Protect Your Home and Save Energy without Sacrificing Style
We are blessed with a mild climate in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest. Our winters may be wet but they are not overly cold; our summers are gloriously sunny. As much as we love our summer sun, sometimes it feels overwhelming, quickly heating up our houses on the hottest days.
Is it warm enough for air conditioning? Air conditioning is a great convenience for some occasions, but we are fortunate in that it's not a dire necessity here, unlike other parts of the country. However, there is a smart way to control the heat -- by managing the amount of summer sunlight that enters your home. Motorized window treatments might seem like a luxury - they certainly are luxurious - but they’re also a great way to control light and its effects. Read on to learn more about how to be the master of light in Camas, Washington, by using motorized shades and window treatments.
A True Smart Home is More than a Collection of Smart Devices
If you read this blog, you know that we have discussed many features and aspects of smart home automation. One of the central ideas we regularly try to convey about the subject is that automation is about creating a coordinated system. Many choices exist in the market, with smart switches, locks, thermostats, lights, cameras, and more readily available, and more companies are getting into the sector almost every month.
We firmly believe that smart homes are about more than a collection of intelligent devices or merely the ability to use an app to control devices and functions. We think that the power of smart technology is its ultimate ability to provide total home integration. So what do we mean by total home integration?
For the most part, the systems and functions in homes were islands unto themselves. They did not communicate or work with the other. Heating and cooling is a subsystem, and electrical and lighting are another. The trades that work on them are different companies with different skill sets too. Think of water and plumbing, irrigation systems, and pool and spa equipment. They all have their various systems and controls.
These home functions still do what they have always done. But what is changing rapidly is how they can be controlled, how they can inform and report on their status, and most importantly, that this intelligence now enables them to work in tandem with other functions in the home.
Are you interested in preparing your Vancouver, WA home for the future of total home integration?
Redefining Intercom and Giving Homeowners Smarter Controls
When you think of an intercom you probably imagine a clunky eyesore with limited capabilities circa 1985 and, given the technology we have today, it’s not something you'd expect to consider as an upgrade for your home. But with so many new ways to communicate, we need to redefine the “com” in intercom. That’s exactly what Control4 has done with Intercom Anywhere. Not only does Intercom Anywhere let you speak with anyone in any room, but it also lets you see and control what’s going on in your home while functioning as a highly effective video doorbell. Read on to find out all the things it can do for you.
High Performance, Low Maintenance
Home networking might seem to be simple. With a modem to access your Internet service, and a router — both often provided by your Internet Service Provider (ISP) — you can get wireless networking in your home, both between devices and connecting to the Internet. But if you have a larger home or have many smart devices, the standard solution from your ISP may not work well in all areas. While there may be settings you can tweak in your router to improve performance, networking is a very technical area, and few consumers know how to do this, or fix something when it doesn't work. Indeed, some consumers don't even know how to change the initial default password for their wireless network – which is a security hazard waiting to happen.
The number of smart devices that are being connected to home networks is exploding every year. Smart lights, cameras, speakers, thermostats, appliances, streaming devices, and TVs all need robust networking for proper operation. You may not even remember how many devices you depend on that are connected to your network. But when the network falters, you end up noticing. Your high definition and 4K video may buffer incessantly or freeze, your smart speaker can't do anything because it lost its connection, or your smart camera can’t send any alerts video feeds. More serious issues might come up, like being unable to operate your smart lock — hope you have the key!
If you have a smaller house or perhaps can tolerate the occasional hiccups from your network, maybe you can get by without professionally installed and optimized home networking. But if you want to run a smart home with many devices, you rely on your network for security features, and you need high bandwidth for work and entertainment at home, you would be wise to consider professional installation services and equipment for your home network.
At Encore Audio-Video, we work with Pakedge for installing high-performance home networks in Portland, OR. Why? Because Pakedge is part of Control4, our smart home solution partner, and they offer business-class performance for your home networking needs. Read on to learn more about how Pakedge networks stand out from the rest.