A few months ago, I replaced my washer and dryer and was surprised that these appliances feature smart technology. I can now start the wash through an app on my smartphone, and I get alerts if there’s a problem with operation of the equipment. The convenience of the new appliances got me interested in a home automation system. I was a bit worried about the difficulty of set up and management of the system, but home automation is remarkably user friendly. It also pays for itself through tremendous energy savings and overall peace of mind. A smart home incorporates a network of technology that connects to the internet. I now have access to my furnace, air conditioner, water heater, lights, security cameras and much more through my phone or laptop. If my family’s schedule should unexpectedly change, I can adjust the heating, cooling, lights, oven, coffeemaker and just about anything to accommodate us. If we’re getting home late, there’s no need to run the furnace at maximum capacity. I can check to make sure the kids made it safely home from school and that the doors are securely locked. I can make changes to the lighting while we’re away on vacation. Just adding a smart thermostat has probably trimmed ten percent off my monthly utility bills. For the first few days after installation, the smart thermostat tracked the adjustments we made to temperature and built a schedule. It now automatically adjusts to conserve energy when the house is empty, and knows exactly how long it takes to bring the home to ideal comfort level.