Home Automation via Internet – Freeze Alarm

Home Automation – Freeze Alarm

It’s freezing outside! You are away from home on a long mid-winter trip. Before you left home you turned down the thermostat to your energy-saving temperature and turned out the lights.

Your heating system was working just fine when you left home. But you have a nagging worry -- what if the furnace were to fail allowing the temperature inside your home to drop below freezing. Your pipes might freeze causing water damage

Wouldn’t it be cool if you could check the temperature in your home via the Internet? Or you could be automatically notified by phone, with a temperature alert, when the inside temperature dropped down below 40 degrees? Or if the temperature dropped below your own pre-set temperature?

Smart home technology now offers user-friendly systems to check your home temperature via Internet and to receive a freeze alert via phone.

Here are three ways home automation can warn about dropping temperatures

I/0 Linc - INSTEON Telephone Alert Kit    image credit: SmartHome
I/0 Linc - INSTEON Telephone Alert Kit image credit: SmartHome

Freeze alert method #1 – Remote thermostat control via Internet

Let’s say you have already installed an Insteon Starter Kit -- light dimming . This basic system allows you to use your PC or Smartphone to check on the status of your controlled appliances and turn them on and off if necessary.

You may have added Internet thermostat control so you can check on the status of your heating system and turn the temperature up or down as necessary.

Freeze alert method #2 – A freeze sensor triggers a freeze alert phone call at pre-set temperature

You can add an I/O Linc – INSTEON Freeze Sensor Kit to your INSTEON home automation system. This kit includes a sensor and compatible INSTEON module. The sensor activates the INSTEON module whenever the temperature falls below 40 degrees. The INSTEON module signals your system.

If you want this freeze alert to trigger a telephone call, you need to install a compatible phone dialer -- the I/O Linc - INSTEON Telephone Alert Kit. Your INSTEON system will immediately ring up you, your family or neighbors with a message that the freeze alert in your home has been triggered. Recipients will hear your pre-recorded message identifying the concern.

I/O Linc - INSTEON High and Low Temperature Threshold Kit --  image credit: SmartHome
I/O Linc - INSTEON High and Low Temperature Threshold Kit -- image credit: SmartHome

Freeze alert method #3 – A temperature sensor triggers a temperature alert phone call at your pre-set temperature

You may want to set the freeze alert temperature setting yourself. Instead of installing a pre-set 40 degree sensor, install an I/O Linc – INSTEON High and Low Temperature Threshold Kit. You set your own temperature alert. This device will provide INSTEON notification when the low (freeze alert) temperature is reached. The sensor has an adjustable temperature range from -30 degrees Fahrenheit to +130 degrees. You can also set it to send a signal when a high temperature has been reached.

INSTEON home automation technology

INSTEON has become the choice for many do-it-yourselfers. It sends powerline signals over your existing house wiring and, at the same time, sends wireless radio frequency signals on a designated RF frequency.

This makes INSTEON robust and reliable.

It's a modular system -- you can start small and add to it as you want.

A compelling argument this technology is made in Insteon: Smarthomes For Everyone: The Do-It-Yourself Home Automation Technology (Paperback) by Matthew Strebe (2009) 324 pages, available from Amazon.

"INSTEON is well positioned to become the "Ethernet" of home control. It is the lowest cost among reliable options, it has more types of devices available, it is backward compatible with older X10 control network devices, it requires no special planning or equipment to use, and it has the largest market share amongst modern distributed home control technologies. It was exactly these attributes that allowed Ethernet to dominate data networking, and it's a safe bet that INSTEON will dominate home control." (page 5)

Insteon back-up power requirements

What happens when there is a power outage in your house? Since there is no electricity, your Insteon home automation network will not work without a power backup. Not just any power backup will do -- it must be a pure sine wave generator because Insteon commands that are sent over your existing house wiring work only on pure sine wave power -- the kind you receive from your power supplier.

Even with this limitation, Insteon home automation is an excellent way to add convenience, safety, energy management and fun to home living.

DIY home automation -- for safety, convenience and peace of mind

If you have not automated some of the essential tasks you do on a daily basis, you’re missing out on the safety, convenience, and fun of home automation.

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What home living function would you like to automate? 1 comment

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