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How Our Home Automation System Keeps You Safe During Summer

by Amy May 17, 2019

Chances are summer’s warm weather and more relaxing climate means you’ll be booked for numerous outdoor activities, family get-togethers, and vacations. The more time you spend outside, the more you need to secure your home – according to a study conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, more burglaries occur during the summer compared to any other season. Here are 3 ways that home automation can help keep you and your family safe this summer:

Vacation Security

Our home automation system can provide you with peace of mind with the ability to monitor your home from anywhere in the world. It’s possible to receive alerts when anyone interacts in your home, such as anytime a family member or dog sitter has used an access code to get into your home. You can also get a view of your home through your cameras at any time just to make sure everything is okay.

Family Security

Keeping your loved ones safe is always a priority, no matter what time of year it is. With the kids out of school for the summer, you may want to install a live video feed so you can check on them throughout the day. Whether it’s the kids or a beloved pet, checking on them is as easy as opening an app. A home automation system can also give you alerts if a pool gate or a basement door is opened while you’re gone, and the kids are home alone.

Home Security

During the warmer months, you’ll likely open more windows and be in and out of the house on a more frequent basis. The home automation system, you can check if something has been left on or open. You can even turn off appliances and, with smart windows, close the windows. Everything from windows to a garage door can be easily monitored while you’re away, making sure your home is safe from intruders.

These are just a few ways that you and your family can stay safe this summer by using a home automation system. My Alarm Center provides home automation, home security, and a variety of other services for home and business. With almost 20 years of experience, you know your home is safe with My Alarm Center. Contact us for more information on home security and home automation today.

The Future Is Now: Your Phone Is A Powerful Home Security Tool

by Amy February 27, 2019

Nothing is more important to us than protecting your home and family, especially as burglars become increasingly sophisticated in their attempts to break in. To keep pace with newer technologies and services, the right security agency is essential. A comprehensive home security system is more than just a set of security cameras and a beeping alarm. It should include modern, effective features like alarm monitoring and integration with smart phones. Here are a few ways that your phone can be a vital part of your security strategy:

Home Automation Gives You Remote Control

Home automation covers a lot of features that range from convenient to essential. These could include:

  • Watching the front door, windows, and any other entry points in your home
  • Garage doors that slide open as your car approaches
  • Exterior doors that automatically lock when you leave
  • The ability to disable alarms remotely if you have someone visiting your home

If your phone can help you navigate through your town, pay your bills, and even keep tabs on loved ones, why couldn’t it help secure your home in a snap?

Surveillance Lets You Keep an Eye on Your Home

Multiple exterior and interior cameras let you keep an eye on your property. With your cell phone, you can tap into the video feed at any time you want to make a spot check.

Alarm Monitoring And Alerts Keep You In The Loop

A multi-pronged security system can trigger alerts for everything from motion detection to smoke or carbon monoxide warnings. It may also cover scenarios like if a door or specific cabinet is opened. You’ll also be warned in the case of power failures or other unexpected events. Your cell phone lets you stay in the loop here and keep control of your house while you’re away.

Do you have any questions about integrating your alarm system with your cell phone? Contact us at My Alarm Center and our experienced agents will be happy to help.

Home Automation Weather Integration

by Amy February 18, 2019

According to a Yale University study, 41 million Americans live in flood zones. These are geographical areas that are either low-lying or are situated near waterways. But today’s climate is so unpredictable that the risk of flooding due to torrential downpours or fast-melting snow accumulations has put most of the country in danger of home or landscape flooding. How can you protect your home in these times? Why not consider integrating your home automation system with a home weather station?

Home Automation Weather Integration

Consider a home weather station that collects weather and other environmental related data using sensors and by monitoring local and national weather centers. These systems include thermometers and barometers to measure outdoor temperatures and atmospheric pressure, along with wind, rain, humidity, and other related climate data.

When this data is integrated with home sensors and smart home security features such as smart windows, your home not only warns of a possible storm, but takes action. Smart windows can open and close as needed depending on the forecast. Flood prevention systems can act to prevent costly water damage before it’s too late.

