Make Your Home Smarter

Smart Stuff
You've heard the phrase "Smart Home" used a lot over the last few years. What IS a Smart Home? A smart home is one that features a smart device. As the name suggests, a smart device is an electronic gadget that is able to connect, share and interact with its user and other smart devices. Although usually small in size, smart devices typically have the computing power of a few gigabytes.

Why would you want a Smart Home?  
Advantages include:
~~Convenience is one of the biggest reasons that people want smart homes. These homes give users remote access to systems including heating and cooling systems, intercoms, music and multimedia devices throughout the home. Integrated hard drives allow homeowners to watch video or listen to audio in any room; video intercoms make it easy to communicate with others in the home or visitors at the door. All of these smart home technologies streamline common tasks.

~~Security-- Smart homes include advanced security systems with cameras, motion sensors and a link to the local police station or a private security company. Smart homes may also use key cards or fingerprint identification in place of conventional locks, making it harder for someone to break in.

~~Accessibility-- For elderly or disabled residents, a smart home may feature accessibility technologies. Voice-command systems can do things like control lights, lock doors, operate a telephone or use a computer. Home automation allows an individual to set a schedule for automatic tasks like watering the lawn, removing the need to perform these labor-intensive tasks on a regular basis.

~~Efficiency-- Smart homes offer enhanced energy-efficiency. Lights can shut off automatically when no one is in a room, and the thermostat can be set to let the indoor temperature drop during the day before returning it to a more comfortable level just before residents arrive in the evening. All these automated tasks, along with modern, energy-efficient appliances, combine to save on electricity, water and natural gas, thereby reducing the strain on natural resources.

~~Resale-- When it comes time to sell a smart home, sellers will have an abundance of effective selling points. Whichever advantage of a smart home appeals to a given buyer, the seller can explain the system and discuss how it makes life easier. Homes with automated systems have the potential to sell for much more than comparable homes with conventional technologies. Automating a home can be a worthwhile investment in increasing its market value and attracting possible buyers in the future.

How Does It All Work?  
Smart home technology uses devices such as linking sensors, hubs and appliances connected to the Internet of Things (IoT) that can be remotely monitored, controlled or accessed and provide services that respond to the needs of the users. "Smart" stands for Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology.

Some common examples of devices include:Security systems: Cameras are just one aspect of home security. A full system with door sensors, indoor motion sensors, and a siren can monitor your entire home for break-ins. There are systems that let you self-monitor, dispensing with the link to emergency services so you can keep tabs on your house without a monthly fee.

TVs and remotes: You may not think of your home theater as part of a smart home, but it is---especially when you connect a smart remote which can control multiple devices at once (including lights, shades, and other smart devices) and integrate with Alexa or Google for easy, hands-free control.

All kinds of other stuff: This is just the tip of the iceberg. Dig deeper, and you'll find smart sprinkler systems that water automatically based on the weather, window shades that close with the touch of a button, robot vacuums that clean the house while you're gone, kitchen appliances you can operate remotely, and smart outlets that can control just about anything that plugs into a wall.

The Internet of Things (IoT) initiative that connects smart home devices such as doorbells, lights, locks, security cameras, and thermostats has made it easy for everyone to install and use these gadgets in their homes, but you still need some sort of mechanism to control them. In some cases, just a phone will do the trick, but if you use multiple different products or services, you might need a home automation hub to control everything and have the devices interact with each other.

A hub serves as the nerve center of your home automation system and ties all of your devices together. Whether you need one or not depends on the type of components you're using and how many devices you want to control. Some home automation systems don't require a hub and can simply be controlled directly using a mobile app. For example, the Ring and Nest systems include cameras, doorbells, locks, smoke alarms, and thermostats, and work directly with your phone, as well as a number of third-party devices.
Most new homes are designed with smart systems included.  And it gets easier every year to add smart components to older homes.  If you have not already added smart devices to your home, now is the time to start letting your home do some of the work for you!

And while we are on the subject of smart ideas, it's really smart to use our special financing to pay for a new project you've been wanting to complete. Right now we are offering 18 Months Interest Free Financing on installed purchases over $5000. This is a great deal, and is only available until the end of February.

How Much Does It Cost?
Smart window treatments---you are thinking this sounds great! But what is this going to cost me? When you purchase your Hunter Douglas Shades with PowerView® Motorization, they are compatible with your smart home system. It averages $275 for the necessary hub and an additional $100 to $200 per window treatment.

But what will you save? You can synchronize your technologies for maximum convenience and savings.  For example, on a hot, sunny day a home automation system can detect a temperature rise with your thermostat. The system will then close your shades to keep heat out and switch off the lights, so you don't pay extra for energy. If you don't have a smart thermostat, you can set up your Motorization system to  automatically open and close your blinds at the times you tellit.

Want an added level of security? The same system can close your shades, lock the doors and arm the security system when you say, "Alexa, it's bedtime."

Now even your window treatments are smart!

Design Tip
Think smart when you are purchasing new appliances.  There are smart instant pots, coffee makers, pan stirrers, hand soap dispensers, ranges and ovens, air fryers, blenders, toasters, microwave ovens, and refrigerators.  Once you get your first smart appliance and see how easy it is to use, you will want more of these time and effort saving devices.

What's New At Enhance?
We also think it is "smart" to install some of our new luxury vinyls! If you haven't seen vinyl in a while, it is time to look again. Some of the newest styles are insanely realistic, especially the new Karastan LVP! It is beautiful, practical, well priced, and you know it is a quality product when it is Karastan. Come let us show it to you today!

I Was FLOORED By Enhance
It is smart to read reviews and do some comparison shopping.  It's not smart to make your decision solely on the lowest price. 
Vic in Woodstock writes:  "The crew from Enhance was excellent. They installed hardwood floors throughout our house, new carpeting in the bedrooms, and the new kitchen floor. They did a phenomenal job. I went through like five different companies, but Enhance impressed me as the most professional."  

Thank you, Vic.  You and your wife were a pleasure to work with.  Enjoy your new floors and thank you for making the smart decision by using Enhance Floors!