Does it feel like the future is coming so quickly that you’re having a hard time keeping up? Does it seem like so many new technologies are coming so fast that keeping up with advancements and changes is a task that borders on impossible? You’re not alone—our world is becoming more and more full of technology that promises to change the way we live, and in some cases this is absolutely true. Today we’re privileged to enjoy a number of different things that make our lives easier, either by making it more secure, more automated, or more capable than ever before.
Outfitting your home with this technology can seem like a difficult task—how do you know where to start? What do you really need? What will be the foundation for more advancements in the future? What won’t be immediately outdated within a year or two of your investment? While we can’t guarantee we know where the future will go, we do know of a few things that will be certain thanks to how the industry is progressing. That means we can offer you this list of four future-proofing technologies that are great for any homeowner who simply wants to start preparing their home, or even as a gift idea for that homeowner on your list!
Smart Electrical Panels
Stability is an extremely important part of electrical safety. That is the job of your electrical panel: provide stability and safety by ensuring every circuit has the energy it needs and that no individual circuit draws too much power, thus putting it at risk. Smart panels are the next evolution of this technology, using the power of internet connectivity and intelligent programming to keep a closer eye on your electrical system than ever before.
Smart panels unlock capability that you may never have imagined. Depending on the make and model of your chosen system, a smart panel can do everything from notify you when breakers switch off to tell you exactly what has happened with a handy notification. Some even give you the ability to “island” your home from the public utility grid, thus making it safe to use backup power sources like emergency generators, whole-home batteries, or even solar energy systems.
Home Automation Software
Home automation software isn’t exactly “new” this year, but its capabilities are expanding further and further seemingly every day. The two primary platforms for home automation are Google Home and Amazon Alexa, both of which use a proprietary programming “base” that enables devices from different manufacturers and that do different things to communicate and take action for you. For example, with a smart home enabled oven, you can use the power of your smartphone or tablet to preheat your oven to a certain temperature… while you’re upstairs finishing a different chore. You can even set up a “routine” where your garage door opens, your lights turn on, and your HVAC system switches on all at the same time, and all when your phone detects that you have reached a certain point in your commute home—a practice known as “geofencing.”
Many of these devices are centered around a hub, such as a smart speaker from Google or Amazon. These speakers often give you the ability to control certain things with the power of your voice. Plus their small size and affordable price make these speakers an extremely popular gift for the tech-oriented people in your life.
Do you have a “prepper” on your list? Do you simply want to keep your home prepared for the worst? Power outages will only become more and more common as the years go by. Our electrical dependence is increasing, all the while our electrical grid is aging and wearing out. While some updates and upgrades can improve reliability, outages are a fact of life. However, as we become more dependent on electrical power, even small outages can have a bigger impact on us. That’s why backup generators are becoming more and more important.
Most people opt for a “portable” generator—a smaller, usually gasoline-powered generator that can be easily moved when needed and stored when not. However, those who really want to increase convenience may opt to go for a standby generator. These generators are typically natural gas-powered and are connected directly to your main gas connection. They generate more power and operate automatically, making them fare more convenient. However, they are a bigger investment as well.
Electric Vehicle Chargers
If you pay any attention to the automotive industry, you likely are seeing the signs that indicate that electric vehicles very much are the future. With growing concerns about climate change, surging prices for fossil fuels, and stringent emissions standards that are making gasoline-powered engines less and less practical, it should come as little surprise that commuters and families alike are ditching purely-petrol engines in favor of fully-electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles.
However, one of the primary reasons people have become so willing to make the switch is that home charging has become faster and more reliable thanks to the widespread adoption of home EV charging systems. With a traditional 110-volt plug-in connection, charging even a small electric car can take anywhere from 18 to 20 hours in many cases. With a 240-volt specialized charger, a full charge can be achieved in as little as four to six hours, with most charges taking as little as two to three. Plus their small size means they can be installed almost anywhere, and most charging stations can be installed both indoors and outdoors thanks to high-quality construction.Interested in installing these or any other upgrade for your home? Call the local electrical experts at A-TEMP Heating, Cooling & Electrical at (503) 694-3396 today!