A home automation system can even check forecasts to determine whether the lawn and garden need watering. Your landscape will be healthier, and your wallet will be fuller, as you save money while conserving water. Homeowners can also integrate smart thermostats that will automatically update interior temperatures to keep the home’s comfort levels perfect.

Flood Protection and Monitoring

To reduce the risk of costly damage due to weather disasters, consult with a flood protection and monitoring service provider that is qualified to install home automation with a smart home flood warning system. Water detection sensors monitor interior water levels for outdoor water infiltration, burst pipes, and leaks.

But the most disastrous home floods are caused by weather events. With a smart home security system integrated with a weather station, climate related activity is monitored, and the proper actions are automatically taken to prevent damage to your home.

Get A Home Automation System Today

To learn more about a residential flood warning system, contact My Alarm Center to discuss how you can manage and prevent interior home flooding due to faulty appliances and plumbing or heavy rain events.

Alarm.com Smart Thermostat is ENERGY STAR® Certified

by Amy January 28, 2019

Staying warm during the frigid winter temperatures is a big priority for homeowners in northern U.S. regions. Alarm.com’s Smart Thermostat, provided by My Alarm Center, is now Energy Star® certified. That makes it the most energy-efficient way to manage temperatures inside your home, which means increased comfort and reduced heating costs.

It might be time to replace your old system if you don’t have an ENERGY STAR® certified thermostat on your home security plan. Modernizing your home’s thermostat will enable much greater efficiency and convenience in controlling the temperatures inside your home – and, can even cut costs!

What is  ENERGY STAR® Certification?

“ENERGY STAR® is a certification backed by the U.S. government. The symbol indicates that the products and practices bearing that label meet the standard for optimal energy efficiency. The goal of providing ENERGY STAR® labeling is to help protect the environment by reducing greenhouse emissions and other pollutants produced through inefficient energy use.

Benefits of an ENERGY STAR® Home

There are important benefits of using ENERGY STAR® kitchen appliances, lighting fixtures, water heating, home heating and air conditioning units, and other residential electrical systems and devices. Here are some of the benefits you can realize by upgrading existing household energy consumers to ENERGY STAR® models:

  • Savings on Home Energy Costs — Installation of and efficient control of a HVAC system slashes home energy costs.
  • Tax Savings Homeowners receive tax credits for using energy efficient appliances, lighting, etc.
  • Improved Quality of Life — Home comfort is increased by more effective control over ambient temperatures, with the help of the Alarm.com application.
  • Helps the National Economy — Savings on energy bills contributes to cost savings, which leads to increased usable income for homeowners collectively nationwide.
  • Helps the Environment — Reducing your carbon footprint means you’re helping to slow the world’s overall consumption of fossil fuels.

Benefits of Smart Thermostats

There is an array of significant benefits from using a smart thermostat. Upgrading to a smart thermostat with up-to-date features provides you with:

  • Ideal Convenience — Adjust your home heating thermostat setting without even getting up from the couch.
  • Optimized Heating Management — Regulate the temperature in your home automatically, by setting your temperature timers.
  • Freedom from Manual Adjustments — You never have to worry about whether your home’s heating system is running or was accidentally left on during your workday or vacation.
  • Big Energy Savings — Cost savings for homeowners who can remotely control when their home heating and cooling systems, water heaters, security lighting, and other systems, turn off and on. Take savings on home energy consumption to a new level.

Ways Smart Thermostats Can Be Used

It’s a smart world, and it’s time for a smart thermostat. With today’s state-of-the-art smart thermostat models, you can use the Internet of Things (IoT) to:

  • Use your smartphone to control your thermostat while you are away from home
  • Run reports of your heating and cooling system’s energy consumption, system run times, etc.
  • Receive notifications that your HVAC system’s air filter needs replacing

My Alarm Center’s Home Automation and the Smart Thermostat

A smart home uses today’s cloud technology to connect all your devices. You can control your thermostat as well as all your other networked appliances, systems, and devices through the same mobile app. With quick and easy setup, all your home’s smart facilities can automatically respond to your needs as you go through your usual daily activities.

