In our modern age, technology is the lifeblood that drives change and innovation. In previous eras, this was dominated by alternative ideas and philosophies, conquests and kingdoms, or location. But now that the era of technological industry has matured and become real to almost every human on planet Earth, it is melding together and bringing changes like never before. The home, once considered a primitive sanctuary away from technology and the industrial world, has now melded technology and home together to make it even better.
Technology and home have become aligned in more ways that one because consumers demand it and are attracted to it. This makes sense when you look at other consumer technology, like 50% of the American population owning personal smartphones. Not content to just hold it in the palm of their hand, people are using technology in their home to create “smart homes” that are not only futuristic, but practical and helpful as well. Technology helps humans achieve what we cannot do on our own, and helps connect us to other humans far away. It is truly a fascinating time to be a homeowner and be alive.
In this article, we’ll talk about why it’s important to consider upgrading technology for your home for practical and personal reasons. When technology and home merge together, the results can be fantastic. It can also be expensive, so we’ll touch on how to afford it and what might be a priority versus a luxury. In the end, it’s your decision what you need, but hopefully, the tips and tricks in this article will help you decide for yourself.
Why Upgrade? Is It Worth It?
You may be asking yourself “why should I upgrade the technology in my home? I’m content with it and it seems like a waste of money.” While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing to consider (especially if you’re budget-minded with finances), eventually technology does reach a point where you achieve diminishing returns for not upgrading. You don’t have to be a millionaire living in a waterfront home or palatial estate in the mountains to see this, it is evident over time. Technology eventually usurps old technology and becomes irrelevant.
To use a basic example combining technology and home devices, older readers may remember VCRs and DVD players before the streaming era of Netflix and Hulu (and Amazon Prime among others). In order to watch a movie at home, you had to possess a physical copy of the movie and put it in this device which played it. There was nothing wrong with this technology at all, and if you still possess one of these devices you can watch movies on them with most modern TVs. But it’s clear as day that they have been usurped and taken over by modern streaming services that allow viewing in multiple formats, resolutions, and for shorter rental times. To still possess a VCR or DVD player is to become technologically limited.
Now expand our prior example to much more interesting and worthwhile home devices, such as internet service, light bulbs, or garage doors. You may find that “being left in the dust” with these technological devices is more of a safety hazard than inconvenience. Instead of initiating refrigerator repair on an old icebox, it may be time to spring for a modern fridge. Technological upgrades also have the potential to increase the value of your home, sometimes by thousands of dollars. Researching consumer trends and what’s selling in your area can put you widely ahead of the curve if or when it comes time to part with your home.
Affording Your Upgrades
You don’t have to be a high-priced real estate agent engaged in commercial real estate sales to know that upgrades can be on the pricey side. Especially if they’re the latest technology that is state-of-the-art, you might find yourself wondering how technology and home will intersect without being able to pay for it immediately.
Luckily, another benefit of the modern world is our developed financial system that allows for a multitude of ways to pay for the upgrades you’re looking for your home. From credit cards to personal loans and crowdfunding, there are certainly more ways than one to afford your dream upgrades.
Credit cards are what most people think of when it comes to loans, and they’re partially correct. While credit cards are a form of personal loan, their ease of access and “swipe and forget” method of transaction lends them to have high interest rates that can leave many unsuspecting people in debt when they miss a payment or two. Instead, you may want to consult with your local credit union about getting special loans and rates related to home improvement. These may come with other terms attached (such as a deposit up front, or variable rates), but they can be customized and become much more favorable in the long run than other types of loans. Sometimes, they can even be forgiven if certain terms are met.
If you’re not into getting home loans or trying to balance credit card debt, never fear. You can always afford anything you want over time if you master the art of saving diligently. Even $5 a day adds up when you multiply it by 365 days in a year. If you’re interested in really making technology and home meet, you’ll find ways to budget whatever leftover money you have towards achieving your ultimate goal. If you only do the research, you’ll find a myriad of ways to save and thrive while doing it.
Lastly, if you can’t save and want to avoid debt at all costs, try crowdfunding aspects of your project. When you ask for money from people online (using technology), they might be receptive to your idea if they like content you produce or are using the upgrades for a special purpose (to hold an event, have a party, etc). Even if you only get a fraction of what you need, it might still give you the kick in the rear to find some other way to fund your passions/dreams and finally afford those upgrades where technology and home intersect.
