Hottest Smart Home Trends of 2021-2022

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HVAC worldwide is a $367 billion a year industry, and home and business owners may now be able to take greater control of their expenses. This is due to the growing prevalence of smart technology and the increasingly connected world of the Internet of things.

“Intelligent” products, including a variety of smart thermostats that are already on the market, give consumers more personal control over their homes through the use of technology that “learns” on its own or through an app on a phone or other networked system.

Most smart products work across multiple smart home platforms. In fact, the ZigBee Alliance, a consortium that includes Amazon, Apple, and Google, has pledged to create “service-agnostic” devices by 2021, which creates more options for consumers who use voice-controlled services such as Alexa, Siri, and Assistant in their homes.

As HVAC systems trend toward the use of more electronic (rather than mechanical) components, it should be interesting to note how homes and businesses will change in the future.

Learn about Trends with National Smart Home Month

To highlight the new trends in smart home technology and educate people about how to use it, Real Homes and their sister brand Homebuilding & Renovating have joined forces with technology brands TechRadar and T3 to produce National Smart Home Month. For the month of October, Real Homes will produce outstanding videos, newsletters, explainers, buying guides, and news pieces aimed at bringing people up to speed on smart home technology.

According to a survey completed by Real Homes, 70 percent of respondents didn’t know the capabilities of smart assistants, 39 percent didn’t know what a smart home was, and 31 percent didn’t know how to connect devices together. To help bring readers up to speed, Real Homes and their partner brands are offering:

  • A beginners’ guide titled “Smarter Living” free of confusing jargon, to help anyone turn their home into a smart home
  • Seminars on the London Homebuilding & Renovating Show, including “Making the Most of the Latest Smart Home Technologies in Your Home” and “The Smart Home Done Right”
  • A “Focus On: Smart Appliances” article to help break down the best high tech kitchen tools

All content will be conveniently labeled with the National Smart Home Month logo to help users easily locate the pertinent articles. For now, we profile four smart innovations below that can be put to use in your home in 2021 and beyond.

iRobot Roomba i3 Wi-Fi Connected Robot Vacuum

The iconic Jetsons cartoon comes to life with the iRobot Roomba i3 Wi-Fi Connected Robot Vacuum. While this device doesn’t interact directly with home HVAC systems, vacuums such as the iRobot Roomba models are very efficient at removing dust and pet dander from floors. Cleaner floors mean cleaner air and keep HVAC air filtration systems working efficiently, and saving homeowners from costly maintenance repairs. This voice-activated vacuum can be scheduled or controlled by the iRobot home app or a smart speaker such as Amazon Alexa.

This vacuum works well on hardwood floors and carpets and learns from your cleaning habits. It will suggest extra cleanings during allergy season or pet-shedding season. Smart sensors prevent it from falling down stairs. Optional integrated mop and dirt disposal stations are available to fully automate the chore of floor cleaning. iRobot has several models to choose from, and this one costs $399.99 on Amazon.

UV LED Light Bulbs for HVAC Systems

Cutting-edge research from Tel Aviv University (TAU) has good news: coronavirus can be killed quickly and efficiently using ultraviolet (UV) light-emitting diodes (LEDs) in HVAC systems. While this technology is not currently in production, it’s estimated to be available soon for residential and commercial use.

UV LED light bulbs work to eliminate the threat of coronavirus by being installed in ventilation systems such as air conditioners and heat pumps. Air that passes over ultraviolet lights is sterilized when it’s drawn in and recirculated throughout a home or a building.

Since the cost of LED bulbs is low and the UV light is not exposed to humans, this solution is affordable, safe, and has the potential to be an effective way to clean the air and prevent contagious airborne viruses like Covid-19 from spreading.

Yoolax Smart Blinds

An easy way to control the temperature in a house is with window coverings. Yoolax makes Smart Blinds that can make putting the shades up or down to cool or warm a home as easy as pushing a button. These blinds are made out of durable PVC and vinyl and are equipped with a remote-enabled motor. The blinds can be controlled via remote or can be connected to Google Home or Alexa for voice control. All of the blinds are completely customizable for length, width, and color so that they will fit any window.

The motors on the blinds run off of a battery that needs to be charged every three to six months. For hard to reach blinds or for users looking for more convenience, there is an optional solar panel that can be purchased to keep the blinds charged at all times.

Proscenic Smart Humidifiers

For people who live in dry climates or have allergies or other breathing issues, Prosenic makes a smart humidifier that can help regulate air humidity. This smart appliance can be controlled from the app or through voice control integration with Alexa.

Depending on the size purchased, these humidifiers can run up to 30 hours without needing to be refilled. There is even an aromatherapy function that utilizes essential oils to freshen the air or help ease respiratory illnesses.

What really makes this humidifier stand out is the ability to schedule it. With the app, users can select the time, mode, and level of humidification. The humidifier will automatically shut off if the water level is too low but will otherwise run as programmed.

HVAC Trends From 2020

Here’s a look at the hottest HVAC trends from 2020.

Ecobee Smart Thermostat With Voice Control

The newest thermostat from Ecobee is the Smart Thermostat With Voice Control. Installing this smart thermostat can save you up to 23 percent on your home energy costs per year. The thermostat does this by not only learning your patterns and cooling or warming the house appropriately but also by timing cooling and warming cycles with time-of-use energy prices and by adjusting for humidity inside and outside the home.

