10 Things Your Home Doesn't Need Anymore

Dated: 09/10/2020

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Unless your home was built in the last year or two, it's likely to be full of outdated features and systems. Some of those items may add to the home's charm, but many distinctly will not. Replacing the outdated with modern versions or smart technology can save you time and money.

Smart home technology is becoming more mainstream, he says, with homeowners willing and eager to operate various aspects of their homes from their smartphones, and to have systems controlled by Wi-Fi to create efficiencies.

Here’s a look at some of the things your home doesn’t need anymore—and how they can be replaced.

1. House keys

Carrying around a set of jingling keys in your purse or pocket may soon become a thing of the past, with electronic and digital locks becoming a more convenient option.

2. Telephone jacks

Homeowners continue to cut the cord on landline telephones. In fact, more than half of U.S. households had only wireless service in 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The upshot? You can remove these phone jacks completely. Alternatively, replace phone jacks with an internet cable outlet for hard-wired internet, or an access point to improve a home’s Wi-Fi.

3. TV cabinets

Mounting TVs on the wall is a go-to solution for many homeowners these days—so TV consoles and cabinets just clutter rooms. To accommodate wall-mounted TVs, installing an outlet on the wall at eye level when you're seated and another one at 18 inches above the floor has become a standard practice.

The 18-inch outlet will probably be obsolete in five years, by which time no components under the TV will be needed.

4. Traditional water-heater tanks

Many homes still have tank-filled water heaters. This limits the amount of hot water available, and they can spring a leak, causing extensive damage.

Switching to a tankless water heater is a more energy-efficient, safer option.

Tankless water heaters occupy less space, supply a constant flow of energy and are more energy efficient.

5. Manual thermostats

“In some homes, you've still got to push a slider on a thermostat and hope you remember to turn it down when you're away,” says Matthias Alleckna, an energy analyst at EnergyRates.ca. But the days of this old-school technology are numbered.

New programmable thermostats, like the Honeywell Smart Thermostat($160, walmart.com), turn heat and air systems off and on automatically. Often, they can be controlled with your smartphone.

They are also better for the environment and save homeowners money on their energy bills.

6. Gas ranges

Gas stoves and ovens were a fixture of many homes for generations. However, they can be dangerous and use a lot of energy.

Swapping gas ranges for induction cooktops, like the Frigidiaire Gallery ($1,886, homedepot.com), is more suited to a modern home.

Induction cooktops use a lot less energy, there is no inherent danger from gas leakage, their flat surfaces are easier to clean and the board is cool to the touch while cooking.

7. Light switches

Traditional light switches may seem like a necessity, but like so many aspects of a home, they are being replaced with automated options.

Automated switches turn the lights on automatically when you walk into a room or can be programmed to turn on or off at certain times. You’re also able to customize the settings.

8. Traditional power strips and plugs

Power outlets are still a necessity, but they may soon be replaced with smart plugs and power strips that are more energy efficient, and let you control power levels with a smartphone or voice control.

9. Hard-wired alarm systems

Most alarms these days are wireless, so old hard-wired alarm systems can be removed.

Wi-Fi and smartphones let homeowners keep an eye on their properties at all times, and from anywhere.

10. Standard doorbells

That brings up a question: Does anyone you actually want to see drop by your home anymore unless they are bringing you mail and packages?

More homeowners are switching to devices, like Ring Wi-Fi video doorbells ($100, amazon.com), with integrated video and audio surveillance, where you can see who’s at your front door and speak to them through your smartphone.

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