You live in Boulder, Colorado, but you’re finally moving out of your parents’ house to a new place apartment in Denver, and you’re excited for the smart technology options you’ll have.
No more landlines, mechanical door knobs, old-school incandescent lights with broken dimmer switches, and you’re really looking forward to Internet faster than dial-up (Did you know that Denver ranks among the top U.S. cities for internet connectivity and speed?). OK, maybe it’s not that bad, but you are investigating exactly which smart tech devices you should look for before you sign a lease.
You’re not ready to become a first-time homebuyer quite yet, but you’re taking the right steps.
Don’t even consider a place without a smart thermostat. If you don’t directly pay for utilities, you can be sure that they are factored into your rent, so any savings realized will benefit you in the future when you landlord reviews his or her cost of utilities v. your rent.
A smart thermostat will work with your phone to raise and lower temperatures according to entered settings, and it can actually anticipate your heating and cooling needs. With a smart system, the days of leaving your apartment at a toasty 75 degrees in the winter or a frigid 68 while you are away during the summer months will be just a memory.
First, if your unit doesn’t have LEDs installed, ask your landlord to do the upgrade. LEDs are cheaper, last longer, and they throw minimum amounts of heat—an important consideration in a hot weather climate. Next, look for apartments with fixtures that can interface with a smart lighting app. Just like with cooling and heating, your smart app can anticipate your lighting needs, and work with presets. You’ll never have to come home to a dark apartment, nor will you leave it brightly lit on a sunny day with a good smart lighting app. The best apps will adjust your lighting according to weather conditions outside.
The first front door lock innovation in many years was a keyless entry system. These were bulky units that had to be programmed where they were installed. Advantages were that you could give one code to a repairman, for example, and then you could delete that code without reprogramming the entire unit. And obviously, without “changing the locks,” you could cancel all codes and anyone with an older code could not get in.
Smart locks and apps take this step much further, as you can:
- Deny or grant access to anyone via your smartphone.
- Actually see who is at the door.
- Talk to that person remotely through a microphone doorbell.
- Change all entrance codes on the app so you don’t have to be onsite.
While there are many smart app options on the market today, we really like those that control your appliances. Simply being able to turn the oven and off remotely forever takes care of this problem:
“OMG, did I forget to turn off that burner?”
We understand that you may not find the perfect smart apartment with all of the latest innovations, but the ones we have listed above are a nice wish list. And, if you find a great place with slightly dated tech, your landlord may work with you to update it, since we all know that smart technology saves money for everyone.