How home automation can help you with daily tasks

August 5, 2019

A few months ago, I injured my back while moving apartments. Since I live alone, not only did I have to adjust how to walk or sleep as to avoid pain, but also how to carry out day-to-day tasks around the rooms. For example, getting up and turning off the lights, adjusting the thermostat in a place like Texas, and even cleaning became challenging duties. Luckily, with the help of my physical therapist, I was able to find ways to automate certain tasks so that I could lead a normal life.

When you think of home automation, many people consider it to be limited to turning off your lights or locking your door. However, it’s much more complex than that. You don’t need everything to be hooked up to Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri digital assistants. Just having separate devices that make your life easier is another way to approach certain tasks.

For me, getting a learning thermostat, smart plugs, and a robot vacuum made the biggest difference. I’m going to walk you through exactly what I did so that if you’re recovering from an injury, have limited mobility, or just want to make certain chores easier, you can do so without breaking the bank.

If you live in a hot climate – and an old apartment building – you’ll notice that you must constantly adjust the thermostat every few minutes. For example, at night it usually gets quite cool in Texas so I would be freezing because the built-in monitor would keep blowing cold air even then. Luckily, the Nest Learning Thermostat solved this issue because it figured out at what temperature I liked and when I liked it. I didn’t need to constantly get up, in pain, to fiddle with what the building provided. The Nest Learning Thermostat has several models, but I bought mine for roughly $200.

Turning off lights with the help of Alexa is even easier to accomplish and costs much less. I was able to get a pack of four Gosund smart plugs for less than $30. Since I just used them to turn off the lamps around the two rooms in my apartment, it made life much easier. The lamps I have feature switches at the top, so it’s a little hard to reach them. Just by telling Alexa to turn off the plugs, it turned off all the lights. This made getting ready for bed that much easier and meant that I could rest more.

Cleaning any space is probably the most important task and the most strenuous. Studies show that a clean apartment not only improves health but also lifts spirits. The act of vacuuming and mopping requires a lot of physical effort, especially when it comes to reaching under furniture and removing stains from tiled floors. In order to properly clean an apartment – which has a combination of tiled floors in the kitchen, hardwood floors in the living room, and carpet in the bedroom – you need two different types of vacuums.

To accomplish all my cleaning needs, I used a high-end robot vacuum and mop combination, and two lower-end models. All of them performed perfectly in certain situations. To clean the kitchen and living room which has tiled and hardwood floors, respectively, I used the Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo 930. This device costs roughly $400 and can vacuum and mop. In order to engage one or the other, you must attach the water container.

The Deebot 930 features a good iOS app that not only maps your entire room but allows you to mark off delicate areas. For example, I chose to create virtual boundaries where the television and other delicate decoration pieces are. While the app can be a little slow when you initially launch it, it gets the job done. I would’ve liked to see some optimization because sometimes it has trouble loading the map.

Unfortunately, the Deebot 930 doesn’t come with a remote control like the lower-end models. This seems like a serious omission, but the app gives you a lot of features. You need a robot vacuum that maps and can create virtual boundaries if you want to clean a space like a living room. Such a large space needs that precision. However, the Eufy RoboVac 30C and the Bagotte BG600 are perfect for smaller rooms.

While both models lack the precision of the Deebot 930, they come with remotes and feature slimmer profiles. This allows them to get under even the lowest bed frames. Despite costing significantly less, they clean just as well and feature larger dirt receptacles. Unlike the Deebot 930, the remote allows you to control it precisely and direct it to places where there is a recent mess. The fact that they don’t need to be emptied out as often and have a remote control, is probably their biggest advantage of the Deebot 930. However, at the end of the day, it all depends on what type of room you have. In my experience, you probably need two different types of vacuums, one that simply sucks up dirt, and the other that mops, to properly clean your home.

In my opinion, getting any of these devices – the Deebot 930, Eufy 30C, and Bagotte BG600 – will serve you well. It makes cleaning infinitely easier, and that means you can focus on other aspects of your life. They have made a tremendous difference in mine.

While automating every aspect of your life isn’t for everyone, getting a better thermostat, smart plugs, and robot vacuums make a lot of sense. It’s up to you to decide how you want to approach it. This is what the future holds and with time, they’ll become even more accessible. Hopefully, this guide will help you just like these electronics helped me.

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