With a built-in Alexa, this thermostat is also voice-controlled. Installation is very straightforward, and there is a user-friendly Android iOS app for easy setup. At $249, this thermostat can pay for itself in energy savings in the first year.

ConnectSense Smart Outlet 2

If investing in internet-enabled small appliances such as coffee makers, fans, or lamps is not in your budget, you can install a ConnectSense Smart Outlet and turn them into smart appliances for very little money.

This outlet can be controlled using your Android or iOS app from a mobile device enabling you to turn it on or off or monitor energy usage. Utilizing the app, it is possible to even use your voice to control the plug with either Siri, Alexa, or Google Assistant.

Each plugin of the two-plug system can be managed independently. You can also link it to smart home hubs such as HomeKit Scenes and Automations opening the possibility to link outlets turning on to actions such as doors opening or doorbells being rung. These outlets cost just $59.99 and can be purchased on Amazon.

Nest Thermostat

The Nest Thermostat has remained dominant in HVAC smart home trends these past few years—and there’s a reason why it remains relevant.

Did you know that if your thermostat isn’t properly programmed, you could be throwing away $172 annually? That’s according to the makers of the Nest Thermostat, which actually learns what your home preferences are and then programs itself to set them.

A Nest can also be controlled from your phone and can result in certain financial advantages, like reducing your heating and cooling costs by up to 20 percent, according to the Nest website. In fact, every time you make a heating or cooling change in your home, the thermostat’s Nest Sense is learning, so that it can schedule and activate your preferences itself.

Additionally, the system even senses when you have left your home and consequently adjusts your heating or cooling system. The Nest Thermostat can be purchased for $249.00.

The Keen Vent

This was also developed a few years ago, but it remains just as relevant: this smart vent “intelligently” opens and closes to reduce the presence of hot or cold spots in your rooms. Keen’s smart vents replace your existing vents and connect to your existing home network through the use of Zigbee.

You can keep your own faceplates or choose from a variety of beautiful vents offered by the company. You can also set up zones in your house so that you can direct the flow of air to these areas, instead of the hallway. The starter kits are priced at a reasonable $389 for one or two rooms, or whole home kits for just over $1,600.

Frigidaire Smart Window Air Conditioner

In the middle of the 20th century, window air conditioners became popular as a way to cool homes in many parts of the country. Although many single-family detached homes now have central air, window units still play a part in cooling, particularly in some large apartment or condominium buildings.

The Frigidaire Smart Window AC system takes in information from you, learning from your location and schedule. Like other smart devices, it can be controlled when you are elsewhere, using an app on your phone, but also figures out where you are using that phone’s GPS system. That way, if you are approaching your home, the cooling system can turn on, so that you don’t walk through the door into a sweltering, uncomfortable environment.

Other Trends in Smart Home Technology

While you’re upgrading your home, here’s a few non-HVAC innovations in smart home technologies to help houses be more secure and energy-efficient.

Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler

Got an irrigation system with a clunky control panel? Need to give special care to newly planted shrubs and trees? The Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler covers eight zones, makes watering simple, and saves people an average of 30 to 50 percent on their monthly watering bills.

By using weather intelligence, the Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler is compatible with 99 percent of existing sprinkler controllers. It skips watering when rain, wind, and freezing temperatures are forecasted, saving money through limited water. As well, it prevents overwatering and can be programmed for specific plant types to deliver just enough water for different soil types, sun exposure, and lawn areas. It can be installed in 30 minutes or less without special tools using an in-app installation tutorial. This device can be operated from the app or controlled via an Alexa device. The controller costs $220.99.

Ring Indoor HD Security Camera

For those times when you need a set of eyes at home, the Ring Indoor HD Security Camera lets you connect up to two indoor cameras that let you see, hear, and speak to people and pets in your home using your smartphone or smart speaker.

The indoor cams can all be viewed using the Ring app and set up easily by plugging it into a standard outlet and connecting the device to your wi-fi home network. With a subscription to Ring Protect, you can access all recorded videos up to 60 days and easily share videos and photos. A singular camera system costs $59.99 on Amazon.

Wyze Bulb LED Smart Home Light Bulb

Gone are the days of having to choose between cool or warm light bulbs: smart home light bulbs like the Wyze Bulb LED Smart Home Light Bulb give you the power to adjust the tone, color, and brightness to achieve the desired lighting in your home year-round.

With 800 lumens (equivalent to 60-watt bulbs) LED technology, this bulb saves energy and can be controlled from the Wyze app on a smart device or smart speaker. Wyze bulbs let you set vacation modes and weekly schedules to turn on lights when you need them and turn them off when you don’t. Wyse Sense motion sensors, sold separately, turn lights on and off when you enter a room, saving you money through automation. A four-pack of these bulbs costs $37.98 on Amazon.

Kimmy Gustafson

Kimmy Gustafson is a freelance writer with a passion for sharing stories of bravery. Her love for world-traveling began when her family moved to Spain when she was six and since then, she has lived overseas extensively, visited six continents, and traveled to over 25 countries. She is fluent in Spanish and conversational in French. When not writing or parenting she can be found kiteboarding, hiking, or cooking.

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