Although until recently we associated them with extravagance, today they are becoming more and more popular and appreciated. Intelligent houses and flats, because we are talking about them, is a guarantee of comfort, safety and lower fees.

When planning an investment in intelligent installations, we usually face a difficult choice. Which will be the best solution for us? How to choose a smart home that meets all expectations? We invite you to a short overview of the available options.

An intelligent home. Who pays off?

Before we go on to discuss individual solutions offered by suppliers, we will try to answer the question: is it worthwhile to have an intelligent home? First of all, it should be noted that – although more and more popular – intelligent installations are expensive.

Many Poles classify them as luxury goods, inaccessible to people on low or average incomes. However, it is not only the wealthy who can afford it – contrary to appearances, a well-chosen intelligent home management system does not have to be extremely expensive at all! Its profitability and whether the investment will pay for itself (and, if so, after what time of use) will depend on the individual solutions that we decide on.

It should be remembered, however, that the comfort and safety we gain from them is a value in itself.

Heating control

Heating control is one of the most important functions of an intelligent home, which is decided by many users.

By equipping the heating and air conditioning system with additional sensors, we are able to rationally use the energy needed to heat or lower the temperature in the apartment. A great advantage here is the precision of its selection, much greater than the traditional knobs, which regulate the power of radiators in our homes. In the control panel we can determine the height of the temperature with an accuracy of at least 1°C.

Nothing stands in the way of us maintaining different temperature heights in each room. They can be adjusted remotely using a tablet, smartphone or laptop. This in turn means that we are able to lower the temperature when we are away from home (thus saving energy) and raise it before our return so that the desired heat prevails in the house when we enter it.

Alarm system

If the presence simulation system fails and a burglary occurs, the salvation will be an alarm system that responds and informs the police about the incident at the right time. An alarm system is usually an integrated range of motion detectors, which react to, among other things, broken glass in a window or crossing a designated line.

Thanks to this, an intruder is immediately detected and our property is safe. Most modern alarm systems protect us not only against theft, but also against flooding as a result of hydraulic failure.

Many of them also detect the presence of gases harmful to our health. In such situations, the system notifies us of the danger and starts ventilating the rooms. The alarm system can be selected from several classes, depending on the degree of risk of dangerous situations.

Fire-fighting system

Fire protection systems in intelligent homes protect us from fire. Equipped with smoke detectors, they continuously analyze the air from the fire zone to detect the presence of smoke.

Thanks to them, as well as temperature sensors and fire network sensors (e.g. sprinklers), a fire is not only detected early, but also reported to the relevant services. In addition, a properly configured system will cut off the gas supply, issue an evacuation instruction, notify us via e-mail or SMS about the event. It will also raise the roller blinds to make it easier for us to leave the building.

Personalization system

An intelligent home adapts to its inhabitants. The adaptive learning subsystem, remembering their behaviours and preferences, assigns appropriate programmes to specific individuals and situations. How does it work? The system records the user’s behavior at a specific time and then automatically recreates the resulting schedule. Of course, we can program the operation of the system ourselves, adjusting it to our own needs.

Example: if you go to bed at 10 p.m., you can set your system to turn off the light at exactly this time. We can also allow him to “learn” our sleep periods to do it by himself, without our participation.

Weather system

If you leave your house and sometimes leave your windows or doors open on the terrace, a weather system is the right solution for you. Thanks to weather sensors it will decide to close them and switch to independent power supply during a storm. We can also configure our system to download weather data from the Internet on an ongoing basis and control heating and air conditioning on their basis.

Presence simulation

The presence simulation protects our house against burglary and theft. The smart home system remembers the habits of the users and on this basis simulates their presence in the house. It plays the recorded sounds, turns on the lights, starts TV and other devices.

For thieves, it is a sign that someone is at home, which may discourage them from trying to break in. This solution is very often used during holiday trips. Just like heating control systems, we can also control the simulation of heating remotely.

Does an intelligent home have drawbacks?

An intelligent house, although it significantly increases the quality of life of its inhabitants, may also pose a threat. Since modern systems enable remote control of the network, our house can be controlled from any place in the world. It is enough to use a smartphone or a tablet connected to the Internet.

In this way, however, we are exposed to attacks from cybercriminals, which are becoming more and more frequent in the West. Therefore, when buying intelligent home management systems, it is worth paying as much attention to the security functions possessed by the devices, such as wireless communication encryption and the ability to change passwords.

The spectrum of intelligent solutions that we can apply in our homes is becoming wider and wider. An intelligent fridge will not only learn our culinary habits, but will also order our preferred products to replenish stocks.

An intelligent TV will record an episode of our favourite TV series if we fail to return home on time, and the intelligent washing machine will check the type of fabrics used to make clothes and select the appropriate washing programme. Is this only the beginning and soon whole ecosystems of intelligent appliances will be hosted in our homes?