You know the old saying, “Work smarter, not harder.” What does this mean, exactly?
Use your time wisely, be innovative in your approach, stay on task. These tips are all about how to make your work life easier. They prevent you from getting bogged down by menial tasks so that you can successfully maintain work, life balance.
So how can you apply this idea to your home?
Think of it like home optimization.
Every homeowner has tasks that just seem to waste time and energy, like cleaning your gutters twice a year, dragging the sprinkler around to water the lawn, or habitually monitoring your energy usage. But there are smarter ways to tackle these responsibilities.
Read on for five ways you can use technology to help your home work smarter, not harder.
1) Install an automated irrigation system
This one can make a big difference in your water bill and the amount of maintenance your lawn requires.
Irrigation systems have been around a long time, but these days, they’re a lot smarter.
Look for irrigation systems featuring water saving technology, like those that detect current weather conditions in your area and adjust settings accordingly.
Some may even detect the amount of moisture in your lawn in order to determine how much water is truly needed.
2) Get a digital lock
Eliminate panicked searches for your keys every morning with a digital lock.
Systems like Kwikset’s K?vo Smart Lock are well worth the money for the features they offer.
You’ll still have the option to use physical keys, but, if you forget or lose them, you’ll still have the option to use your smartphone to unlock your door.
As an added bonus, you can give other trusted individuals (like the babysitter, dog walker, or neighbor) temporary access to your home using this device.
3) Set up a programmable thermostat
If you drive yourself crazy trying to figure out how to reduce energy costs or spend an inordinate amount of time toying with your thermostat to get the perfect temperature, a programmable thermostat is a fantastic way to free up some of your time and save on energy.
There are tons of options on the market, but to get the most bang for your buck, I recommend the Nest Learning Thermostat.
With a beautiful modern design, this device will be functional in any room of your home. Connect to your smart phone for tracking and constant control – even when you’re hundreds of miles away.
This system is also great for troubleshooting energy problems in your home, such as a malfunctioning furnace, pipes in danger of freezing, and high humidity problems.
4) Invest in smart appliances
How often do you sit around waiting for your oven to preheat so you can warm up leftovers?
Do you ever get halfway to work only to turn around because you have an inkling of a feeling that you may have left the burner on?
Have you forgotten to write a grocery list and stood in the milk aisle contemplating whether the gallon sitting in your fridge has expired yet?
These all waste so much time! Save yourself some hassles by investing in smart appliances.
A smart stove will allow you to start preheating your oven remotely with a simple command from your phone. This same feature will allow you to turn it off from virtually anywhere, as long as you have phone service, so that you don’t accidentally burn your house down.
A smart refrigerator will save you the headache of taking inventory every week before you go grocery shopping, as it will allow you to view the contents of your fridge from your phone and keep track of expiration dates. Newer models are even starting to keep track of what you eat and when so that it can help you improve your diet.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg!
5) Get gutter protection
After the success of the vacuum robot (i.e. the Roomba), many companies have begun developing robots to help automate other chores. The latest device to come out of this trend is the gutter robot, which claims to help homeowners with the semi-annual task of cleaning their gutters.
But, let me tell you, this system is flawed.
This battery powered device takes forever to clean all the gutters on your house, and often cannot get through the volume of leaves and debris caked in them. It also tends to flip leaves onto the roof and even back into the gutters, which just perpetuates the problem.
This is one of those times that it’s better to go with a low-tech solution.
Get a gutter protection system that will permanently eliminate the need to clean your gutters.
Choose an entirely closed system like LeafFilter that does not disturb your roof or shingles so that you can keep your warranty intact.
The biggest advantage of upgrading features of your home to incorporate smart technology is that you get more time and energy to focus on the things that really matter.
What smart technologies have you invested in? How are they working out for you?
Guest post by: Rachel Rieger.