Do You Have A Smart Home?

You did it: you booked the flight, wrestled all week with the kids to get packed up for your vacation, and now you are finally in the cab on the way to the airport. You are the master of all things vacation; a super parent. This feeling continues during your entire trip, all the way up until you open your front door after all the traveling is said and done, and you are hit with a rude awakening. In all the hustle and bustle of getting ready to leave, you completely forgot to set your thermostat lower to save on energy while you were away and didn’t even notice that your 5-year-old left the bathroom faucet running after he was done washing his hands. Forget about all that R&R that you caught up on while you were away, because now it (and a lot of extra dollars) are being spent on your astronomically high electric and water bills – and that’s assuming you aren’t facing costs due to flooding and water damage from any overflow in the sink!

This is an extreme scenario of course but unfortunately, it’s not all too uncommon. It’s situations like these that are prompting more and more people to convert their houses to smart homes. What is a smart home you may ask? Smart homes are named such because they have automated systems that can control anything from lighting, water, heating and cooling, entertainment systems, and even appliances. Often times, these systems can be monitored and controlled right from your phone; even when you are at work or traveling. Having complete control over your home 24/7 can help you avoid emergencies and help you save on regular costs of utilities.

Two such systems that can help turn your home into a smart home are the Nest Learning Thermostat (Nest) and Flo Water Leak Detection System (Flo). The Nest Learning Thermostat handles climate control, while Flo controls water usage. In our vacation scenario above, your 5-year-old has left the faucet running before your family leaves for the airport. Let’s take a look at how a system that controls water like Flo could have helped.

Part of Flo’s installation into your home is connecting it through an app, which will send you information right to your phone. As Flo is installed to the main line of your water system, it is able to detect things like pressure, flow, temperature, and usage. Every day, Flo performs a water system inspection to make sure that your home is leak free and will send you the report through the app. In addition, you are able to check the status of your water usage as it is happening and are able to shut off your water; even from remote locations. Had you had the Flo system in this scenario, you would have been able to see right away that water was still flowing in your home and have been able to shut it off, no questions asked. Water still may have been wasted but it’s nothing compared to water running for a week! Your child may get a stern talking-to but your sanity and your wallet are spared yet another day in avoiding a catastrophe.

Now, as for you forgetting to turn the thermostat down, how about could Nest have helped? This one has a little less severe consequences than leaving your water running while on vacation. However, this can still cost you a lot in unnecessary expenses. The Nest Learning Thermostat works similarly to Flo in that it sends you reports to an app installed on your phone. Not only would you have had the option to turn the temperature down manually through the app, Nest probably would have done it for you. Nest can tell when you are at home or away by using your phone location and sensors. When the house is empty, Nest turns itself down to “Eco Temp” in order to save on energy while you are away. Not only that but say there was an extreme weather change while you were gone. In cases of extremely hot or extremely cold temperatures, the Nest has built-in safety features that ensure that your home won’t suffer any damage due to weather. So even if you never looked at your phone while you were away, Nest would have your back. Problem taken care of and your energy bill stays low.

That’s not all these two systems can do. A faucet that is left on is obvious, but how about a leak that is happening somewhere behind your walls, in your attic, or under your floors? And what if you are simply trying to stay on top of your utility bills and cut down on water and/or energy bills? While these systems are handy in case of emergency, they are designed to help you with every day events such as these. Let’s look at how these two systems can help you in everyday life.

As mentioned before, Flo runs an inspection on your home every day to ensure that your home is leak free. This includes places that you can’t see! Instead of finding out you had a leaky pipe in your attic after you start noticing water damage and a drip coming from your bedroom ceiling, noticing right away can save you the extra costs of repairs (and of course, keep your water bill from suffering!) In the event of more serious pipe damage, like a burst, Flo will shut off the water for you, again saving you money on extra repair costs and water bill. Flo can also keep you up-to-date on what’s going on with your pipes and will let you know if you are at risk for having leaks through its daily inspection. Things like water pressure and temperature can cause leaks under certain conditions. Flo will let you know of this so that you can fix the problem before it becomes an even bigger one. In terms of water conservation, Flo tracks your water habits so you are able to better control them.

Running late and your teenager won’t get out of the shower? You can literally shut off the water with the push of a button from your phone. Going on vacation but need to make sure that the irrigation system continues working to water those award-winning roses? You can control that from your phone. Have a toilet that has a tendency to run? You can fix that from the convenience of your phone. When it comes to managing the water system in your home, the sky’s the limit on what Flo can do for you.

While Flo is controlling your water, on an everyday basis, Nest is also working hard to ensure that you are comfortable and being energy efficient. Aside from having the built-in safety features, Nest learns your preferences as you turn it up or down. Over time, Nest will learn what you like and adjust itself for you. Using this information, it creates a schedule that fits your needs and saves you energy. To keep you even more energy wise, it will show you how much energy you use each day and give you tips on how to conserve. Imagine a home where it’s never too hot or too cold. Wouldn’t that be perfect? Or what if you liked it warmer in the morning and cooler in the evening? Wouldn’t it be great if your home could adjust itself automatically to fit your needs?

Smart tools like these have made saving on energy and water that much easier. When it comes to the peace of mind that they can bring you, the price is limitless. Turning your home into a smart home not only can help you avoid huge catastrophes but helps you save on the everyday costs of life. A home is a huge investment so why wouldn’t you want to know more about what’s going on behind the scenes? Call us today for your FREE plumbing inspection and to learn more about how to turn your home into a smart home with the Nest Learning Thermostat and Flo Water Leak Detection System!

Excellent, the crews were prompt polite, clean, efficient and courteous. In the past I have found that most large companies rest on their laurels so to speak. I know now why Cummings plumbing is still a large plumbing company. They provide good service at a reasonable price for the work and get the job done quickly. Most of the time there were four trucks and at least six service members working on my project. The repairs were expensive expensive but a new much needed furnace was also installed at about half the price I was expecting it to be. The discount on the furnace was much appreciated. I would also like to thank MG for cleaning out my hot water heater while he was here, The next project is a new HVAC system, I think I know where I will go for that project. Jane G.

Ed G