Pros and cons to smart-home system

Summer is officially here and so is the heat along with rising energy costs. Have you considered transforming your home into a smart home? Here are a few options from Reliant Energy.

One tool available can fog up your windows in the blink of an eye to help keep natural light coming in and the summer heat out.

Or more realistic and affordable, add some shades to your windows. Some shades can be controlled by a touch of a button from your smartphone.

"If you have one package, you can control all of those monitor usages all in that app," said Sam Luna, Reliant Director of Home Services.

The Nest thermostat is a big seller right now. They have access to control the temperature from your smartphone for those who may forget to turn the temperature up when you leave for work each morning.

Investing into these gadgets over time can and will save you money and makes your life more convenient, but with that, there's risk.

"There are a variety of different providers you can use to connect your home they have access to your data. There are rules and regulations being looked at to see what data is being shared among companies and how you can control that. That's something to consider what's listening to you," said Luna.

We turned to local realtor Rene Rodriguez to dive a little deeper into the drawbacks that you may encounter when and if you decide to get a customized smart home.

"I think it can be difficult for people who don't want to learn the technology because it's a big learning curve. One of our clients recently had a lot of break-ins and he was able to capture video. I certainly believe more buyers do want the technology," explained Rodriguez, a sales agent with NAN Properties Christie's International Real Estate.

Reliant offers customization packages, from ones as simple as controlling your thermostat, to being able to talk to someone at your door, while you're away from home, all through your smartphone. These range in price from $20 to $60 a month depending on what your needs are.

For more information on how to make your house a smart home, you can call 1-866-RELIANT.
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