For More Information

My Alarm Center’s award-winning home automation services are currently used in more than 5 million U.S. homes and businesses. Our network includes over 4,000 authorized service providers. For more information about ENERGY STAR® Smart Thermostats for your home, or to find your nearest service provider, contact My Alarm Center today. Our experts are here to answer your questions anytime.

Home Automation In The Bathroom

by Amy June 27, 2018

Home automation has taken over many areas of the household. From lighting to air conditioning, and even smart refrigerators, it seems that nearly everything in your home can be controlled using home automation. Now the time has come for home automation to become part of a room you use every single day: the bathroom! Here are several popular smart home devices that can be used in the bathroom.

  1. High Tech Toilets

Smart toilets don’t require the use of your hands or toilet paper. They have motion sensors that will raise and lower the seat, temperature-controlled water, spritzing wands, and automatic dryers. The smart toilet also has heated, antimicrobial seats and LED lights for when it’s dark. Smart toilets are even self-cleaning. This technology is already very common in Asia and is beginning to take America by storm.

  1. Digital Faucets

A digital faucet will allow you to conserve water. So not only will you be saving money, you’ll be eco-friendly. The faucet provides reduced tap flow and digital temperature control settings. The digital sink also provides touchless technology and infrared tap technology that reads the user and turns on only when it senses hands in the sink. You can take advantage of the digital faucet in the shower as well and use a timer to conserve water.

  1. Soaking Tubs

Soaking tubs are becoming a new trend. They are equipped with sleek and modern faucets that have various pipes to fill the tub rather than just one. They’re furnished with modern massaging jets and mood enhancing lights. They come in a multitude of shapes, giving you a variety to choose from based on your personal preference.

  1. Refrigerator Cabinets

Another (literally) cool gadget found in today’s modern bathroom includes refrigerated bathroom cabinets for storing beverages. Perhaps the ultimate in convenience!

  1. Smart Shower Panels

Smart shower panels allow you to control the temperature, water flow, steam, music, and lighting. Some even act as a TV so you can watch your favorite shows while washing up.

Your My Alarm Center home security system provides you with smart home technology that can be used to control almost every electronic in your household. Take advantage of this unique technology and enjoy leisure in every room of your home.

How Home Automation Helps The Environment

by Amy June 20, 2018

Our homes have become a constant consumer of energy, so it is important to try and reduce the carbon footprint of every home around the world. Home automation services do a great job of helping families minimize energy usage and preserve the environment, and also offer the ultimate in convenience. Especially during summer, with rising electricity bills, take the time to use your home automation system to run your home efficiently. It can also be a lot of fun!

  1. Monitor Energy Usage

Look at your monthly utility bills. See how much energy you’re using and what systems are costing you the most. Normally, the biggest perpetrators of energy waste are the water heater and the cooling system. You can use home automation technology to track energy usage in real time and identify all your home’s worst energy wasters.

  1. Use Smart Plugs

Smart plugs are an awesome way to control your energy usage. You can turn off the smart plug when an appliance is not in use. For example, when your TV is plugged into a regular outlet it is always using energy, even if it is not turned on. With the smart plug, energy will only be utilized when the TV is in use. When you think about all the TVs, computers, and other devices that are plugged in all the time, a lot of electricity is being wasted.

  1. Update Your Lighting

Believe it or not, even the type of lightbulb you use can help you save energy. Incandescent lightbulbs consume and waste a lot of energy, accounting for 35% of carbon dioxide emissions from electric power plants. Smart bulbs will save you money and make homes more energy efficient. Just like the smart plug, you can control your smart bulb from your phone and monitor how much electricity your lights are using each month. Smart bulbs also allow you to put the lights on a schedule or simply shut them off from your smartphone, this way no lights are left on when they shouldn’t be.

