The holidays can be the busiest time of the year. With entertaining and overnight guests, it can be hard to ensure your home systems are performing for optimal comfort and efficiency. Thanks to new home automation technologies, you can run your home in a smarter and more cost-effective manner than ever before — from wherever life takes you — even from a smartphone, tablet or Web connection.

For example, the Nexia™ Home Intelligence system from Trane® and Schlage® allows you to remotely manage multiple systems throughout your home, including heating and cooling, door locks, video surveillance, lights, shades and energy usage via any Web-enabled computer and most smartphones. Designed for today’s mobile lifestyles, it helps you make everything in your home speak one simple language. Visit for more information.

Such technologies are growing rapidly in popularity as they become more affordable and easier to use. According to ABI Research, the number of home automation systems sold in North America is expected to grow to about 6 million by 2016, a sixfold increase since 2011.

Smart temperature control for better comfort

Comfort and efficiency starts with smart temperature control for many homeowners. Picking up relatives at the airport? Turn on the air conditioning in the guest bedroom from your smartphone while waiting at the baggage claim. Does one of your guests have allergies? Activate your system’s allergy clean cycle to temporarily boost air filtration and clean air output.

For example, the Trane ComfortLink II Control works as an up-to-the-minute weather station inside your home. It can provide you with access to weather information, temperature control and air quality from afar via your smartphone, computer or tablet. In addition, you can create automated cooling schedules to save energy while no one is home, an added advantage if you’re trying to better control utility costs. Visit for more information.

Smart security for peace of mind

With all of the family’s comings and goings this season, home automation can help keep your property secure while you’re away. Planning a weekend at your second home during the holidays? Technology can help you monitor and manage security at your primary home while you’re gone. Need to let a pet sitter inside while you’re on vacation, or open a locked door for a family member who lost a key? Now you can.

Schlage, for instance, offers indoor and outdoor cameras that let you view activity around the home or yard. It also offers keypad deadbolts and levers that let you grant access to your home via scheduled codes when you’re not there. You can even receive a text or email alert when there is activity around the home, for greater peace of mind.

Smart connectivity to fit your lifestyle


When it comes to home automation systems, you can often pick and choose which devices you wish to control, for smart and efficient use of your budget, too. For example Nexia users-pay a monthly subscription fee and then select from up to 200 different devices that can be purchased separately or bundled together, making it easy to expand the level of control as lifestyle needs change.

This article is courtesy of Brandpoint.

How to choose the right home automation system

Home automation is a hot topic, not just among the technologically savvy crowd and remodeling enthusiasts, but also among increasing numbers of mainstream homeowners.

From setting the alarm via smartphone to turning on lights automatically and programming the air conditioning, technology brings enhanced convenience, comfort and safety for consumers where they need it most — at home.

Many homeowners have already taken advantage of this technology, and more are joining the ranks every day. Homeowners who are planning to make the switch to an automated or smart home should consider three factors:

• What system features are important

• Who is qualified to install the system

• How to select the right company for the job


John Knox, who serves as president of the Electronic Security Association (ESA), said homeowners should pay special attention to the systems and providers they choose to automate their homes.

On, homeowners can find a list of trusted security companies within their area that are members of ESA. They should ask each company the following questions:

• How long has the company been in business?

• Can you provide references for previous work?

• Are your employees licensed to work on different systems (air conditioning, lighting)?

• If your employees don’t have the required licenses, with which companies do you subcontract to do the work?

• What kind of support/training do you offer after installation?

This article is courtesy of Home Improvement News and Information Center.