You might already know ways that a Z-Wave smart home system can save you money: smart thermostats that only heat and cool your home when it needs it; smart dimmers that reduce the energy consumption of your lights (saving on monthly utility bills and replacement costs); smart plugs that shut off completely when they aren't needed. But did you know that Z-Wave technology could also potentially reduce the amount of money you're spending on homeowner's insurance premiums?
Not every application of smart home tech will qualify – they probably don't care if you're using smart speakers to play music for your guests. But if you're using Z-Wave technology to create a safer and more secure home environment, chances are that many of them will take that into consideration.
The most obvious examples are things like the Fortrezz Wireless Water Shut Off Valve, which—when combined with a good floor/water sensor—can literally prevent burst pipes from flooding your home. Given that water damage is one of the most common home insurance claims, it makes sense that most providers will cut you a break for being proactive in preventing such damage.
Another no-brainer is ADT Pulse—a professionally installed and monitored home security system that also serves double duty as the centerpiece of a complete Z-Wave smart home system. Since virtually all homeowner's insurance policies give discounts for security systems, an investment there will payback when you write that insurance check or in your monthly mortgage payment.
But if you've added enhanced monitoring and control capabilities to your home (whether your hub is ADT Pulse or a DIY system like SmartThings), you should definitely check with your local agent to see what other discounts you may be eligible for.
With most providers, the benefits offered vary from state to state, but companies like Travelers offer discounts for "Smart or connected home technology which alerts the customer that a fire or burglar event is occurring." And State Farm will work with you to reduce your premiums if you have one of a number of "qualified home monitoring and automation systems."
Given that smart home technology isn't ubiquitous yet, you may have to explain your smart home enhancements to your local agent and make the case for why they qualify you for a discount, and it never hurts to go in armed with info such as that listed above from your own provider's website. The money you could save could go a long way – and before long, your smart home will have paid for itself.
SmartThings, ADT Pulse, Smart Flood sensors, home security, home safety, Z-Wave, smart home
The Apple Watch is already great at a lot of things. It's perfect for keeping tabs on your personal fitness goals, for quickly checking (and even replying to) text messages and phone calls, for glancing at the weather forecast, and even for paying for purchases with Apple Pay. But what about controlling your home?
Have questions about getting started with smart home technology and feeling a little overwhelmed? You came to the right place, because we have answers.
Home Security Bear - Vivint
Nexia Home Intelligence Overview
With smart Z-wave home technology, your teen can enjoy even more freedom without compromising your peace of mind
If you're at all familiar with smart home technology, you're probably aware of some of the benefits: the enhanced comfort and energy savings, the increased security, the undeniable convenience. But did you know that a smart home can also improve your health and help you get in shape?
FIBARO Smoke Sensor
Samsung's 2016 smart TVs control your gear
For many, home safety and security are intertwined. Seeking peace of mind, homeowners often look for smart home solutions that protect not only their most cherished valuables, but also the home itself and everyone in it.
Vacation properties can provide a holiday oasis for families and friends while being used. But what happens during the rest of the year? Homes often sit unoccupied for long periods of time and until recently, it was hard to maintain and monitor without hiring someone local or spending money on an expensive security system.
Home automation itself is the process of setting up your home appliances, entertainment, surveillance, and more so that you can control these with functions and features on a computer, smartphone, or tablet. A smart home is a home that has installed products that can be controlled with home automation.
A smart, or connected, home is defined as one where the lights, heating/ventilation/air-conditioning (HVAC), security alarm and other household devices can be automated and remotely controlled by a smartphone, tablet or computer. The key drivers in smart home adoption are home security, energy efficiency, entertainment, convenience/productivity, connectivity and health monitoring.
So how can a smart home improve your everyday life? For starters, they are surprisingly easy to use, make life more efficient and add a comforting layer of security to your family's home.
The new motorized deadbolts utilize the Z-Wave wireless protocol to enable true remote locking and unlocking. This allows homeowners to remotely access and control the lock from anywhere in the world, using a smartphone, tablet or Internet connected device.
For while this diary is going to be all about the latest and greatest smart home tech – an area I consider myself at least mildly authoritative on – getting that tech connected and playing nicely is a different beast entirely.
I've decided to turn that boo into another woo-hoo by seizing the opportunity my new, falling-down, three bedroom house affords me. I want to make my home smart. As smart, efficient and as seamless as possible. And I'll be detailing that process in this weekly smart home diary.
The connected home is no longer the sci-fi dream it once was -- it's now becoming a reality in many homes.
But you could also do Z-Wave. I recommend you steer clear of ZigBee for this because I haven't yet found a ZigBee switch I love. Aeontec and Fibaro offer these $40 modules that fit inside your electrical box that will allow you to keep your switch, if you happen to like your switches.