Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Home Automation Systems – Are They Worth It?

To many the idea of home automation is little more than the flights of fantasy their kids see when watching the Jetsons. Nothing could be further from the truth. Yes there are no robot servants to obey your every command and relieve you of boring housework. There is no speaking computer that will answer all your questions and help you overcome any problem. But there are technologies today that will make life easier and more secure for you and your family and before dismissing home automation as a waste of time it is a good idea to have a look at all the things that it can now do for you. Timers for home appliances and expensive motion sensors for security applications are well known as are home entertainment options. But there are a lot of less expensive things you can install that are very cost effective and will make life simpler for you.
  • A programmable garage door is more than just having a remote to open and close it. You can get a system that will counter kids who always leave the door open by closing it if it is open for over a fixed amount of time. Or you can get a system that integrates a webcam so you can open the door if a delivery man comes when you are at office and then watch him place the parcel in the garage and leave.
  • Kids always want to watch too much TV or play video games all day. A control device with a password that only the parents know will allow the children to watch and play for only a set number of hours per day, after which the TV will shut off and cannot be turned on without the password.
  • An open refrigerator door is not only a waste of electricity; it is one of the biggest causes of food getting spoiled. A simple home automation device is available that will sound either a kitchen alarm or a whole house one when the door is left open for a specific amount of time so someone can come and close it.
  • Often the sound of the TV or music system makes it hard to hear the doorbell or phone ringing. Or even the smoke detector going off. All these can be automated and connected to flashing room lights to give a visual indication that something urgent requires attention.
  • If you have motion sensor installed, you can increase the security of your home with a device that sounds like a vicious dog barking. Hooking this up to your motion sensor and outdoor speakers will discourage anyone entering your property without your okay. And it is easier to maintain than a real dog.
  • If you have a vacation home, you may have it wired for security. But what about the dangers of weather? If your home is on the coast an automated system will inform you of a major drop in barometric pressure which indicates a severe storm is approaching. Homes in cold regions can have a freeze warning installed to give you warning that action needs to be taken to prevent frozen pipes and subsequent bursting and flooding.
  • Getting up at night to go to the bathroom is a pain. An automatic sensor that sense when you get off the bed at night can turn on only the lights you need and then switch them off when you lie down again.
These and many more home automation options show that this is a choice the homeowners should make. Check out the options or talk to your home remodeling contractor about what you need and what will work best for your family.

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