Keep an Eye on Home Base

While on the road, or traveling, or just shopping
It’s called Home Automation for a reason. Automation reduces or removes administrative overhead allowing you to focus on more important duties. Home Automation AND Integration folds in automated tasks with other intelligent systems providing you with something of far greater value.

A common worry of mine was, “Oh, I didn’t leave the garage door open again, did I?” This thought usually crosses my mind with a mixture of concern, and bewilderment along with the sinking feeling in my stomach. Usually this thought races through my mind when I’m no less then 10 mins away and on to some appointment. I had to sort this issue out. I have a antique car in the garage I’ve been stripping the pain from, and a little moisture on bare metal is bad news.

Today the issue is sorted out. Following the addition of a garage door control, the system’s now advanced enough to monitor the door, and even close it by itself at night. All without anyones involvement.

The gyser was impressive, yet it would not be the last wonder of that day. I was treated with a brand new basement window aquarium.



Monitoring as mentioned is performed in the background, freeing you to focus on more pressing matters at hand. Alerting comes into play if a certain set of conditions arise deserving of my attention. The system certainly should provide a way to see into the system and quickly get a status should you choose. I want my system to be as far in the background as possible and dependable.
Here are a few possibilities.

The Electric Bill

Your electric bill tells you very little, only how much you used during a period (your may be different). A very low cost device and 20 minutes of your time reports your homes usage in real time. There are a interesting things you can use this information for. In Salt Lake we have some really hot months in summer. Combine the power usage and temperture sensors to determine the most efficient amount of swing allowed before switching turning on the AC. You can also use this data to audit the power companies reported power usage. Lastly, you can also monitor the logs and help predict a possible failure of a motor, or unexpected power draw. It also is really insightful getting that information and seeing the usage patters.

The Last Frozen Pipes

Rental Homes? Vacation home? Frozen pipes aren’t simply an annoyance. Just one can destroy a home. Monitor and respond by placing remote temperture sensors in rooms. Combine these with electric heater on controllable power points allows you to create a very efficent heating system, and also peace of mind.

Speaking of broken pipes, a dog I was sitting chewed through a sprinkler pipe creating an impressive 12’ gyser in my backyard. The gyser was impressive, yet it would not be the last wonder of that day. I was treated with a brand new basement window aquarium. It was only missing some fish. Today, I use remove moisture/flood sensors to monitor my basement for unwanted water. This also has an added benefit of relaxing during rainstorms and snow melt.

The latest and greatest door locks are very easily monitored and loaded with amazing features. It is easily integrated with most quality systems, and provides a wealth of benefits. Enable the system to alert you when select codes are entered, for instance when a code is entered at a time that is odd, or unexpected. Most provides ways of limiting when those codes are valid.

Once in a while I would hear or read of a tragedy involving a family and CO2. There have some recent products offered combining a smoke detector with CO2. I really value these sensors, and are integral to the safety systems here at my home.

Enhanced Independent Living for the Aging

I saw an emergency alert necklace at a major store selling Home Automation devices, and smiled. It’s really nice to see the acknowledgment of the need. I understand the need, very well. What I felt was lacking is they somehow had missed an essential ingredient. There is no reason why this technology should be so intrusive. There is no reason for it to be.
{Family Story – Rose}



Be sure and always test your sensors regularly. Like a car, you should test. Always include a fallback or plan for the possibility of the power being out, or the network connection.


Discover More
There are other articles in this series, and also deep dives into specific devices.

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