ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Turn Your Smartphone into a Freeze Alarm

Updated on December 22, 2017
Frozen
Frozen | Source

Make a Freeze Alarm Part of Your Automated Home

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.

Before I show you how to set up your freeze alarm system, I want to warn you about another freeze danger in your home, and what to do to prevent it. This is based on my own personal experience in bitter cold weather lasting many days.

Install a Valve and Pipe Heating Cable

Let's suppose that it's bitter cold outside. You haven't experienced any freeze alarms because the rooms where you set the sensors are still warm. Your furnace is working ok. You're ready to relax with a good book and a cup of coffee. You go into the kitchen and turn the water on. No water! No water is coming out of your spigot! What happened? Was water service in your neighborhood interrupted? Or did one of your pipes freeze up?

The most likely place for a pipe freeze is where your water service enters your house. There should be a cutoff valve there where you can turn off the water to your home. That is exactly where I found a pipe freeze. Fortunately I was able to fix it before the pipe burst by using heat lamps to warm the pipe.

Then I went to Lowe's and bought a pipe and valve heating cable. It came with a built-in thermostat that turns the heating cable on when the temperature reaches freezing. It warms your service valve and pipe by emitting just enough heat along the length of the cable taped to your valve and pipe.

Now I want to show you two ways to set up a freeze alert system in your house.

Freeze Alert Method #1 – Remote Thermostat Control via Smartphone

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.

Insteon Starter Kit -- Lamp Dimming

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 #2 – A Temperature Sensor Triggers a Temperature eMail 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 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.

If you want an alert phone call you'll also need an INSTEON Remote Control Telephone Alert Kit.

ISTEON Remote Control Telephone Alert Kit
ISTEON Remote Control Telephone Alert Kit | Source

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 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.

Several years ago I began with an IINSTEON starter set-up for controlling my lights. I gradually expanded it to do toer tasks. I am very satisfied. INSTEON has been doing home automation for a long time, not like many of the newcomers. They have kept up-to-date with new products, but retained the same basic dual-mesh technology for maximum reliability.

Home automation with INSTEON is fun! It's convenient! And it's reliable.

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.

What Would You Like to Automate in Your Home?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)