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Easy Home Automation - Long-Distance Remote Control Of Your Fireplace Via IPhone
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Come home and enjoy a pleasant evening by your fire

It's cold outside. You've worked late at the office and are looking forward to coming home and relaxing in your favorite chair in front the fireplace in your warm den. Before you left home this morning, you turned down the heat to save energy. Wouldn't it be super if you could switch on your fireplace before you left the office for home so that your favorite nest would be warm and comfortable when you arrived?

Good news! You can do this. Grab your iPhone, call up your home automation app and with3 a few touchstrokes, you can switch on the fire in your fireplace. The room will warm up, the glow in the fireplace will welcome you home.

This article will explain how this works, But first, a word about the fire in your fireplace. It is a realistic-looking electric fireplace fire, not a wood-burning fire, not a gas-firelog fire. Simulated flames dance up from glowing embers just like a real fire. It's uncanny how real it looks. Electric heat from your electric fire warms your den. I have written elsewhere about why electric fireplace inserts are more convenient and safer than wood and gas fires.

Easy home automation via your iPhone home automation app

If you have an iPhone, you probably have used it for several of your favorite applications. There are literally thousands of apps out there -- including easy home automation apps. You can control your home lights, thermostats, outside lights -- and much more. If you have Internet service and a router at home you already have part of a long-distance home automation system. Choose the task you would like to automate -- like switching your electric fireplace on and off, or remote lighting control. You purchase only the plug-in modular automation components you need to control your task. They are affordable and easy to install. If you are a handy at DIY you should have no trouble.

Remote control fireplace via iPhone

First, check the power requirements of the plug-in electric fireplace unit. Check your wall outlet's breaker circuit and make sure it has enough capacity to safely meet the power requirements of the fireplace.

Installation is easy. Plug the electric fireplace power cord into a small, modular home appliance on/off switch. Make sure the modular appliance switch has a large enough load rating to meet the power requirements of your electric fireplace with both heat and flames activated. (The Insteon appliance switch is rated at 15 amps.) Then plug the module into the wall outlet.

Next, install the home automation "controller" module that sends signals to the appliance module. Find a wall outlet near your Internet service router. Connect the controller to your router using an Ethernet cable, and plug the controller into the wall outlet. Perhaps you also want to remotely control several lights around your home. You need a plug-in modular switch for each lamp.

Easy home automation via iPhone

Send a command over the Internet from your iPhone. Your home network relays it to your controller. The controller relays it to the appliance switch controlling your electric fireplace. If you installed Insteon home automation components, the signal goes out both wirelessly and over the existing power lines in your house. This "dual mesh" system increases the reliability and flexibility of your system. Automate your electric fireplace and expand your system as needed

Once your startup home automation system is installed and you have linked your components together, you're ready to go. You can expand your system easily, as you are ready, because it is modular and affordable. Buy only the components you need and enjoy easy home automation.

I'm John Dove and I write about practical technology that can help improve home living. My articles offer useful information on such topics as home automation, HDTV, energy management and much more.

Go to Electric vs Wood-Burning Fireplace to for pros and cons of wood and electric fireplaces.

Go to Remote Lighting Control to learn more about lamp control using an iPhone.


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