I love having a smart home.
But I wouldn’t recommend it to everyone.
Because, like all things in life, a smart home has pros and cons.
So, this setup would be beneficial for some.
While ineffective to others.
Wanna know which category you fall into?
Continue reading to find out:
- Whether smart homes are a good idea.
- 13 surprising pros and cons of having a smart home.
- The price gap between smart appliances and regular models.
- And this is just the beginning…
Are smart homes a good idea?
Smart homes are a good idea.
They make life much easier by removing redundant tasks from your plate.
And having smart devices around also allows you to:
- Be more energy-efficient.
- Have a higher level of security.
- Control your appliances from anywhere.
However, although smart homes are very convenient…
This setup isn’t for everyone.
For one thing…
You’ll be more prone to cybersecurity threats with many smart devices around.
And here’s another disadvantage:
A smart home is hard to maintain.
So, to know exactly if this setup would benefit you or not…
Read the detailed advantages and disadvantages of smart homes below.
7 pros of having a smart home
The main advantage of having a smart home is the level of convenience you get.
It’s like having a personal assistant doing all the work for you.
For instance, you can ask a robot vacuum to clean the floor in your stead.
And with a simple:
“Alexa, turn ON the living room’s screen.”
You can start streaming your favorite shows without even holding the remote.
Furthermore, most smart gadgets remember your routines.
Hence, they suggest an automation you most likely want. Before you even think about it.
The voice assistant Alexa has a feature called Hunches.
And when you activate this…
Your AI will notify you if your connected smart home devices aren’t in their usual state.
Let’s say it’s late at night.
But you forgot to turn OFF your lights in the bathroom. Or 1 of your appliances.
In both scenarios…
Alexa would ask you through voice or push notification if you’d like her to turn them OFF.
So, you don’t need to do so yourself.
Wanna see how convenient a day in a smart home would be?
Watch this video:
#2: Increase time efficiency
Since you can control all your smart appliances in your phone…
You’ll save plenty of time for yourself in the long run.
For example, in a non-smart home…
This is most people’s routine before leaving the house:
- Ensure that all appliances are OFF.
- Double-check that the door is locked.
- Make sure only minimal lights are ON.
And this process can take some time. Depending on the size of your place.
However, if you have a smart home…
All you need to do when you leave your house is tell your mobile app that you’re doing so.
And your smart home will handle all the safety checks listed above.
Of course, though, the time efficiency you get isn’t exclusive to when you leave your house.
See, smart homes also let you establish routines.
So, you can schedule your appliances to turn OFF at specific times.
Or even turn ON multiple lights at once through a single voice command.
Hence, you can utilize every minute of your day for more important matters.
#3: Maximize home security
Here’s my personal favorite about having a smart home:
Knowing my house is as safe as it can be.
See, smart home automation systems include the following:
- Motion detectors.
- Automated door locks.
- Surveillance cameras/doorbells.
So, you’ll immediately know if someone’s lurking at your house.
Or if you’ve just accidentally left your door open.
The best part?
Your phone will have all the information you need to keep track of your home’s security.
- Recorded videos.
- Real-time footage.
- Photos of moments when motion was detected.
So, it only takes minutes to ensure your home is safe.
#4: Lifesaving alarms
Some non-smart homes have CCTV cameras installed.
But they won’t alarm you of incoming or ongoing danger in real-time.
After all, traditional home security setups are just for recording events.
Not to avoid immediate dangers.
But with smart home security?
Well, rest assured that not only will you be alarmed when danger’s approaching…
But authorities near you will also be alerted.
All thanks to the professional monitoring services offered by smart home companies.
Let me give you an example:
Say you set up your smart home security with the company Wyze. Which partners with Noonlight. A professional law enforcement dispatcher.
And due to unforeseen events…
Your security alarm gets triggered late at night.
In this scenario…
Noonlight will contact you immediately after your alarm sets off.
And if you don’t answer, or you verify that it wasn’t a false alert…
The company will dispatch authorities to your location ASAP.
So, you avoid worst-case scenarios at all times.
#5: Control your home remotely
With a smart home…
You can control your appliances miles away from your house.
So, it’s easy to set your home’s temperature how you want it to be before you even arrive.
Or double-check if any of your appliances are still ON when you’re not home.
Everybody likes cutting their electricity expenses down.
And luckily, having a smart home makes it achievable.
3 ways smart appliances minimize your electricity usage:
When you activate your smart device’s power-saving feature…
It’ll reduce its performance to a minimal level to use the least electricity possible.
Smart thermostats would limit the range you can set your house’s temperature.
Because setting your AC too cool or your heater too warm, racks up your utility bill.
Electricity usage tracking
A staple inside smart homes is a smart plug.
And with this device…
It’s easy to know which of your appliances uses the most power.
With this information…
Minimizing your electricity usage becomes a piece of cake.
