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New technologies help keep your home safe, secure and energy-efficient this fall


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Updated: 12/13/2012 11:27 am Published: 9/10/2012 12:12 pm


(BPT) - With shorter days and cooling temperatures, autumn brings many changes that can affect your home. Now is the ideal time for homeowners to prepare their homes to be secure and energy efficient. With some easy updates and modern tools, your home will be ready for fall with surprisingly little effort. 

Start by making your home safe for all members of the family. Cooler temperatures mean fewer hours of light, especially when daylight savings time ends. Shorter days can leave a house more vulnerable to intruders since it's easier to break in to a home unnoticed at night. Smart homeowners will check to make sure there is ample outdoor spot lighting and motion detector lights around their home. A well illuminated house is less attractive to criminals.

Door hardware is another great security feature to update in the fall. No need to fumble with keys in the dark - many companies now offer a touchpad lock that can be opened hassle-free with a unique code or with the click of your smartphone through the use of modern cloud technology.

Furthermore, you can keep your home safe, secure and energy efficient wherever you are with modern tools like the Iris Smart Kit that allows you to manage home tasks right from your smartphone and operate as an affordable security system. Automatically turn the light on in your living room as you approach the house at night, receive a text when your kids arrive home from school, or receive an alert when the motion sensor on your front door is activated while away on holiday vacations.

Available at Lowe's, this easy-to-use home automation system is affordable for homeowners and renters. For homeowners looking to save energy and cut back on heating costs, the kit includes a programmable thermostat that allows for remote control of the thermostat through the Iris app. Also included is a smart plug that can remotely control devices in the home, such as lamps, and report back on the specific device's current and historical energy usage.

The motion sensors and contact sensors included in the kit also include a temperature gauge, so if you notice that the temperature by your window or door is colder than the rest of the home, take some time to add weather stripping or caulk around areas where cold air can creep in. You can also detect air leaks by simply holding a piece of paper or a feather near doors and windows to detect airflow. Since heating accounts for the largest portion of your utility bill, with 45 percent going to space heating (U.S. Department of Energy), using technology to identify energy leaks in your home and making appropriate updates can put more money back into your pocket.

Iris can be easily installed by the homeowner and the basic level of monitoring service is free. The free service includes text and voice alerts to the homeowner when alarms are triggered, remote control of connected devices, thermostats and locks, and access to remote video streaming from cameras in the home via smartphone or computer.

With these easy tips, preparing your home for fall's cool weather and dark days is simple. New technologies, such as Iris, make keeping your home safe, secure and energy-efficient as easy as picking up your smartphone. You'll feel good about saving money and keeping your family and belongings secure too.


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