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Are You Ready for a Smart Home?

Smartphones, smart cars and smart homes, everything is trending toward smart. Bigger cities in the Lower 48 have hopped on the smart home trend and now they are slowly making their way into the Alaska housing market.

Here are some of the most popular smart home trends:

Audio/Visual Systems

Elaborate home video/audio systems started the smart home trend. Homeowners wanted surround sound systems throughout their homes so music could follow them from room to room with the simple click of a button. Alaskans are now taking this in-home trend outside.

“Alaskans want exterior audio systems to improve their outdoor experience,” said Daniel Siira, owner of AVID Alaska. “I’ve done in-ground subwoofer systems around fire pits.”

Automatic Blinds

Alaskans love living in the land of the Midnight Sun, until it’s time to get some shuteye and the sun follows them to bed. Automated blinds are becoming popular in Alaska. Homeowners can program the blinds to follow the light. Letting light in during the day, and blocking it at night.

Security Systems

Smart is convenient and it can also keep you safe. Security systems are very popular, and can range from a simple one-camera setup to multiple cameras, intercom systems and automated door locks. “People want to be able to monitor who is at the front door,”

Siira said. “When the doorbell rings, you can see before you answer the door. And with so many people ordering packages, these systems allow you to keep an eye on your packages until you get home.”

Virtual Reality

Smart home systems improve security and efficiency, but they can also be installed just for fun. Siira says one of the coolest smart home systems he’s seen for Alaskans is a virtual reality hunting simulator. A projector screen is installed inside the home and fake guns can be used to simulate hunting or tactical training.

Smart Doesn’t Always Mean Simple

If you’re looking to make your home a little smarter, you’d be smart to do some research or ask advice from the experts.

“People think, ‘oh, I can run out and make my house a smart home by grabbing stuff off the shelf,” Siira said. “What they don’t understand is that you are going to end up with 10 to 15 different apps on your phone, trying to control your home and that’s not really making anything easier.”

Siira specializes in creating centralized control systems for smart home operations.

“The whole point of technology is to make things easier for us,” Siira said. “If you have one app that controls everything, the experience is more user-friendly, enjoyable, reliable and efficient in the end.”

Homebuilders are beginning to incorporate centralized smart home systems into design plans. Homebuyers looking to build, should think about what smart home systems they would like before breaking ground. “The earlier you can bring someone on to coordinate, the better the end product will be,” Siira said.

If you’re interested in making your home a little smarter, make sure the contractor is licensed, bonded and insured. If you have questions, AHBA can help verify your contractor is qualified and covered to complete the work. Call AHBA at (907) 522-3605.

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