Saturday, September 8, 2012

Home Automation - Practical Application

It was a nice rainy morning in the desert and I decided to open the doors and air out the house.  I had all the doors open and the breeze, laden with the smell of wet earth, was circulating through the house removing all the smells of being locked up during many days of 100+ (F) temperatures.  My new puppy was trying his legs out running from doorway through the mud to another door and through the house and out again; a really fun morning.  Of course, I turned off the A/C compressors and let the recirculate fans run to air out the ducts in the house. This saved me a bunch of money on power since the entire house load was around 2KW even with the pool pump running.

This pleasant interlude started just before dawn (puppy had to go pee) and lasted until 9:30 AM when I shut the doors, put the puppy in his crate and took off for an early movie.

After I got to the show I realized that I hadn't checked the garage door and OCD set in worrying about the darn door being open.  I took out my phone and pulled up my web site to see.  Well, I had shut the door, but I forgot to restore the A/C to its summer settings and the dog was in a desert house with no cooling.  In most instances I would have just let the dog deal with it, but I had other choices now; I just touched a control and the A/C was restored to summer settings and started to cool the house down.

I have remotely checked the various statuses of my devices while away on trips, both to brag about having the ability and to actually make sure things are OK.  Also, I have daily instances of the various controllers taking care of things for me.  Things like making sure the pool pump is turned off at 10PM so it doesn't run all night, the acid pump automatically injecting chemicals into the pool to keep its levels reasonable, and my thermostats automatically handling peak usage to reduce power costs, but this is one of the rare instances where I actually wanted to remotely control my house.

That was so cool!  The puppy seemed to appreciate it too.

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