Home automation trends continue to evolve with the seasons. While many home automation system features are valuable, some become more important during certain times of the year. For example, summer has its own needs such as added security for vacationing families and added climate control.

Here are eight trends to look out for among home automation systems this summer:

  1. Climate Control

Summer temperatures mean your air conditioning may get a workout, especially if you have someone who works from home or there is now more family members home during the summer break. You also may be planning on going on vacation and don’t want the house to get too hot while you are away.

Companies like Notion offer home automation solutions that allow you to individually control the climate in various rooms and areas of your home. From your green house and garage to wine cellar, bedroom, and living space, the sensor gauges temperature and then turns climate control systems on and off to maintain a comfortable ambiance.

  1. Resource Control

In California and many parts of the country, stringent restrictions are being placed on water usage while electricity rates are climbing. Home automation systems are helping you be more socially responsible, plus avoid those fines for not cutting back on water and electricity during the summer.

Home automation systems now offer functionalities like sensors that shut off sprinklers when they detect rain. Smart home technology can also determine if rooms are not in use and then power down climate control, music, appliances, and more to save energy. Exciting trends are on the horizon to become more informed about your own carbon footprint, providing the basis for further reducing energy use. Some home automation systems are looking to add graphs that compare usage over time and across various periods in the day.

With energy companies often raising rates during peak times in the summer or offering incentives to volunteer to shut off certain systems during these hours, companies like HAI are looking at working directly with utility companies to synch real-time cost data with energy usage. For example, the air conditioner can automatically shut down during peak pricing to help save you money in the summer. 

  1. Safety and Security

Many news stories are reporting daytime break-ins. This is scary considering you may have kids at home while you are at work. What if there is a leak or a smoke detector goes off but you are away?

Automatic door locks can help put your mind at rest. You can even use these systems as a way to program entrance for certain people throughout the day. If you know a housekeeper or babysitter is arriving, you can set the system to allow entrance during that time. Additionally, if you do happen to be away for part of the summer, you can watch your house through your smartphone, and receive an alert any time a motion sensor detects movement. Coming to market are floor motion detectors that ‘learn’ foot patterns of individuals to detect strangers or to alert medical staff if someone may have collapsed.

Even seemingly smaller things, which actually matter a great deal, are being addressed with home automation. Drowning is a major problem with more kids around the pool. Having a home automation system that detects that the pool gate is open and warns you by voice or alarm can literally save lives.

Other home automation systems also help you from worrying too much by offering smoke and leak detection sensors that you can link into a system that alerts those that can help take care of these problems while you are away.

  1. Not Home, But Home

Summer is the season for road trips and vacations, which means that no one is guarding the castle. You want to be away but still look like you opted for that “staycation”. Systems like Iris, Revolv, and Smart Things are DIY home automation systems you  can program to turn lights on and off to discourage home burglars from taking the risk.

  1. Entertainment

Summer is backyard barbecues and pool parties, so music and other types of entertainment are a big part of the experience. You can even add some cool light displays or set your outdoor landscaping light to create different moods, depending on the event. Home automation like Control4 My House offers a whole house system for audio, video, lights, and more plus features an app for your iPhone. As an ongoing trend across all types of available systems, more will offer this type of smartphone or tablet dashboard app control.

Other popular summer home automation trends include fantastic outdoor entertainment that turn your backyard into a movie theater with surround systems and movie projectors controlled through one main system.

  1. Big Brother

It’s not like you necessarily want to spy on your kids when they are home for the summer, but it is good to know what they are up to while you are at work. For example, some home automation systems come with cameras you can access from a remote location or your smartphone. I personally love my Dropcam. Many hot startups are entering this space too.

You can also get email alerts to let you know when your child gets home. It is also a way to make sure your kids haven’t brought along any unwelcome guests, such as boyfriends or friends for an impromptu house party.

If you have an older family member living with you or it is just your kids at home alone, these home automation systems are now even offering video chat capability for regular check-ins.

  1. Household Chores

With more people, the house is going to need more cleaning than ever. This is where home automation is now making it easier to multitask. This includes whole home vacuum systems or robotic floor vacuum systems. Numerous home automation companies are continuing to work on robotic assistants that will link into the home’s main system to take care of all those repetitive chores.

Technology is not quite there yet, but the trends show further momentum in this area of home automation. Imagine never having to scrub floors, unload groceries, do laundry, or clean toilets ever again. Look forward to when home automation gets that far!

  1. Appliances

More appliances are now falling into the home automation category so you can control when they come on – and for how long. Appliance manufacturers, such as Samsung and LG, are both working on automated features, such as a text message when you are just about out of that milk or oven notifications to remind you dinner is ready.

Plus, it’s great to think that companies like Belkin will be bringing out a wireless controlled slow cooker so you can turn it on from work after you realize you ran out the door without setting it.

Technology’s Benefits

Across these trends are two types of components, including plug-and-play switches tied to automated signals and software that uses radio waves, infrared, hardwire or wireless connections to control the home and its features. More features include voice recognition and biometrics capability to ensure no one can take control of your home. This summer, while you may not be sure if you are in control of the kids and pets, you can be assured that at least your home listens to you.

Summer is also prime time for selling a home, and having these home automation features is an investment proven to add resale value.

Research conducted by the National Association of Home Builders concluded that a home automation system could increase home resale value by 3-5%. More millennial homebuyers are looking for these features installed so they can move in and start using them immediately. A DIY or professional installation project might be a perfect additon to the “honey do” list for this summer.