Do you ever wish your home could be more technologically advanced? Or perhaps you’d just like to have more free time during the day, or for your lifestyle to be more convenient?
If that sounds like you, then chances are you’re interested in home automation systems. Maybe you scour the internet for home automation tips, and maybe you’ve already invested in cool gadgets like an automatic thermostat.
Of course, as any of the many home automation blogs can tell you, getting a full-featured smart home goes a lot deeper than automatic thermostats and coffeemakers. But what is home automation integration, and how should you get started with it?
In simple terms, home automation integration involves integrating technology and the internet into your home. It means taking simple things that usually aren’t connected to the internet and making them automatic or remotely controlled.
For example, you could set window blinds to open at a certain time every morning, or for lights to be controlled from your smartphone.
To make an efficient smart home, you must plan ahead. Here we’ll explain what you should do to start integrating technology into your home. Keep reading to learn more.
1. Analyze and Improve Your WiFi Network
When you study home automation for beginners, the subject of WiFi comes up often, because many smart devices rely on it to connect to the internet. But it’s less often that you’ll see any discussion about the importance of network speed and reliability for smart homes.
To get the most out of an automated home, you need good internet. But many people have a home WiFi network that isn’t reliable or doesn’t reach every room of the house. To make sure this isn’t the case for you, use a WiFi analysis app on your mobile phone to detect “dead spots.”
As you might have guessed, a dead spot is any place in your home where a wireless connection is weak or nonexistent.
Once you know which rooms in your house have the strongest network connection and which ones have a weaker connection, you can decide what to do to improve your home’s WiFi. Network extenders and high-speed routers are both options you can use to improve the reach and power of your home network.
2. Inspect Old Home Wiring for Neutral Wires
When you build a home, you have the perfect opportunity to set up automated systems from the very beginning with a new construction prewire. However, most people who are interested in home automation technology need to integrate it into existing homes. This involves some complications, especially if your house is old, but it can be done.
If you have an old house, the first thing you’ll need to do is have your wiring inspected. It’s a good idea to have an electrician look at your home’s electrical wiring now and then to ensure it’s still safe. But more than that, for automation integration, it’s important to make sure that the connections to your light switches have neutral wires.
The reason neutral wires are so important is that they continue to deliver power to light switches even when switched off. This is what allows a light switch to communicate with the rest of your smart home, letting it turn on and off automatically or remotely. Without neutral wires between switches, when the lights are off, the power will be, too.
As long as your home’s wiring is equipped with neutral wires already, you won’t have a problem. But it’s best to make sure you do before making any plans for automation.
3. Talk About Your Plans With Your Family
While you may be excited about automating your home with the latest technology, your family may not be as keen on the idea. Not everyone is comfortable with the idea of having everything in their house connected to the internet.
If you’re tactful and patient, you should be able to help any hesitant family members get over their fears. You can explain to them how their privacy is almost certainly safe thanks to encryption technology and reputable manufacturers. The important thing is to find out what bothers them about automation, and see if you can mitigate or eliminate the things that concern them.
For most people, there’s nothing specifically disturbing about smart homes—it’s just new to them, and they need time to adjust. If you’re up-front with them about your plans for the home, they should come around sooner or later.
4. Get the Best Internet Connection You Can Find
We already discussed how important WiFi speed and reliability are to a connected home. But it’s also important to note that your WiFi network is always going to be limited by the connection from your internet service provider.
The good news is, speed is less critical to a smart home than reliability. While you’ll need decent network speed for things like video security, for communicating between devices, almost any network speed will do. The most important thing is that there aren’t interruptions in your connection.
If your ISP tends to be unreliable, you might want to look for alternative options before you carry out your plans.
5. Define Your Long-Term Automation Goals Up-Front
Speaking of carrying out your plans, what are they? It’s important to figure that out at the beginning.
Many people are interested in the idea of having a smart home, but they aren’t always sure what that would look like. If you haven’t given it much thought either, now would be a good time to do so. What features would you like to have in your home?
You may want to integrate a few automated features here and there over time, rather than upgrading your entire home at once. This is fine, but it’s still good to know what your ultimate goal is in advance. That way, you can be sure that the changes you make along the way will all be compatible with each other.
6. Start With a Smart Thermostat to Save Energy
We mentioned at the beginning of this article that, if you’ve done much thinking about home automation, you may have already set up an automated thermostat. Unlike other forms of home automation, smart thermostats are fairly common-place, and they’re easy to set up. So they’re often the first thing people install.
However, there’s more to automatic thermostats than their simplicity. Besides being relatively easy to install, they’re also valuable tools for saving money on electricity.
You probably know that the more your heater or air conditioner runs, the more energy your home will use. Because of this, it’s a good idea to turn off your HVAC system, or adjust the thermostat, when you leave the house. This prevents you from using unnecessary energy when you aren’t home.
However, it’s easy to forget. When you’re busy trying to get out of the house, the last thing you want is another thing to remember to do.
That’s why smart thermostats are so useful. Instead of relying on you to adjust them whenever you go to bed or leave the house, automated thermostats adjust themselves based on your schedule. This is why they’re so highly recommended for conserving energy.
7. Be Mindful of Your Family’s Privacy
Last but not least, privacy is an important thing to consider any time you introduce new technology. But it’s especially critical when you’re bringing that technology into the most private places of your home, such as bedrooms. The last thing you want is for hackers to get into your system and view your cameras or settings.
Fortunately, as long as you use products from reputable manufacturers, this shouldn’t be a concern. You should always practice good digital hygiene, but as long as you use common sense, your privacy should be safe, even in an automated home.
Go Beyond Home Automation Tips Today
As you can see, home automation integration needs to be very well-thought-out and planned carefully ahead of time. By now you should have a good understanding of which home automation tips are important as you set your goals for your smart home.
However, this is only the beginning. To get the best home automation systems in 2021, you’re probably going to need help.
That’s where Media Controlled comes in. Rather than simply telling you what you need and making you figure it out for yourself, we‘ll set up your home for you. Contact us now to learn more.