  1. Control The Thermostat

Most people use default settings on the thermostat. Often, this is not the most energy efficient way to regulate the temperature in your home. Switching to a smart thermostat can save you around 10% on heating and 15% on cooling throughout the year. The smart thermostat automatically adjusts the temperature in your home by accounting for various factors like outdoor humidity and precipitation. It also changes the temperature depending on the time of day and whether or not you’re home. You can also control your thermostat from your smart phone, so you can have full control from any location.

  1. Stop Wasting Water

The average American household uses about 320 gallons of water per day. One third of that water is used to maintain lawns. Smart irrigation systems prevent the waste of water and save up to 8,800 gallons of water per year. The system uses AI technology to sync with local weather predictions and help keep your garden and yard healthy by ensuring you don’t overwater.

To reduce the overall carbon footprint on the world, each person needs to make an effort. Home automation services allow you to save energy and monitor how much you are using. Install some new home automation devices and watch how much money and energy you can save!

 

Home Automation While On Vacation

by Amy July 11, 2017

With home automation, you can do most anything in your house with the press of a button. You can turn lights on and off with your phone or adjust the thermometer without getting up. But what happens when you go on vacation? Do you turn your home automation off? Of course not! Even if you’re a thousand miles away you can use home automation to check on your house, have a little peace of mind, and keep things running smoothly. Here are some other ways home automation can make things a little easier even on vacation.

  1. Adjust your smart thermostat to save money and energy. With your MyHome App you can set a low energy schedule before you leave. Forgot to change the temperature in your home and already on the road? Use your smart phone to adjust the thermostat as you see fit!
  2. Adjust your lighting schedule to make it look like someone is home while you’re away. This is a great way to deter burglars from attempting to enter your property. It’s recommended to use various schedules as if normal activity is taking place as the same lights turning on at the same time every night might tip a burglar off as well.
  3. You can use smart sockets to the same effect. Turn appliances on and off at different times to give the appearance that people are watching TV or listening to music. Smart sockets also save energy as unnecessary appliances aren’t left to run.
  4. Set up cameras to record if any motion sensors are triggered. These can be set up to alert your phone so you’ll always know what’s happening in your home.
  5. Give your friend or neighbor a unique code to your Smart Lock or a unique code to arm and disarm the system, if they already have a key, so they can place your mail inside and water your plants while you’re away. If they forget their key, you can unlock the door for them from your phone. You can do the same for your pet sitter and even use your cameras to check in on your furry friends from time to time.
  6. Perhaps you live with an elderly loved one. Set notifications to be alerted if no movement is detected for a period of time.  You can also use your cameras to check in on them, receive alerts if there is an emergency, and even let medical aids in and out with your Lock/Unlock feature.
  7. Set alerts if windows are open for a period and are not closed. That way, if your house sitter forgets to close a window before leaving you will be notified and can remind them to do so.
  8. Set up a notification when someone rings your doorbell so you’ll know who comes by while you’re vacationing. With one of our advanced doorbells, you’ll not only know who it is but also be able to communicate with them from your phone.
  9. Check on your teen, young adult, or other family member who chose to stay behind. It’s the perfect way to make sure they aren’t throwing any parties.
  10. On your way home from your vacation, set your smart thermostat to your desired temperature so that the house is perfect when you arrive. When you arrive home, you can get a quick start on unpacking by using our location services features to open your garage and unlock your doors once you’re close to your house.

With home automation from My Alarm Center you can customize your system to best suit your needs. Let us know how you use home automation when you’re on vacation.

6 Benefits Of Home Security Alarm Systems

by Amy December 7, 2016

There are many advantages to owning a home security monitoring system. They help keep your family safe, let you focus on the more important aspects of life, and give you peace of mind. Here are some other reasons to consider a home security system:

  • Protects Valuables

The alarm system alone is enough to deter an intruder. However, once the alarm has sounded, the police are immediately notified and dispatched so your home is kept safe at all costs.

  • Helps Save Energy

Nowadays, home security monitoring systems also include many home automation features. This system will allow you to monitor your energy usage and shut off utilities when you are no longer in the room. This leads to lower monthly bills and less wasted energy.

