Don’t just lay new tiles, repaint the walls and put in new cabinetry. For a complete renovation, you should also consider a few smart upgrades to your home.
Upgrade your old devices and gadgets to smarter ones that are easier to use and help you conserve energy.
Here are the 5 best smart home upgrades to include in your remodelling plan.
1. Smart Thermostat
This one is a no-brainer for any home.
Your AC is the biggest power consumer at home.
A smart thermostat can help you bring those costs down.
It knows when you’ve left home, when you come back and which rooms are empty. It then regulates temperature accordingly to save energy.
By checking your thermostat’s energy report and history, you can see exactly where most of your power is going and get insights on how to save energy.
Smart thermostats are easy to install. Most use the same wiring as your old thermostat. Just remove the old one and insert the new one.
The user manual will have all the installation instructions you need including whether a C-wire is required.
Read our smart thermostat buying guide for reviews of top smart thermostats including Nest and ecobee.
2. Smart Robotic Vacuum
If you are tired of going up and down the house everyday vacuuming the floors and carpet, you should include a smart robotic vacuum cleaner in your home renovation.
It will especially be useful if you have pets that leave hair all over.
A robotic vacuum cleans your floor automatically. Just press a button and it goes.
Smart robotic vacuums need a bit more work than that to configure. You need to connect it to your home network and download an app.
Though these smart robotic vacuums are pricier, they are the best especially if you have a busy schedule.
You can start cleaning from anywhere, monitor the vacuum’s cleaning and set a cleaning schedule using your phone.
If you are on a budget, there are many excellent low-cost models that come with just the basic features such as scheduling and automatic recharge.
If you also need some help mopping, either get a combined robotic vacuum and mop or buy a dedicated robotic mop separately.
Read our robotic vacuum cleaners buying guide for reviews of the best robot vacuums and mops including Roomba, Neato and bObsweep.
3. Robotic Pool Cleaner
You have your floors all sorted out with the robotic vacuum cleaner. But the pool is still a headache to maintain. You either have pay a pool company or do it yourself.
If you don’t like either of those, get a robotic pool cleaner.
It’s a pool cleaner that cleans automatically.
No, it is not a pressure nor a suction pool cleaner.
Unlike these two, a robotic pool cleaner is self-contained. It does not rely on your pool’s pump or filter.
It has a motor and wheels (or treads) to propel itself around the pool, brushes and a suction system to clean up debris and a cartridge or bag to hold the dirt.
As with robotic vacuum cleaners, there are many types of robotic pool cleaners.
There are advanced ones with fancy features and a lot of power as well as cheaper ones for smaller in-ground and above-ground pools.
Read our robotic pool cleaner buying guide for reviews of the best robotic pool cleaners for above-ground and in-ground swimming pools.
4. Smart Lights
Smart lights are another great way to save energy.
They are also much more convenient to use compared to pressing a switch every time you want to turn a light on or off.
You can control smart lights right from your phone. You can also program them to switch on or off at certain times to save energy.
5. Smart Speaker
Your smart home renovation is not complete with a smart speaker. It’s what ties everything together neatly.
Smart speakers are equipped with smart assistants that do all kinds of tasks for you – switch off your lights, change the thermostat, turn on the robotic vacuum, read the news, check your calendar and so on.
Currently, Amazon and Google are biggest smart speaker brands.
Amazon has their Echo speakers (equipped with Alexa smart assistant) and Google sells Google Home speakers (equipped with Google Assistant).
Apple also recently started selling the HomePod smart speaker equipped with Siri.
Read our smart speaker buying guide for reviews and comparisons of the top smart speakers.