Water and Plumbing
We turn the tap and water comes out, right? Or so we hope, owing to our modern water grid that supplies us with plentiful fresh water 24/7. But many upgrades have been made in water and plumbing in the past decades, so it’s worth getting a plumber out to your property to not only initiate any plumbing repair that is necessary, but to consult on how to improve your overall infrastructure. Low flow toilets, WiFi connected showers, and “smart” bathtubs can all increase the pleasure of your user experience while saving you money on your water bill and increasing the appeal of your home to visitors and buyers alike.
Water filtration is a great area where technology and home have met to bring you something truly practical: the cleanest water in human history. There are many types of in-home and stand a lone water filters available on the market that allow you to have the freshest water available in your home, just like you’re sitting on a spring or next to the purest river imaginable. By consulting a quality plumber or kitchen expert on which one is right for your home, you’ll be installing an upgrade that is truly useful and worthwhile: everyone drinks water, regardless of whether they use it straight or mix it into something else.
Solar Energy and Alternative Electricity
Electricity is one of those things that tends to be taken for granted when we think about technology and home combined. You flick a light switch and millions of electrons rush to your devices, bulbs, and appliances to greet you as energy. But did you know that through some technological upgrades, you could be generating a lot of this energy yourself? It’s now possible through solar panel technology, which has come to include not only gathering power from the sun, but storing it efficiently in batteries.
It can be helpful to calculate exactly how much energy you need, and you should consult someone that knows about solar energy to help you. This can be a complicated issue that they will simplify and give you an estimate for.
Better than generating energy is the potential tax credits and value added to your home by putting on solar panels. From decreasing your electricity bill to zero to being able to power all your devices from a couple sunny days, the possibilities are endless. Look into your local area and what programs are available to help you for more information.
The Air You Breathe Is The Air You Need
Some reports estimate that the air inside your home can actually be more polluted than the air outside. Whether this is true in your home is a matter of testing, but if true it means that you may need to get an HVAC contractor out to your property to fix this issue. The air you breathe is just as important as the water you drink and food you eat, so don’t neglect getting this done if you think it might be an issue. You just might save yourself from a respiratory disorder down the road or improve your allergies.
If the air inside your house is pure, but still not to your liking, you can consider installing fan systems and scented perfumes that allow you to “spruce up” the air just to your liking so that you live in an environment of pine trees, baking cookies, or pumpkin spice. If these are also not to your liking, you can simply use technologies like ion purifiers to make the air smell “pure” so that you can always take deep breaths.
If your A/C is also on the fritz, now is the time to have a proper ac installation with a new unit. The comfort of the temperature of the air in your home is usually one of the top concerns of homeowners, so having this work effectively and efficiently will be a battle won over the forces of nature that try to oppress you. Potential buyers also love to hear that a new air conditioning unit has been installed in a house because it puts them at ease knowing they won’t burn or freeze their heads off.
In Through The Front Door, Out Through The Garage Door
You may never think about your garage and garage door, and this is totally normal. Your garage is not really advertised as being in the realm of technology and home, because for most of history garages were relatively simple: doors that kept a special space for automobiles safe. But garages have evolved to be more complex and secure places, and it would behoove you to contact a high-quality garage door services company to find out more.
Some of the newest garage door technology makes it so that technology and home are intersected as a sort of security gate/system. Since your garage door is usually an access point into your home, it makes sense that it should have all the protections of your front door and more. Newer garage doors enable you to monitor the area with your smartphone, have rolling codes so that a criminal can’t open it remotely, and “left open” alerts among other features.
The newest technology allows your garage to truly become a space where you can not only store cars and safely enter your home, but use as another room in which to work out or indulge in your hobbies. By putting security and quality control first, it will also allow future homeowners to not have to consider an upgrade for a while. It truly is one of the combinations in which technology and home meet to form a secure space.
The Art of Living Is What You Make It
At the end of the day, the intersection of technology and home is what you make it. Nobody truly needs a gigantic television mounted to the wall, or the latest WiFi pool table in order to live. But if these things increase your happiness and you like them, then you shouldn’t feel any shame about purchasing them for yourself and your loved ones. The more practical purchases, like low flow toilets, water filters, or solar panels could almost be viewed as investments in your future (or the potential value of your home). Making these upgrades will potentially improve your life, but will most definitely add real value.
As a last word, we’d like to caution against comparing your home technologically to others. Outside of true obsolete technologies, there is probably only minimal upgrades that you need to make to your home in order to bring it up to speed. But if you compare your home to any that are owned by the rich and famous, you will feel inadequate by comparison. This is the unfortunate disconnect that technology and wealth sometimes foster, so we would urge you not to get caught up in it. Your home is supposed to be a relaxing and joyful place to spend your years and enjoy people, not a status symbol. Live in your home, but don’t dwell on it constantly.