Remote freeze alarm
It's wintertime. The outside temperature has dropped below freezing. Suppose you're away on a business trip. Before you left home you had turned the heat down to your energy-saving setting. While you are away your heating system crashes. The temperature in your home drops lower and lower. When it reaches 40 degrees F., a temperature sensor broadcasts a signal over your easy home automation system. Your porch light automatically switches on signaling your friendly neighbor. She knows that if that light comes on, the temperature in your house has triggered a freeze alarm and she gives you a call.
Even before you received her call You were aware of weather reports that indicated a hard freeze in your home region. You wanted to be reassured that your home heating system was doing its job of maintaining the energy-saving temperature in your house. So grab you iPhone, call up your home automation controller and check the status of the freeze alarm. It indicates that the temperature has dropped below 40 degrees. Time to take action and get your heating system repaired! You are really glad you installed your easy home automation system.
Remote freeze alarm over you iPhone - What you need
You need a couple of small, inexpensive inconspicuous temperature sensors. I suggest that you put one near your thermostat; put the other in your basement or crawl space near exposed water pipes. Use low-voltage 2-conductor wiring and series-connect the sensors to a modular low-voltage input-output unit. If either of the temperature sensors detects that the temperature has dropped under 40 degrees F, it sets off the alarm.
Next decide which lamp you want to switch on when the freeze alarm goes off. Locate a wall outlet near that lamp. Plug the lamp cord into a remote lighting control module. Then plug the module into the wall outlet.
You'll need a modular home automation controller to send and receive information from your temperature sensor through the low-voltage input-output sensor over the Internet to your iPhone. Find a wall outlet near your Internet service router. Connect the router to the controller using an Ethernet cable. That's it. Once you link your modules together following the instructions that came with them, you're ready to go.
How to check the freeze alarm over your iPhone
Bring up the home automation app on your iPhone. Tap the touchscreen and check the on/off status of the lamp you chose to sends that visual "freeze" signal to your neighbor. You can also double-check by checking to see whether the low-voltage input-output unit is on or off.
Commands from your iPhone are received over the Internet service to your home network and sent to your automation controller. The controller relays the signal to the "smart" automation modules on your system. If your system is Insteon, signals are sent both wirelessly and over the electric wiring in your house. This "dual mesh" system increases reliability and makes your system more reliable.
How to get started
Get an affordable starter kits. I suggest you begin with remote lamp control starter kit, and add the low-voltage input-output unit with temperature sensors to complete the setup described in this article. You can expand your starter home automation system as you are ready.
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.
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