Three Home Tech Upgrades You Can Install Yourself

By Tara Compton Half the summer's gone, so if you were planning to take advantage of those couple extra hours of daylight each day by upgrading the tech solutions in your home, you'd better get moving. Today's innovations include motorized window shades, do-it-yourself alarm systems and thermostats that learn your temperature preferences, all of which can be controlled remotely through your mobile device. As a construction professional, you've got a leg up compared on other homeowners when it comes to DIY projects – so check out what's new and exciting in home technology solutions. Here are some tips to working your way through what's out there:

Motorized Window Shades

Motorized window shades enable you to control how much light you let in or keep out of your home, regardless if you're home or not. You can use a mobile app to check and set your window shades throughout the day, provide light to your pets during certain periods, protect your furniture from the blazing summer sun or set the shades to open a few minutes before you arrive home. Learn more about motorized shades at the Customer Electronic Design and Installation Association site.

Wireless Security Systems

With more people choosing to use apps to control home automation, a wireless security system makes good sense today if a homeowner travels or is away from home frequently. Violent crime and property crimes continue to rise, according to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, homeowners can have extra peace of mind with a wireless security system. With a mobile app, you control your home's security system from anywhere in the world. Wireless systems also manage your security through power outages and storms. Monitoring systems are made to continue to receive signals wirelessly, even if the neighborhood's power has been knocked out.

Smart Energy

This same mobile technology explosion enables homeowners to tinker with the amount of energy a home uses during the course of a week or month through use of a smart thermostat, such as the Nest Learning Thermostat. Controlled through Wi-Fi, this thermostat "learns" the temperatures you prefer and adjusts itself accordingly. Homeowners can check energy stats, wattage amounts and cost savings with various changes to energy plans. All of this is gleaned and controlled right from one's mobile device.

Tara Compton researches environmental sustainability, DIY home repair and holistic health and wellness practices. 
Have an idea for a guest blog for Construction Today? Contact alan.dorich@phoenixmediacorp.com or jim.harris@phoenixmediacorp.com.  

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