What makes a smart home? Sometimes we think that we need to find a whole home solution that will take care of all of our smart home needs. The problem with that is most solutions are really good at maybe ONE area. They have their own apps that help you manage that system, and they are really good at what they do. I’m here to tell you though, that you can pick your favorite components, and set everything up so that they talk to each other, and more importantly… they automate your life so you don’t have to interact with them at all.
I featured 5 smart home products on Studio 5 today, and I’m going to take the next couple days to go in depth into each of the products, and then top it off with how you can get them all to communicate…and automate! First up today is the Nest thermostat. It’s the perfect way to get your feet wet in home automation. The first reason is that getting your thermostat “smart” will definitely save you money in the long run, and almost everyone has one!
The Nest was super easy to install. I got it in the mail from Nest (thank you Nest!), and called someone to come out to install it. They couldn’t make it out for a few days. I opened the box and started looking at what I would need to do, and decided to try my hand at it first. If I couldn’t make it work, then I’d wait for the guy I had scheduled. I was able to cancel the guy, cause I TOTALLY did it all by myself! Check out my installation video…
Once you get it installed and up and running on your wireless network, then the real fun begins. It will take a few days to sort of “learn” your habits and patterns. Then your Nest is all set to start changing things up on it’s own. You can schedule different temperatures at certain points during the day. Such as at 10 PM every night, mine automatically turns down to 65. At 5 AM it turns itself back up and starts getting the house ready for us to get out of bed. If I’m still a bit cold, I can reach over to my phone and turn it up without even leaving my covers!
The other fun thing the Nest will do is that it will detect when you are away, and automatically turn itself down. I have also set up a recipe inside IF (ifttt.com) so if my phone (aka ME) leaves a certain geographical location, it will automatically set the Nest to Away. I could also just login to the app and either set it to away manually when I’m gone, or just turn down the Nest from wherever I am. There are other recipes within IF that can happen though when you set your Nest to away that integrate other smart home products (such as, when my Nest is set to away, make sure my doors are locked and make sure my lights are turned off). I also have IF set up to turn the heat back up when I ENTER a specific geographic location. This way, the house is nice an toasty when I get home, but I saved all the energy and gas by keeping it off when I wasn’t there!
You can also take a look back and see where you stand for the week or month on how efficient you have been. You will earn green leafs when you are saving energy and gas! There are also several rebates you can take advantage of when you purchase and install a Nest in your home. Check here for the rebates available to you in your area.
Nest is a perfect way to get started with your smart home! Check out my segment on studio5.ksl.com to learn about 4 more products (I will write about them over the next couple days.)
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Sarah Kimmel has spent the last 16 years of her career as an IT Manager supporting over 100 small businesses. During that time she started Family Tech to help families understand and manage the technology in their home. She has regularly appeared as a tech expert on KSL News, BYUtv and Studio 5, and has been invited all over the world from tech companies like Lenovo, Verizon, Microsoft, Dell, and Samsung. Find out more on her website SarahKimmel.com