home automation systems, all your electronic devices and appliances that you want to control would be connected to a central core, known as the ‘gateway.’ This gateway is the one controlled by a web interface like mobile phone software. This further enables you to have total control over all the devices in your smart home.
Now, let us look into the pros and cons of home automation systems, which will present a clear picture for you if you want to install these in your home.
Pros of Home Automation Systems
With new technological advancements, your life is going to get so much easier in the years to come. With home automation systems, you can check on your security system, turn on and off any appliance, or even keep a check on your home while on vacation. Given below are some reasons why you should choose home automation systems.
- Convenience and comfort are the greatest pros of smart homes. The home automation systems increase our accessibility and security. Without getting up, you can adjust your home’s temperature, control the lighting the way you want, or play some music. If you have a smart home, there are countless things like this, which you can do. It saves your energy as well as provides you greater comfort.
Imagine coming home from work after a tiring day. You can have a relaxing bath while listening to your favorite music, just with the click of a button. Great, isn’t it? Thus, home automation systems are a great idea that makes your life relaxed and more comfortable.
- Think about it- you can control your entire range of smart appliances with a single device or program. Isn’t it crazy? If you have a good internet connection and a mobile phone or any other device, you will be able to control all your appliances and mechanisms from a central point. This system provides you complete control over your home, and consequently, you can freely adjust or make changes as per your specifications. The sophisticated interconnection between your household devices makes it such that you do not have to get up from your place; you can do anything sitting anywhere.
- Home automation systems also save you a lot of time. You can plan different things which you want to be done at a specific time and adjust the settings accordingly. Besides time, you also have a sense of security as it ensures you have complete control over your home. You can safeguard your home even when you are not there.
- If any strange event takes place in your home, your home automation system will notify you immediately. If someone attempts to rob your house, you will immediately receive a message that an unauthorized person is there in your home. You can instantly call the authorities, and the intruder will be caught in no time. In another instance, your home automation system will notify you if there is no food in the fridge, and you should buy some!
- Sometimes, when you are at work and want to let some people into your home for routine cleaning or repair work, your home automation system will step in. Your smart home system allows you to open your home using remote access to the doors and let the workers do their jobs. It is a great help as you do not need to be present in person, and your work also gets done.
- Your smart home system will also save energy. Automating the heating and cooling systems in your home will save you a lot of money and energy. You also have more control over the heating and cooling of your home. A programmable smart thermostat will learn your schedule and temperature preferences. You can have hot and cold temperatures in your rooms as and when you need them. You do not need to heat or cool your home when you are not present. That is a great benefit.
- You can customize your smart home according to your preferences. You are free to decide which devices should be included and which should not be. If you feel you do not want to connect your windows to your home automation system, you do not need to do so. Add only those devices, which you want.
- With a home automation system, you can have remote monitoring when you are away from your home on vacation or work. With the help of remote dashboards, you can turn the lights on and off and the automated blinds up or down. This will give the impression that someone is at home, which will mitigate the risk of intrusion or robbery.
- In comparison to conventional locks, your home automation system offers you greater safety improvements. Smart homes do not have a traditional lock system, making it difficult for robbers to get in. Moreover, with the help of cameras installed and other security measures, they are much safer than a conventional home.
- There are insurance benefits of smart homes too. Many insurance companies consider smart homes less susceptible to theft and offer a discount on the insurance premium.
- Smart homes are also suitable for elderly people living in the house. Home automation systems such as voice commands to operate various gadgets and appliances, everything will be at their fingertips, even if they are not very mobile. They can switch on and off the lights and fan, heat and cool, listen to their favorite music or watch television, or any other thing. The main thing is that they are not dependent on anyone else for every need of theirs, making them very happy.
- Another advantage of smart homes is their resale value, reasonably higher than conventional homes. Buyers are always willing to pay more for a home with home automation systems. Smart homes are a great buy with features like smart security, climate control, appliances, and entertainment.
Cons of Home Automation Systems
Some significant cons of home automation systems are:
- Installation of a home automation system can be a costly affair. Though they provide great convenience and comfort in our lives, it requires you to spend a good amount of money on installing them. However, they do save money in the end in energy savings.
- Another shortcoming of home automation systems is that they require very strong and consistent internet connectivity to function properly. If internet connectivity in your area is not up to the mark, there will be serious issues as your devices and appliances will not function the way they should. In addition, if you are away from home and need to control your smart home device, it might not be possible due to unreliable internet connectivity.
- As much as home automation systems provide security, there can also be unwarranted security issues. Intruders, to get inside your home, can hack your smart home device and your data can also be stolen. Therefore, there can also be substantial security issues associated with home automation systems, which you must consider before investing in one.
- Another significant issue with the home automation system is dealing with technical problems. Smart homes have complex and technologically advanced systems and are pretty susceptible to technical glitches. For example, if a connectivity problem arises between your phone and household appliances, it would not be possible for you to control your devices anymore. Due to technical issues, it may not allow you to unlock your home.
- You would be too much dependent on technology to run your life. Though they provide greater comfort and convenience, any glitch in that would lead to helplessness on your part. So, think before you install home automation systems if you do not want to be dependent on technology in running your life. On the other hand, ask yourself if you want to stay independent and then take a decision.
- The maintenance and repair of a home automation system can be complex and expensive. Moreover, finding someone with the expertise to resolve these issues is many times difficult. In addition, you may find that there may be a blockage in a vital part of the system, and functions may stop. Therefore, any maintenance or repair issues are hard to fix and costly too.
- It will take some effort on your part to understand the mechanism of your home automation system. To control your smart home with just one device, you will need to learn everything, which may leave you a bit perplexed. However, you will soon be proficient in the functions of your smart home system and run your home efficiently.
- One of the main disadvantages is the limitation of the devices that you can connect to a particular network. If you connect more devices and security systems, the network will congest due to large data transfer. This may result in the slow down of the functions caused by reduced transmission speed. You always essentially need high-speed network connectivity for your home automation system to function properly.
- Another issue that bothers everyone is the compatibility of devices. If you wish to add a new device or system to your smart home, you have to confirm if it is compatible with other devices. If you have a centralized platform, which controls all your devices, any new system you wish to add should be compatible with it. If not, you will need another program or app to manage it. This may add more cost to your new system if it does not come with a free app.
- All the devices of a home system are mostly interconnected. It may increase the chances of a surge in electric load. If your house protection is not in order against electric shock or fire, there is a probability, worst-case scenario, that your house might catch fire and burn down.
- The technology of smart home systems is not at all suitable for every house. It generally depends on how old a home is. Very old homes will not have the wiring required to install home automation systems. Therefore, before installing a smart home system, you have to make sure that your home is apt for it.
- Technology is changing so fast nowadays. Therefore, there are greater chances of the technology used in your smart homes getting outdated soon. Consequently, if you are installing smart home automation systems right now in your home, you will have to update them in a few years.
There are a lot of pros and cons related to home automation systems, which you must consider carefully before you think of installing one. A smart home definitely provides you with greater comfort and security, but its disadvantages must not be overlooked.
In the end, you should carefully evaluate all the pros and cons in order to make a profound decision of whether you want to invest in a smart home or not.