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Home Automation Do's and Don'ts

Friday, December 3rd

Home Automation Do's and Don'ts

Without question, 'Do your homework' is always the best advice to follow before taking on any project that is going to result in a considerable outlay of cash, change the way you conduct your life, and reconfigure your home.

Home automation systems are available which use specialized hardwiring, the existing wiring in your home, radio frequency (RF) and Wi-fi, or a combination of all of the above. It's important to research the type of system that is the best fit for you. If you don't understand the information you find on your own, find someone who does understand it and can explain it to you in a way you can fathom.

Don't skimp on the control system. Be aware that things you already own may not be able to be integrated into the home automation system you choose. The cost to own and operate a system, compatibility of components, and ease of use will either make owning a home automation system a true boon or a major bust for you.

In the planning stage, be realistic about what you need from a home automation system, clear on what you want from the features, and aware of what you would simply like and want but not necessarily need. Make a list. Knowing when Miss Kitty uses the pet door is nice, but do you really want to get an email from your system every time she goes out to get some air? Will your elderly neighbors call the cops thinking someone is in your home when you are in Bora Bora and turning the living room lamps on and off remotely?

Weigh the cost savings to be gained against the price of the system components. Does it make good economic sense? Penny wise and pound-foolish is not a new concept.

If you really are a techno-whiz and a handy-man par excellence, as well as being a registered electrician, a do-it-yourself home automation system may be just the thing for you. The price may be more reasonable, and there are components and gizmos available to work your way far along the need-want-like list. You'll have the pride of saying you did it all yourself, not to mention you can be the envy of everyone you know since you could create the coolest house since George Jetson.

For the rest of us mere mortals who want all the advantages a home automation system has to offer, but who cannot do it all ourselves, do not despair. Professional systems are readily available, and choosing the right system, choosing the right vendor offering the services you need to operate and maintain your home automation system, and choosing the right components may take time and study, but it is worth the effort.

A home automation system that integrates safety features with labor saving devices, with an eye toward husbanding environmental resources, is no longer a futuristic dream from a technology standpoint nor from an economic one. Good research and good choices will make it a reality for you.

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Home Automation Company FAQ

Sometimes referred to as a "smart home" , home automation lets you operate your lighting, appliances, security equipment and more - usually through an app on your mobile phone or through an online dashboard. Want your home to be playing your favorite relaxation music and have the thermostat set to "just right" every day after work? Home automation can do that - and much, much more.
It's true that most systems start with security as the foundation. From security cameras to smoke detectors, "smart homes" can give you peace of mind knowing that it's all under control and professionally monitored, if you choose a company that offers that. But, as technology advances, more features are being added "for fun" , like controlling all of your audio and video or letting your kids turn off lights at bedtime with a simple verbal command.
You could pay as little as $20/month or as much as $10,000+ to set up a smart home with all of the bells and whistles. Obviously the more features you want, the more you'll have to pay for the equipment. Monthly monitoring fees (for systems that include security features) are rarely more than $60/month.
Yes. Check with the provider of your homeowner's insurance policy to see if you can get a discount for the home automation system you're installing. A "smart home" can also save you money in the cost of utilities through managing your use of electricity and water.
Most of the time, yes. That's the appeal of "smart home" equipment: being able to monitor and control it from your phone, tablet or computer.
Sometimes. This is more common if you have security features that are professionally monitored. Read the terms and conditions carefully to determine if you're obligated to keep the service for a set period of time, and what the penalties are for early cancellation.
Possibly. If you've got features that are hard-wired into your home, maybe not. However, most of today's home automation systems use equipment that is easy to install and take down on your own, letting you use it wherever you live. Just be sure to change your home address in your provider's system, to allow emergency services to be dispatched to the correct location (if you're using a service that includes security monitoring).
It might! Home automation is in high demand, so having a system already set up may make your property more appealing to prospective buyers. Consult your real estate agent, though: they may not recommend that you install a home automation system solely for the purpose of increasing your home's value.

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