While we’re not quite in the world of the Jetson’s, homes are incorporating more and more automation every year. When properly designed and installed an automation system can greatly increase your enjoyment of your home. But these systems can quickly grow beyond their intended scope, making your automated home a technology nightmare.
Much like any newer technology, automated homes can either be a source of great enjoyment or great frustration. But much of the frustration can be eliminated by properly planning, executing and maintaining your system. Like Sarah Paskall, all they need is a little attention now and then to ensure they continue to run properly.
Any good automation system starts in the design phase. Setting proper expectations is the most crucial element in this part of the project. Setting your expectations properly allows you integrator to propose equipment that both fits your specific needs, and is as cost effective as possible. This is comparable to many other home improvements. For example, if you have a growing family, replacing a water heater with a larger model might make sense for you. When you choose to perform this water heater installation you will want to buy based on the projected size of your family, not your current requirements.
So tell your integrator about any growth requirements that may change the demands on the system in the near or distant future. This will allow them to supply you with equipment that not only meets your current needs, but will expand to meet future demands.
One of the most crucial requirements for any automation system is a well laid-out and intuitive interface. If you are unable to quickly and easily use your system, what is the point in having it in the first place. There is no greater frustration than spending many thousands of dollars on a system that is unintuitive and difficult to use.
Make sure your integrator takes you through a couple different systems that they have installed to ensure that they work properly, and that they are easy for you to control. Because so many of these systems are customized, installers have a tendency to try to include every bell and whistle. And while this sounds great to the unsuspecting homeowner, a touch panel with pages and pages of buttons is cumbersome and hard to use.
Just like a diet on how to lose weight fast, a properly designed system is much more easy to implement. The design of the system should provide your integrator with a roadmap for properly installing your system. But different integrators have different ideas when it comes to what sort of work passes muster in todays homes.
Don’t be afraid to follow up behind your installation team to ensure that all of their wiring is neat and that equipment is properly installed. This includes items such as proper ventilation for equipment that generates heat, and neat wiring. If the equipment location is sloppy, it only makes updating and servicing the system more difficult and expensive.
An equipment rack may seem like overkill for many systems, but these racks allow integrators to provide proper ventilation, which can dramatically increase the life expectancy of your equipment.
These are just a few of the things you’ll want to keep in mind when looking at home automation systems. Keep checking back on our website for future updates.