Saving energy isn’t the only advantage of home automation. You can change the lighting, temperature, music, TV, and control numerous other aspects of your home from a smart home device as simple as your smart phone.

  • Lowers Insurance

Many insurance agencies give discounts to members who have a home security monitoring system. This is a great way to cut down on expenses.

Fire and carbon monoxide detectors are vital features of any home security monitoring system. They can detect dangers that you can’t, such as invisible, poisonous carbon monoxide. As soon as the alarm has sounded, emergency services are on call to help. These detectors provide an indispensable advantage to protecting your family from emergencies that are usually out of your control.

  • Remotely Controlled Surveillance

Remotely controlled surveillance allows you to watch your home at any hour of the day from any location. You can view the live feed from the wireless security cameras through an app on your smart phone. It can even alert you when people leave and enter your home – a great way to keep an eye on the kids whether you’re on vacation or just at work.

Home security systems are an investment. The right systems can keep your valuables safe while saving you money in the process. They also give peace of mind and let you know someone will always be there in case of an emergency. Protect your family, yourself, and make life a little easier by adding a security system into your home.

Home Energy Saving Checklist

by Amy August 26, 2016

Home Energy

There are various approaches to take in order to reduce your utility bill, and based on the season, these bills will always fluctuate. In order to reduce your energy footprint, these suggestions have been provided by the Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings, combined with home automation tips.

• Turn down the temperature of your water heater to a warm setting, rather than hot. It is recommended to be set at 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, check if your water heater has an insulating blanket. This insulation helps reduce the loss of heat and will affect your bill in a positive way. This normally accounts for 14-25% of the energy consumed in your home.
• Make sure your furnace or heat pump receives professional maintenance every year.
• Consider exchanging your light bulbs with compact fluorescent lights, otherwise known as CFLs. Another great option is light-emitting diodes, known as LEDs. These bulbs can save up to 3/4 of the electricity used by basic light bulbs. Bulbs with 60-100 Watts are ideal for energy conservation.
• Turn off the lights when you are not in the room. Installing timers or occupancy sensors is also a great way to make sure the lights are always turned off behind you. Automated lighting is a great way to control your lighting energy costs.
• Keep large electronics turned off when they are not in use. For example, if you’re not going to use your desktop computer for more than two hours, it is a great idea to turn off the monitor and CPU system in order to reduce energy use. This tip should also be applied to any equipment that drains energy when it is not in use. Cell phone chargers, fans, coffee machines, printers, and radios all drain energy even when they are turned off but still plugged into the wall.
• Install a programmable thermostat that will adjust the temperature according to your life schedule. This way the house can be comfortable when you arrive home, but not wasting energy to keep it at one temperature the entire day. Automated thermostats are an easy way to ensure that heating or cooling spend is used most efficiently.
• Clean or replace filters for your furnace, air conditioner, and heat pump yearly.
• Check your windows for leaks or drafts. Add film or caulk to all of these areas in order to reduce wasted energy. The typical home loses more than 25% of its heat through windows.
• Insulate hot water pipes. Also, insulate your heating ducts in areas like the attic and crawl spaces. This can prevent up to 60% of heat loss.
• Be aware of your major appliances’ efficiency. Upgrading to a newer, energy-efficient appliance will lower costs as well.
• Consider planting tall trees and shrubs around the west side of your house. This will create natural shade and reduce air conditioning costs.
• Washing clothes in cold water is also known to reduce costs. It is also beneficial to hang dry your clothes when possible to reduce the use of the dryer. Ensure your dryer vent is clear of lint so the door will fully close.

Using these tips will reduce the use of energy in your home. Gather your electricity and fuel bills and compare their costs from month to month in order to recognize your progress. For more information on home energy conservation, and to view a helpful checklist, visit the U.S. Department of Energy’s web site. View My Alarm Center’s home automation offerings to help you save an average of 15% on your home energy bills.

Source: http://energy.gov/eere/femp/home-energy-checklist