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5 Smart Home Upgrades That Can Add Value and Save Money

Oh baby, it’s a wired world! The Washington Metro area ranked as the No. 3 tech city in the U.S. in Cushman & Wakefield’s Tech Cities 1.0 report, coming in just behind San Francisco and San Jose. It’s safe to say that more homebuyers in the Capital Region are looking for a home that fits their streamlined, digital lifestyles.

Home automation allows you to control everything from window blinds to pet feeders with just the touch of your smartphone or a simple voice command. These smart home upgrades will not only make your listing pop, they can create significant energy savings and up to a 20% reduction in home insurance. Your futuristic, smart home could be just a few clicks away.

Smart Thermostat

With its elegant design and smooth functionality, the NEST Learning Thermostat has gotten a lot of attention and for good reason. It not only lets you remotely control the temperature from any mobile device, it’s Auto-Schedule feature learns your daily heating and cooling temperatures and creates a schedule based on your preferences. It can monitor your furnace, warn of peak electricity prices, and automatically switch to ECO (energy conservation) mode if it’s motion detectors determine that you are not home. Which can lead to big savings on your energy bill and fewer fights over the thermostat.

Smart Locks

Forget leaving a key under the doormat. The August Smart Lock fits right over your existing deadbolt switch and connects to your smartphone, allowing you quick access to you or your guests. It automatically locks and unlocks your door as you leave and enter your home, can grant or restrict access to visitors anytime, and can even track who is coming and going with a 24/7 activity log. Give a virtual key to your dogwalker or get a notification when your kids are home safe. A smart lock is a safe and inexpensive smart home upgrade.

Smart Refrigerator

With its 29-inch touch LCD display, the LG Smart InstaView Refrigerator allows users to look inside the refrigerator without opening the door. And since it’s wifi-enabled, this voice-controlled fridge can do everything from order groceries, search recipes, and even tell you when you’re low on Milk. The only thing it can’t do is make dinner for kids, but don’t worry…there’s an app for that!

Solar Blinds

Designed for apartment and condo dwellers that do not have large roof spaces, these fully-automated solar window blinds by SolarGaps work equally well on any house that is looking for an attractive and discreet way to take advantage of the huge improvements in residential solar power. Easy to install and fully integrated with smart home hubs like GoogleHome, Echo, and Nest, these smart blinds automatically track the sun throughout the day, adjusting the panels’ position to the optimal angles for generating solar electricity to charge your the power-hungry devices in your home or store for a rainy day on a home battery.

Home Battery

No more scrambling for the emergency flashlight during the next DC thunderstorm. Tesla’s Powerwall is a sleek and compact rechargeable lithium ion battery can store electricity generated by solar panels to provides homeowners with backup power in the event of a utility outage. It can also draw electricity from the utility grid when rates are low to store for later use, charge that new electric car in the driveway, or when stacked with several modular units, help your wired family go completely off the grid. And if you aren’t ready to cover your slate with unsightly panels, Tesla also offers solar shingles that are designed to look like an actual roof.

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