24 Ways Home Automation Can Help Home Owners This Summer

There's no question that home automation can make homes more convenient, secure, and energy efficient. And this is especially true during the summer months, when energy loads may be at their peak, families go on vacation, and kids may entertain themselves at home alone. During the summer, there are many ways families can benefit from home automation systems, whether you're interested in saving money on your air conditioning or just keeping your house more secure while you're sipping drinks on a beach.

Home Automation Energy Efficiency

Turn off lights, keep your home cool, and use only the energy you need this summer with home automation systems.

  1. Set smart thermostat schedules: Set up energy savings schedules to keep your house cool and save money while letting temperatures creep up when you're not at home. You can even create settings that will turn on air conditioning and lights when you arrive, then change settings when you leave. Or, simply adjust your thermostat settings when you know you're on your way home or will be gone for a while.
  2. Remotely turn lights on and off: Forgot to turn on the front porch light and you'll be home after dark? Simply turn it on with your smart phone. Or, you can check to make sure you're conserving energy by turning off all of the lights in your home remotely the same way.
  3. Use activity patterns: Let your smart home help you make better energy decisions with energy monitoring and setting up patterns based on your home's usual activity.
  4. Set room usage sensors: Some home automation systems offer sensors that determine when rooms aren't in use. They turn off lights, climate control, and more for that part of the home so you're now using energy on a room that's not being used.
  5. Remotely turn off appliances: Turn off your TV or video game console with your smart phone, or set them to turn off automatically after a period of non use.
  6. Monitor water usage and program watering schedules: Conserve water usage by putting your sprinklers on your home automation system. You can program a watering schedule, keep an eye on how much water you're using, and turn them off if there's rain.

Home Automation Vacation Security

Planning to travel this summer? Home automation can help you keep your home secure even when you're not there. Remote alerts, live camera views, automated lights, even virtual keys can make it easy to relax and enjoy peace of mind while you're on vacation.

  1. Give pet sitters or neighbors a key -- without a real key: Instead of leaving a key with your pet sitter or neighbor, give them a code to access your front door.
  2. Turn your lights on and off from anywhere in the world: Make it look like you're home by turning lights, TV, and radios on and off. You can even set up an unpredictable schedule, which can fool burglars better than a simple light timer that turns on and off at the same time each day.
  3. Check for open doors: Feel like you're missing something? You can use your home automation app to verify whether or not you've left any doors open.
  4. Get a live view of your home: If you want to check on pets or just make sure everything is okay, you can just click on live camera feeds of your home for reassurance.
  5. Receive notifications for alarms and movement: Find out right away if there's a problem at home. You can set your home automation system to give you notifications for water leaks, fire, carbon monoxide, and burglar alarms so you can get help even when you're not home.
  6. Get alerts when door codes are used: Get confirmation when your house sitter or neighbor visits and uses their door code to access your home. You can even get alerts when someone tries to enter door codes incorrectly.

Home Automation Family Safety

With some families leaving kids home for the summer while parents are at work, school, or running errands, home automation can really come in handy. A home automation system makes it easy to monitor what's going on at home when you're not there, find out when kids come and go, get alerts for opened doors and cabinets, and give babysitters virtual keys for easy and secure access to your home.

  1. Check on kids and pets at home with live video feeds: Want to check on your kids? It's as easy as opening up your live video feed on your mobile app.
  2. Get notifications when family members arrive at home: Set up system notifications to get an alert any time a family member leaves or arrives at your home.
  3. Set up codes for babysitters: Give babysitters and nannies access to your home without handing over a key. Simply give them a code for the door so they can let themselves in and out with ease.
  4. Get alerts for opened cabinets and doors: Find out when family members open cabinets, entertainment centers, or even the basement door.
  5. Let pets -- and only your pets -- in and out pet doors: Smart pet doors can detect your cat or dog and give them access to your home, but will stay shut for burglars or neighborhood animals.
  6. Set limits on TV and video games: TV and video game consoles can be turned off at certain intervals and times to limit use.
  7. Practice pool safety: Use a home automation system to get an alert if your pool gate is opened or if a person or pet enters your pool.

Home Automation Convenience

While home automation is especially helpful for energy efficiency, vacation security, and family safety, we can't ignore the potential for simple summer convenience as well. Whether you want to set up a regular lawn watering schedule or answer your door when you're not even home, a home automation system can help you enjoy the lazy days of summer with a little more relaxation.

  1. Control and schedule blinds: Get privacy and comfort by controlling motorized blinds remotely and on a schedule.
  2. Water your lawn remotely: Remotely turn your hose off or on, or even schedule watering so that you can water your lawn without worrying about accidentally leaving it running all day or night. You can even pause or trigger rain delays with your smart phone.
  3. Control your garage door automatically: Never worry about leaving your garage door open accidentally. Using a garage door opener with home automation, you can check on your door's status and even set rules, such as opening or closing the door when you arrive or leave.
  4. Turn lights on when you get home: Avoid having to walk through a dark home by turning lights on before you get home.
  5. Answer the door without opening it: Using video doorbells and front door video cameras, you can talk to people on your front porch without compromising your security by opening the front door. Talk to solicitors, neighbors, even contractors as if you're at home even if you're miles away. You can even use remote access to open the door for contractors when you're not home.

Photo by Flickr user jeremylevinedesign