Local

Angie’s List: Home Automation Systems

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Source: KDKA-TV) Susan Koeppen
A nationally known, award-winning journalist, Susan Koeppen co-anc...
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Have you ever left home and realized that you forgot to close your garage door or came home to an overflowing toilet?

You can save yourself the worry with a home automation system.

A home automation system can integrate all of the features of your house, from your TV and stereo to your lights and even your alarm system.

Annie Reist and her family moved into her grandmother’s house and decided to do some home automation along with remodeling.

“We did the home security, surround sound, speakers, audio system throughout the house and savant control so that we can control everything from our TV to our alarm to music to audio all on our iPhones and iPads,” Reist said.

“The great thing about home automation is you can do a piecemeal, so you can add things that are most important to you and then add additional things later, which allows you to do it within your budget,” Angie Hicks from Angie’s List said.

With home automation systems, you can bring subsystems together into one simple interface and control them from anywhere using your tablet or smartphone.

“Imagine leaving your house for the day and simply by pressing an away button on your way out, it can arm your security system and it can turn off all the lights in your house and it can turn off your televisions and music and set back your thermostat, saving energy while you are gone,” Ryan McDaniel said.

Not only are home automation systems convenient, they can save you money too.

“If you are thinking about putting a home automation system in and you are not concerned with the cost, check with your homeowner’s insurance. What you might not realize is that there may be discounts available to you on your homeowner’s insurance because you have one. So, be sure you are understanding the full costs and benefits before installing,” Hicks said.

Some home automation systems are cheaper than others and there are do-it-yourself options. You’ll want to make sure that you know what you’re doing and test it to make sure it works properly. If you hire someone, do your research.

“And get estimates, especially this time of a year when everyone is thinking about buying the latest gadgets. You want to be sure the person doing the installation work is experienced and that your house isn’t the guinea pig,” Hicks said.

A home automation system may cost a little more, but knowing that your house is safe and that you can monitor it from anywhere can help your peace of mind.

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