Understanding Home Automation Options

Diagram of a fully connected smart home

What is Home Automation and How does it Work?

Before our smartphones became an extension of our lives it was hard to believe all that would be possible in home automation. Home automation technology seemed something to exist only in the movies. But now with the latest advancements in Wi-Fi and the use of our smartphones you can control a lot of your home’s appliances by your phone, at or away from home, and even by voice commands. With as fast as it is evolving it can be a little overwhelming. It seems every time we turn around there is another appliance or home feature you can control remotely. The list keeps growing rapidly.

If you’re tech savvy enough, you may have already implemented a home automation system. However, if you’re a homeowner wondering where to start and how to decipher it all, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll focus on heating and cooling system automation but we’ll mention other options you can integrate into other aspects of your home.

Smart Thermostats

Automating Home HVAC for Efficiency and Convenience

A couple of years ago these “smart thermostats” hit the market. This type of thermostat is available in many brands but in most cases have similar functions. What makes a smart thermostat different from standard digital thermostats is their flexibility and ability to control from anywhere. If you’re on vacation, at work, or on your way home you can control your comfort levels from your phone, tablet or PC. Not only are these type of thermostats convenient, they can reduce your energy costs and your carbon footprint. As long as you have Wi-Fi in your home you can have a smart thermostat installed.

Common Features among Most Smart Thermostats Include:

  • Set or program the thermostat to heat and cool at appropriate times throughout the day and night to help reduce carbon foot print.
  • Save energy & money on your monthly utility bill (up to $180 a year )
  • Remote access and manage temperature in your home via internet enabled smart phones, tablets, and your computer.
  • Filter change reminders (certain brands & models)
  • Check weather forecast (certain brands models)
  • Auto changeover switch – convenient during seasons with warm days and cool nights (certain brands/models)
  • Emailed alerts with error codes etc (certain brands & models)
  • Learning thermostats – will learn your schedule without you having to program the thermostat (great option for a home that has a person(s)/family that has a consistent schedule) these thermostats also has the capabilities to set a program if necessary

A lot of smart thermostat brands have evolved to offer other home automation features for your home. Many have options like locks, security alarm, surveillance cameras, and some include smoke detectors. You may consider automating more than just your heating and cooling systems. There are even new outdoor options for sprinkler controls. When it comes to home automation the possibilities can be endless and growing every day.

Maybe you’re considering adding some home automation, but not ready to dive into a fully automated home, a good place to start might be your heating and cooling systems. Our team of technicians can help guide you when it comes to selecting a smart heating and cooling thermostat for your home. Also, our licensed electricians are available to upgrade your electrical services and reconfigure wiring to support any home automation upgrades you may be considering.