A few weeks ago, I replaced my washer and dryer and was shocked that these appliances feature smart technology. I can now turn on the washer through an app on my smartphone, and I get notifications if there’s a problem with operation of the unit. The handiness of the new appliances got me interested in a home automation unit. I was a bit concerned about the difficulty of set up and management of the unit, but home automation is quite user friendly. It also pays for itself through a great deal of energy savings and overall convenience. A smart home uses a network of technology that connects to the web. I now have access to my furnace, A/C, water heater, lights, security cameras and a whole lot more through my smartphone or laptop. If my family’s schedule should drastically change, I can adjust the HVAC, lights, oven, coffee maker or just about anything to help us. If we arrive home late, there’s no need to switch the furnace to maximum capacity. I can check to make sure my children made it safely home from school and that the doors are indeed locked. I can make adjustments to the lighting while we’re taking vacation. Just adding a smart thermostat has probably cut down ten percent off my monthly energy bills. For the first week after installation, the smart thermostat tracked the changes we made to temperature and created a schedule. It now autonomously adjusts to conserve energy when the house is vacant, and knows exactly how long it takes to set the home to ideal comfort level.