Smart Home Apps for Comfort, Safety and More

December 19, 2019
Woman sitting on the couch and looker at her phone.

Did you remember to turn off appliances or set the security system before you left the house? Turning things on and off manually or being present to operate special features is no longer necessary thanks to smart home apps, which can allow you to control just about anything in your home using your mobile device.

If you’re looking to use app controlled lights and other home automation features, consider the following types of smart home apps.

Appliance apps

Many smart appliances come with home automation apps you can use to control them. Once the appliance is set up, you pair the appliance to your phone app using a unique code you’re provided. The app then allows you to turn your dryer, washer, refrigerator, oven or air purifier, among others, on and off. You can also use the apps to change settings and monitor or control the appliances in various ways. Software like Apple’s HomeKit provides these types of features, including monitoring for fans and humidifiers, and is compatible with products from over 50 brands.

When you buy a camera for your refrigerator and log the food you’ve put into it, for example, smart home apps can tell you when you need to restock your fridge and suggest recipes. And, you can log onto the app and look inside your refrigerator to see if you already have an ingredient on hand. One such app is The FridgeCam, which sends you notifications when food is about to expire and integrates with your online food list to help you restock your fridge.

Brillion is another app that connects with appliances like ovens, allowing you to turn them on, set temperatures or operate dual ovens independently. This makes it easy to finish cooking a meal before you arrive home or keep tabs on a dish while you’re busy elsewhere in your home.

Companies that manufacture smart appliances also commonly have proprietary apps that work only with each brand’s appliances and fixtures. For example, LG’s Smart ThinQ app pairs with Smart ThinQ-branded appliances to operate them. With a Smart ThinQ washer and dryer, you can use the company’s app to check cycle statuses, start or pause a cycle and run diagnostics from your mobile device.

Security apps

You can feel better protected with a home control app for your security system. Security cameras through companies including ADT, Ring and Arlo allow you to watch your home and see what family members are doing directly on your phone via the security cameras installed around the house.

While ADT only does a live broadcast, Arlo caches files of all movements on video so you can review them later. Ring has HD video and two-way talking integrated into a microphone on the company’s doorbell device, so you can converse with anyone who’s at your door or monitor deliveries. While using the apps paired with security systems, you may also be able to lock or unlock front and back doors, open or close garage doors and turn app controlled lights on or off inside and outside your home.

Heating and air conditioning apps

When you buy a smart heating and cooling thermostat, like other smart appliances, it’ll likely be accompanied by a home automation app for your phone. For example, with Nest, you can check your home’s temperature, turn the air conditioner or heater on and off, and view your energy usage, which can help you save money.

Staying connected to and aware of what’s going on in your home is now easier than ever with smart appliances and home control apps. But for those times that the unexpected happens, homeowners insurance can give you the peace of mind that your smart house and belongings are protected.

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