Owning a home is one of life’s great milestones, and finally having your own space to fill with your things and decorate to your tastes can be an exciting time in your life.
Modern technology has brought numerous advances that homeowners should be taking advantage of, and you can start updating your home for the 21st Century with very little money. Having a home that has more than just a fresh coat of paint, but also a lot of modern and high-tech conveniences can increase your home’s value when you decide to sell. Some technologies can also save you money, helping them to pay for themselves.
Here is our quick guide to ten modern improvements any homeowner can make to bring their home up to date.
#1. Bring the Internet of Things into Your Home
Hundreds of household appliances like refrigerators and light bulbs are becoming connected to each other though Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to create an ‘Internet of Things’.
There are now smart appliances that can be monitored, operated and programmed through smartphone apps or your web browser. You can create and control lighting schemes in the home, control your thermostat from your chair in the living room, and even answer the front door to your home while you are out, complete with a video feed from your doorbell. You can also have a VoIP system; this technology makes it so that you can technically make or receive a call from anywhere as long as you are connected to the internet.
#2. Add Solar Panels for Some Energy Independence
In the last decade, solar power technology has become cheaper and more efficient than ever before, making it a practical solution for homeowners that want to generate their own power. Solar panels can generate massive amounts of power for people that live in an area that receives a lot of sunshine, and can often bring them a revenue stream as well as electricity.
Combined with a home battery system, some solar paneled homes never use any electricity from the power grid, and will supply the grid with their excess energy, giving them a check in the mail instead of a bill.
#3. Update Your Heating and Air Conditioning System
Many homes will have heating and air conditioning systems installed that belong firmly in the last century. Modern systems are much more energy efficient, saving you money and the environment. Using air pumps and heat from the ground, companies like wecareteam.com can bring your home heating and air conditioning systems up to date quickly and easily. We Care install thousands of systems a year, and provide comprehensive service and maintenance to thousands more homes across California.
#4. Replace Old Windows with Modern, Insulated Alternatives
Many homes built as recently as in the 1980s will still have older style, single paned glass windows that let the heat out at night, and can turn a home into a greenhouse on a hot day.
Swapping them for energy efficient windows that have two, or even three panes in them, can save a lot of money on both heating and cooling bills, and give you an opportunity to update the style of the windows in your home. You can get stylish energy efficient windows that incorporate traditional designs, like leading or decorative sills and even shutters.
#5. Get a Better Connection with a High Speed ‘Fiber’ Internet Service
Having a strong internet connection is becoming more and more important, with new devices that require a wi-fi connection coming into the home every year, and smartphones becoming more integral to our lives.
High-speed, fiberoptic internet connections make it possible for multiple devices to stream high definition video in the home, while smartphones and smart devices maintain constant connection to the internet without any slow down or buffering. The dial-up and broadband internet services we are used to are not capable of keeping up with the demand for bandwidth, and upgrading your internet connection is one of the simplest and easiest high-tech improvements you can make.
#6. Charge Your Garage
Electric cars have become the fastest growing sector of the car market, with thousands of people investing in an electrically powered car every month, choosing them over gas guzzling SUVs and pick-ups.
Installing a charging station for electric cars is a great way to future-proof your home, and may give you the push you need to try and electric vehicle for yourself. Many two car families are replacing one of their gas-powered cars for an electric alternative to use on short journeys. Combined with home solar and battery storage technologies, you could save yourself thousands a year by skipping trips to the gas station.
#7. Take the Inside to the Outside, Modernize Your Yard Space
Our outside spaces have gone overlooked for too long, and even if you have a well-manicured and cared for front lawn, you probably aren’t making the most of your home’s exterior spaces.
Many families are finding new uses for their outside spaces and investing in some modern conveniences to help them make the most of their space. Using your back yard as a dining area or living area is a good choice, and there is a lot of tasteful furniture available for you to use to update your exterior space. You can use wooden decking to make a distinct area in your yard to use for dining and relaxing, and maybe add a fire pit or hot tub as features for you to use.
#8. Add Extra Security and Convenience with Home CCTV
Protecting your home is important, and some of the biggest advancements in technology for the home have been made in home security.
You can now get high quality CCTV security systems for your home that can notify you of any activity or intrusions where ever you are in the world. Many modern home security systems combine alarms with discreet, wireless sensors and high definition cameras connected by your wireless internet service. Your doorbell can even be integrated with the security system, allowing you to monitor your front door while you are out and record any visitors.
#9. Use a Digital Home Assistant to Help You Rule the Roost
Services like Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Home have changed the way many people interact with their spaces and can give their users a lot of power over appliances.
With some careful programming on their apps and other devices, you can control things like your home lighting and heating with your voice. By integrating smart thermostats and intelligent lighting systems with these services, it is possible to have your home respond to your commands – truly making you king of your castle. You can voice a command like “We’re going to bed now, Alexa”, and these smart devices will turn off heating, lights and even lock your doors for you.
#10. Make Room for a Virtual Reality in Your Future
Virtual Reality devices are on the cusp of revolutionizing home entertainment and gaming, providing us with thrilling experiences we can enjoy from the comfort of our home.
In the decades before, it was common to have a play room for kids, a home office for the grown-ups, or even a room that was used as a home cinema or for music. The home of the future will have a space where people can go to enjoy virtual reality experiences. The space needs to provide room for movement and be free of clutter, and should have a screen available for spectators to watch a stream of a VR user’s game or movie.
The near future looks incredibly exciting, with huge advancements being made through the latest technologies. Our homes are one of the biggest investments we will make in our lifetimes, and we need to keep them up to date so that we can make the most of them while we have them. Hopefully this guide has given you some ideas on how to improve your home for the 21st Century.