Top smart home technology features consumers want

When it comes to smart home technology, amenities like refrigerators, thermostats, lighting, and garage doors are gaining in popularity among homeowners and buyers. But smart technology that controls home security systems might be the most desirable, according to research from iControl Networks, a home technology company, in the 2014 State of the Smart Home report.

Researchers surveyed more than 900 homebuyers and renters who do and do not use smart technology in their homes. Among respondents, 67 percent ranked home security as the top reason for using a smart home system. This includes items such as fire alarms and carbon monoxide alarms.

The survey also indicates that people would be willing to pay for smart home security systems, with 51 percent who said they would pay up to $500 for a fully-equipped smart home, and 32 percent who said they would pay between $500 and $3000.

“For now, safety and security are driving initial mass market adoption,” says Jim Johnson, executive vice president of Icontrol Networks. “But the convenience associated with a connected home will likely play a greater role as consumers realize how much easier automation makes their lives.”

Seventy-eight percent of respondents ranked energy management as one of the top features that matter most to them in a smart home. HVAC heating and cooling was cited as the most important feature in helping to reduce energy bills.

Sixty-eight percent of respondents said indoor lighting and ceiling fan control is a desired feature, and 42.5 percent said they are very interested in replacing their thermostat with one that automatically adjusts when the home is unoccupied.

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Diana Dietz, e-PRO

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