I realize the title smacks of a Harry Potter book, but this is technology, not wizardry. Okay, maybe it’s techno-wizardry! By recommendation of my friend and former coworker, Toby, I purchased the Ecobee3 Smart WiFi thermostat to bring a little more usability to my home’s heating & cooling. Given the fact that I recently plunked down a significant chunk of change to replace my home’s furnace and AC, it seemed the wise decision to bring my controls into the Internet of Things era.
What’s the Internet of Things/IoT you ask?
A proposed development of the Internet in which everyday objects have network connectivity, allowing them to send and receive data.
Realistically, what I’m seeking from this purchase is a way to have my home presence and habits inform my heating and cooling needs so I can maximize my home’s HVAC efficiency and lower monthly costs. Obviously, since it falls into the IoT category, that means I’ll be able to control that aspect of my home from anywhere as long as there’s an internet connection. Sure, who doesn’t want that/doesn’t already have that ability?
While I’m not presently planning to dive to the depths that Toby is, I do intend to build around this technology. I purchased an Amazon Echo to act as a centralized unit to control my home tech. Now, if I’m entertaining downstairs and don’t want to go to the trouble of walking upstairs or picking up my tablet, I can activate Alexa and tell her to raise or lower the temperature to the desired level.
I also purchased a Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Bulb Starter Kit. Now I can automate my home’s lighting while home or away. The idea is to fill the entire house with these bulbs to provide better energy usage and perhaps a little flair. While I know that this lighting works with Apple HomeKit (still not an Apple fan), I haven’t seen if it’s supported by the Android platform. At the moment, this is only important if my workplace moves from the iPhone and the iOS platform (which I still hope it will for financial reasons).
Since the HVAC installers were here tonight to test the furnace’s gas pressure and heating level, they installed the new thermostat. I only mention that to illustrate that this is all brand new and I’m just now working on putting it all together. It’s not a cohesive entity. Yet. I’m thinking the next addition will be WiFi speakers around the interior and exterior of the home. I already have a working alternative courtesy of my Bose mini, so this isn’t a big rush. Eventually, though, I won’t want to have to rely on moving that all over and relying on a single speaker (no matter how terrific it is). When my appliances start failing, I’ll look at replacing them with Smart technology devices.
If any of you has gone down this path, feel free to share your triumphs and/or tragedies. I’d love to know what you’ve used and how your like it. Thanks in advance!