Because all you have to do is limit the time you use your power-hungry devices.
Or even replace them with more energy-efficient models.
Automatically turning OFF appliances
We all have exhausting days.
And during these moments…
Most of us just hop into bed without caring if we forgot to turn OFF a light or 2.
And of course, this increases your electricity bill.
Luckily though, with a smart home…
Your appliances would automatically turn OFF when not in use. Or during the time you’ve scheduled them to.
Many people think that to build a smart home…
You need all the latest automated gadgets in your house.
But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Like always, what appliances you use is totally up to you.
Even if you want to build a smart home.
Not a fan of robot vacuums traveling through your floor?
Then, just don’t buy them.
And the same rule applies to whatever smart device you don’t need.
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all concept with smart homes.
So, feel free to customize your setup to how you want it to be.
Editor’s pick: 39 Best Smart Home Devices & Gadgets (Updated)
6 cons of having a smart home
#1: Expensive installation costs
Yes, you’ll occasionally see a $20 Echo Dot during massive sale events.
But in general…
Smart devices have hefty price tags.
And they’re usually more than double the cost of their regular counterparts.
1 smart doorbell like Nest Hello is listed at over $200.
While a regular chimes kit just costs 50 bucks.
The same price difference exists in every type of appliance.
And to give you an idea of how expensive creating a smart home is, let me…
Compare the prices of smart and non-smart devices:
|Home appliance||Smart model’s price||Non-smart version’s price|
|Thermostat||$100 – $300||$50 – $100|
|Lights||$5 – $10||$2 – $5|
As you can see, there’s a huge price difference between smart and regular devices.
So, be prepared to pay hundreds to thousands of dollars when setting up your smart home.
#2: Hard to maintain
Most smart appliances have a 1-2 year warranty.
So, you won’t need to worry about paying for maintenance during this duration.
However, when your appliances’ limited protection ends…
You’ll start realizing how maintaining a smart home can rip your pockets.
See, smart devices are prone to technological errors.
Which regular models don’t experience.
For example, smart plugs sometimes stop working or responding to their apps.
And when these scenarios happen…
You’ll have to do at-home solutions yourself.
Or contact the customer support of your device’s company.
Otherwise, your smart gadget won’t be too different from its regular counterpart. Which would’ve been twice as cheap.
See, you’ll need to spend your time and money maintaining your smart gadgets. More often than you would in a non-smart home.
And this can be overwhelming. Especially if you have a dozen of them.
In a non-smart home, here’s what happens when the WiFi shuts down:
You won’t be able to stream or surf the Internet.
Which sucks, but it doesn’t sound too stressful, right?
But inside a smart home…
A WiFi outage could wreak havoc inside your house.
For example, without an Internet connection…
Smart doorbells won’t save any footage.
Because they usually don’t have built-in storage.
Of course, this is a major safety risk.
So, I don’t recommend having a smart home if you live in areas with an unreliable Internet connection.
Further reading: Can You Have a Smart Home With Satellite Internet? 6 Facts
#4: Cybersecurity risks
Every device connected to the Internet is at risk of being hacked.
That includes even the most popular voice assistant, Alexa.
And the reliable Google Home ecosystem.
So, here’s another big disadvantage of having a smart home:
Exposing yourself to cybersecurity risks.
If you have a smart home…
Hackers will know almost everything about you if they illegally access your network.
Because smart devices save all information in the cloud, which includes your:
- Daily routine.
- House floor plan.
- Doorbell videos/images.
And such data can make criminals break in or spy on your house easily. Which is a huge safety concern.
#5: Not always intuitive
Yes, having a smart home makes your day-to-day life easier.
But this is only the case when you’ve fully set up your devices.
Unfortunately, smart gadgets aren’t always intuitive to use on their own.
And they’re even harder to use as a group.
Because every brand requires you to use a different app to control your gadgets.
So, if your smart home comprises devices from 5 different companies…
You’ll also have to juggle between 5 mobile apps to control your smart home.
“But can’t I just use voice commands to control all of them?”
Yes, you can.
However, to enjoy a fully hands-free smart home experience…
You’ll need to connect your devices to a voice assistant individually. Which can take you hours if you’re unfamiliar with the process.
Not too tech savvy?
Then, unfortunately, a smart home’s steep learning curve may be a big disadvantage for you.
#6: Prevents you from remaining active
This is a big hidden con of having a smart home.
And I’m a victim of it myself.
See, I used to aim for 10K steps daily, as many do.
But when I started incorporating smart devices into my life…
I could barely hit half of that.
Mostly because my short trips to turn OFF the lights or do a simple action were all replaced by an Alexa command.
Of course, though, this disadvantage is easily preventable.
So, if you want to build a smart home while maintaining an active lifestyle…
Just don’t rely too much on your smart devices as I did.