Home automation is a tech lover’s dream. But even people that are not techie are adopting this convenient technology to help make their everyday household chores easier and make their lives run more efficiently.
Let’s take a look at the basics of home automation and what it includes:
Air Conditioning and Heating – Let’s say you went to work but forgot that you turned on your heating or air conditioning early that morning. Instead of going back home and being late, you can simply access your home automation app on your Smartphone and turn off your air conditioning or heating. Imagine how much you could save in electricity if you can control your entire air conditioning and heating system through the tap of a Smartphone app.
Video Cameras – If you have indoor or outdoor security cameras around your home or property, you can easily access images if someone triggers a motion-controlled device in your driveway or if someone rings your doorbell. In fact, you can even answer your doorbell and speak to the person. This option is great if you are interested in enhancing your security or checking on the teenagers or pets while you’re away from home. Imagine being able to tell when that Christmas package gets delivered!
HVAC Theft Detection – Consider yourself lucky if you have never come home to find your HVAC unit missing. Believe it or not, AC unit theft is rising. This great detection feature available with Home Automation is designed to help alert you to any unit theft to the exterior AC unit. If low freon is detected, a signal is sent to your security panel and will alert your smartphone. This is either an indicator of theft or that your unit is in need of maintenance. Either way, you will be glad you got the memo!
Lights – We have all left home and forgot we turned on lights on in the bathroom, closet or hallway. Or perhaps you don’t want to return home to a dark house and want to turn your lights on to avoid tripping over the doorstep. Perhaps you are on vacation and just want to turn the lights on for a few hours to make it look like you’re home. Wish no more. With advanced in-home automation, you can easily control your light switches and lamps with your Smartphone.
Home Security System – If you have a home security system, Home Automation provides an excellent interface by allowing you to arm or disarm your system. For example, you are late leaving your house and can’t remember if you turned on your security system. You can easily check with your Smartphone and arm your system from wherever you are. If you have an armful of groceries when you return home, you can disarm your security system before leaving your car.
Appliances – Home automation gives you the ability to interface with certain appliances and turn them on or off. You can turn your washer, crock pot, refrigerator or freezer on or off at the touch of a screen.
Automation That Opens – You can also use home automation to open your doors and your garage door. If you are worried about leaving your garage remote in your car, consider this home automation feature as a handy solution. If you set a security lock on your Smartphone, you can easily prevent car thieves from accessing your home via a garage door opener. You can also open the front door for your kids after school when they forget their house key.. again!
The way home automation works is that your Smartphone, tablet or computer communicates with automated devices to tell them what actions to perform. These gadgets then communicate with one another via a network, such as Bluetooth, a home’s Wi-Fi network or even a cell phone network.
You can enable home automation actions to be automatic or enter the app to exercise a command. Automatic actions may include scheduling actions, such as having the heat turn on at 7:00 AM every morning and turn off at 8:30 PM. You can also train home automation systems based on motion sensors. For example, if you set off a motion sensor, it can open your garage door automatically.
Many people wonder if they will ever use a home automation system, but they are very handy for people that work or travel.
For example, let’s say you’re on vacation and you receive an unexpected mail delivery. Your cell phone notifies you someone is ringing your doorbell and sends you a picture of the delivery person. You recognize your mail carrier and can immediately engage him in a two-way conversation via an intercom system. You know him. You trust him and you don’t want your package to remain outside while you are gone. So, what do you? You can unlock your door remotely and then lock it back up when he leaves.
More advanced technologies that are gaining momentum in home automation include:
- Thermostats that will respond to real-time utility rates and turn off appliances during peak usage hours
- Remind you about your daily chores
- Check in on your children
- Automated door locks