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Connected Home

Is your home connected to the internet? You likely have a cable or DSL internet connection at home and you use it to surf the web and check email from your desktop computer, laptop, tablet and phone, but what about the rest of your home? What about your central cooling and heating system? Should it be online too? Absolutely!

A connected AC system is a pretty cool thing. Pun intended. I recently bought two Honeywell Programmable, WiFi Connected thermostats at Home Depot for $119.00 each. I used them to replace my existing thermostats downstairs and upstairs. Replacing a thermostat does not require a degree in electrical engineering, but depending on your setup, you might need some help from a local AC technician.

Wireless Thermostat Once each thermostat was powered up, I connected to them with my iPad and configured them to talk to my wireless router. This allows them to connect to Honeywell's system over the internet. After that I created an account at Honeywell and added my two thermostats to the account. From there I was able to use my web browser to configure automated temperature schedules to make the house comfortable during the hours we are usually home and save energy when we are away.

I also downloaded Honeywell apps to my iPad and my Android phone. From the app I can over ride the programmed schedule at will from anywhere I have an internet connection. So if we leave town in a hurry and I don't adjust the AC before I leave, I can do it on the road. The system will also email me if a thermostat goes offline or if the temperature in the house falls outside of limits that I set.

You might think "what's next?". Well here are a few more things in your home that you can get online and start controlling from your computer, tablet or phone: lights, garage door, security cameras, door locks, driveway gate and sprinkler system.

To see more, visit http://www.smarthome.com or search online for "home automation".

Know someone with business or home computing issues? Do them a favor and send them to SugarLandPC!

Posted by Charles Swihart on 12/1/2012

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