Welcome to another episode of the Everyday Green Home Podcast! It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is almost upon us again! With all that has happened this year, I feel that it is vital for us to focus on all the things for which we can feel grateful.
I have been keeping a list of all the things I’m thankful for, like my family, friends, and my precious husband! I’m also grateful for resources, my skills and experience, and for the plentiful abundance that I am so fortunate to have in my life.
Today, I am bringing back a podcast from earlier this year. It is with my guest co-host, Tony Pratte, from The Sound Room, and it’s about having a no-touch home. I feel that it is relevant right now in the middle of this crazy pandemic because we have all become so much more aware of the things we touch. Having many of the things in our homes automated helps a lot when it comes to cleaning, preventing cross-contamination, and the spreading of germs. It can also be fun, safer, energy-saving, and a lot more convenient. And there are many DIY options available.
Tony Pratte is very knowledgeable about no-touch technology. In this podcast, he talks about three of the things that are most important to implement in a no-touch home. Those include internet and wifi, which form the backbone of a smart home, and the easiest places to start when automating your home. Stay tuned for more!
Technology for the masses
The pandemic has forced people to understand what Tony and his company, The Sound Room, does. They are bringing technology to the masses.
The quality of the internet
Since the pandemic started, the quality of the internet in everybody’s house has become paramount because a good quality internet signal is what allows people to work from home.
Currently, we are progressing further and further along the route of wireless internet inside the house. Tony saw some statistics a while back that brought that to light for him. The statistics showed that sixty-five percent of people under a certain age will never plug into a hard-line internet connection.
Wireless internet coverage
Everything in a no-touch home starts with making sure that you have good wireless internet coverage in the house.
If you are a do-it-yourselfer, you will find all the products you need online. The main thing that you will need is a wireless router. The chances are that a good wireless router will provide enough internet coverage for a smaller house. If you have a bigger house you will need either a mesh system consisting of a router and access points or a wireless extender to make the wireless signal go further and reach all the rooms in the house.
Checking the strength of your internet signal
Once you have the wifi in your home up and running, the easiest thing to do is to take a smart device like a smartphone or an iPad, log onto your wireless wifi network, and walk around the house. By doing that, you will be able to check the strength of the signal in all the different areas of the house and verify that you have good internet coverage in all the rooms.
Different ways to make your home more of a smart home
Smart or connected homes are designed to simplify your life and make things easier so that you don’t have to touch anything as often. The three easiest things you can add to a smart home are thermostats, lighting, and sound.
You won’t have to touch your thermostat if it knows what to do. You can program smart thermostats, and many of them will also learn your patterns. Currently, there are many different wifi thermostats available. Tony’s company, The Sound Room, uses mostly Ecobee thermostats.
Do-it-yourself smart lighting systems
Several different kinds of do-it-yourself smart lighting systems are available. They have modules that plug into the wall, and you can then plug a lamp into the module and automate it. It can also be tied into voice-control.
Smart homes versus controlled or automated homes
A smart home has a feature in it, like the thermostat or lights, that has an app that you can put on your smart device and control it remotely. You may need to have different apps for all the things you want to control.
Controlled homes have a controller that operates all your different devices. The controller allows everything to work from the same app, and it lets you create scenes. Scenes allow you to select your preferred sequences with the devices in your home and bring them together to create an experience. So, for example, if you say “Good morning.” it might turn on the thermostat and some lights and disarm your security system.
Voice and app control
Voice control and app control make it a lot easier for people with limitations or disabilities to have more of a sense of independence and freedom.
Smart home and connected home technology
Smart home and connected home technology provide an extra layer of safety and peace of mind for the homeowner.
For do-it-yourself sound, Tony recommends Sonos. The Sonos app will guide you step-by-step through the installation.
Voice command module
The voice command module allows you to control the thermostat, the lighting, and the sound systems.
Creating a scene
Sonos, Nest, and Ecobee integrate with a bridge called Caseta, made by Lutron. Those are all available from Home Depot, and they will allow you to create scenes.
Links and resources:
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