Control-Smart-Home-SmartphoneLet’s be honest, how many of us still have home phones? I’m not saying that they’ve gone the way of dodo birds and Laserdisc players, but you have to admit that they’re becoming rarer. In fact, the only thing that is really keeping home phones on life support is the fact that many internet companies include phone service in their competitively priced cable-tv bundles. It makes sense that we would have moved beyond home phones. After all, most of us keep mobile phones on or near our person at all times; why would we want to pay extra for something totally redundant, and that can’t even leave the house? However, even if home phones do eventually fade to memory, telephones will still play a critical role in our houses. How, you ask? Well, through smart technology of course! Here are four smart ways that you can use your smartphone to control your smart home. Pretty smart, huh?

1.Security

You know what’s great? Not having your house broken into and your stuff pilfered. And although it would be nice if burglars would find legitimate ways to pay for their methamphetamine addictions, the truth is that the world is filled with people who desperately want what you have. Drama aside, the best way to protect your home is with automated home security systems. All of the standards that have been a staple of home security for decades are still there (alarms, cameras, electric locks, motion detectors, etc), but now you won’t need some bulky control panel sucking all of the cool out of your living room. Modern home security can all be controlled and monitored wirelessly through your mobile smart device. This comes in handy when you wake up to the sound of someone shuffling around outside your backdoor, because jumping out of bed and trying to get to the control panel while you’re terrified is much more difficult than reaching over to the nightstand and grabbing your phone.

2. Appliances

Feel like getting the breakfast made before you get out of bed? How about adjusting the temperature in your refrigerator from a thousand miles away? It’s all possible with smart technology. Of course, you’ll probably need to do some serious shopping to be able to find appliances that are smart tech compatible. However, for simple remote “on/off” control, you can get smart plugs and sockets that your appliances can plug into, and can be controlled from your phone. Appliances are just the beginning of what you can control in your home.

3. Thermostats

Thermostats are some of the oldest smart technology. Think about it: they monitor the climate for you and keep it at a preset temperature. That, in and of itself, is pretty impressive. However, new smart thermostats are making the old models look about as sophisticated as fanning yourself with the sports section. Nest, for example, is a thermostat that actually learns your habits, and alters its settings accordingly. Are you at work every day from 8:00 AM to 5:30 PM? Then nest will learn to turn off the AC/heater when no one is in the home. Nest also comes with an iPhone application, so you can control it from anywhere. So if you’re out jogging in the heat and you want to come back to a nice cool home with every vent blowing arctic wind at hurricane force, all you have to do is punch a few commands into your mobile device. If you look at Nest reviews, Vivint reviews, and others, you'll see that many users are already enjoying thermostat control from their smartphones.

4. Energy

One of the biggest reasons people are drawn to home automation is that smart homes generally use less electricity than their “dumb” counterparts. This may seem counterintuitive, given that each new smart device actually runs on electricity, but the fact is that something that is more closely monitored will produce always less waste. And if there’s one thing that smart technology is good at, it’s monitoring. Smart devices such as Savant will keep an eye on your energy consumption for you when you don’t have the time to do it yourself, and can be used to actually cut off power to entire sections of the house that aren’t being used. Likewise, smart powerstrips can cut down on idle power-drain caused by plugged-in appliances. The aforementioned smart thermostat will save you energy by turning itself off when it’s not needed, and smart lighting will protect you from the sorrow of an electric bill padded by you forgetting to flip a switch as you exit a room. And the best part? Yup, you’ve already guessed it: they can all be controlled through the smart phone. So get out there and smarten up your home. House phones might feel a little out of place in it, but your smartphone will fit right in.