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What Can Home Automation Do?

Friday, December 3rd

What Can Home Automation Do?

A home automation system can provide an avenue for reducing energy usage within an average household. One way this reduction is realized is through conservation by the preprogramming of devices connected to the home's system, rather than having to troll the house looking for things to switch off before leaving and then wondering if you did.

From as simple a thing as remotely turning off electric lights, to the scheduled denying of power, to the 'Instant-on' feature of so many of today's electric appliances and electronic gadgets, savings on electric usage can be controlled automatically by today's generation of home automation systems.

Heat producing devices such as electric hot water heaters continue to consume energy, round-the-clock, to maintain their preset temperatures when savings could be realized by shutting down the device during specified, non-use, hours. A home automation system would handle this task automatically.

The on-demand feature of a home automation system is equally useful for trimming electric usage. For instance, programmable thermostats for home heating and air conditioning have been on the market for decades and live up their intended purpose, yet they are bound by their parameters - set it and forget it. Set the programmable thermostat for 5 p.m. and the furnace or AC kicks in at the appointed time, whether or not you're getting home for supper that evening nor maybe breakfast the next day. With the on-demand feature of a home automation system, using your Smartphone, you can keep your furnace or air conditioner at reduced output until you tell it otherwise.

Security is an equally important feature provided by home automation systems. Most systems are used in conjunction with a outside monitoring service provide response to intrusion and fire. Windows and doors are monitored by devices and unauthorized entry results in audible alarms and prompt, manned response.

However, with the use of add-on components, home security can be significantly enhanced. Remote controlled locks can be integrated into the home automation system allowing you to lock or unlock house doors and garage doors from your Smartphone. You can even have the doggy door tweet you when Rover uses it.

Outdoor and indoor cameras, remotely controlled and with streaming video can also be used with the home automation system and viewed on your Smartphone.

Indoor and outdoor lighting which has been integrated into the home automation system can be turned off and on, with dimmer control, even on lights which do not have integral dimmer switches.

In the event of a power outage, home automation systems also come with a long-life battery back-up system, allowing the system to maintain vigilance over your home whether or not you are there, an important feature should you and your family need to be evacuated from your home due to natural or man-made disaster. It should be noted however, that a system generally cannot provide power to any other electrical system other than its monitoring functions.

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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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