What’s New in Home Automation
Take a walk through a home improvement store or watch home shows and it seems smart home products are everywhere. Ready to join the smart home savvy? We’re here to help with this informative guide to home automation devices for your Cincinnati or Northern Kentucky home.
In this blog, we’ll cover options in thermostats, home security, fire/CO safety, video doorbells and remote door locks. Ready to jump into the future with a smart home? We carry a variety of products including the Nest suite of home automation solutions.
Our team of licensed electricians are available for wiring, electric panel upgrades or other electrical services to make your smart home a reality.
Smart Home: Nest Thermostats
Most people are familiar with the popular Nest thermostats these days. As the flagship product in the Nest suite of smart home solutions, the EPA certified the Nest thermostat as an ENERGY STAR product in 2017.
Data shows average savings of 10 to 15 percent on heating and air conditioning costs, respectively. Currently in its third generation, the Nest thermostat is programmable, WiFi connected and “smart.”
There’s a lot of confusion over what a “smart thermostat” means. Simply, it’s the evolution of thermostats from programmable to WiFi friendly. Smart home thermostats go one step further by incorporating those features plus the ability to “learn” a household routine.
After a week or two of manual programming, a smart thermostat learns the pattern and repeats it on its own. Depending on the model, occupancy sensors detect when you’re home or not and adjust the heating and cooling automatically. Adjust it remotely using the app on your smartphone or tablet.
The Nest thermostat also alerts you to changes, such as a spike in air conditioner cycles or a sudden temperature drop. These notifications help homeowners address potential HVAC problems earlier and avoid costly repairs as well as inconveniences. Multiple models are available to fit various budgets.
Smart Home: Nest Camera
When it comes to user-friendly security solutions, Nest has you covered! Indoor and outdoor options are available to supply 24/7 video, a 3-hour snapshot history, 1080p HD resolution, night vision and even alerts to your smartphone.
Protect your smart home with a variety of cameras in tamper-resistant, weatherproof housings. Advanced technology features the ability for the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor to recognize known faces, for example.
Speak through the camera to communicate with the exterminator or delivery people. Verify a child is home and inside from the school bus or tell the dog to get off the couch. It’s all within your grasp when you have the Nest Cam technology.
The Nest CAM IQ Indoor has a built-in Google Assistant. Nest Aware alerts notify you via the app to a person entering the room or specific zones and with the Nest Aware subscription, save up to 30 days of continuously-recorded video.
Safely encrypted in the cloud, the video is accessible to you anytime for reference or to share with neighbors or if necessary, law enforcement.
Smart Home: Nest Doorbell
It may seem like science fiction, but the smart home doorbell is the Nest Hello. Named a “best home automation product of 2019” by cnet.com, the Nest Hello features HD video, HDR, 160-degree field of view plus night vision.
Simply, the Nest Hello will amaze you. With person, motion, and sound alerts, the Nest Hello detects visitors and captures head-to-toe video. It sends you alerts through the app or via Bluetooth to Google Home Mini devices, for example.
Concerned about packages or strange behavior? The Nest Aware feature stores and encrypts up to 30 days of continuously-recorded video for reference. Among its user-friendly smart home features, it even includes a “quiet time” feature to shush the audible chime during naptime.
Certain electrical requirements including a wired doorbell and the right transformer. Our licensed electricians are available to configure or rewire anything necessary to make your smart home a reality.
Recently, Patti G., a customer in Cincinnati contacted us, saying,
“Neil did a great job. This is an older house with plenty of wiring that doesn’t do anything anymore. He was able to trace the wiring that he needed and under difficult circumstances was able to get my Nest doorbell up and running. I would recommend him highly and am planning on having some more work done by him and Apollo.”
Smart Home: Nest Security System
A smart home security system like the Nest Secure includes components like the Nest Guard, Nest Tag and the Nest App.
Nest Guard acts as the hub of the Nest Secure system containing the alarm, motion sensor and keypad. Arm or disarm the system using the Nest app, a passcode or the Nest Tag. If you forget to arm the system, an alert pops up on your smartphone.
When leaving your smart home, take your time. There’s no race to beat the countdown. Instead, a friendly voice informs you of your remaining exit window. Plus, you’re always informed if and why the alarm sounds, such as a door opening.
Stick Nest Detect to the wall or on a door to sense motion in your smart home. Features such as Quiet Open keep the house armed even if you let the dog out at night. Dog Pass prevents small dogs from triggering the alarm.
Pathlight even lights your way in the dark. Great for guests seeking the restroom or for a stealthy trip to the fridge after midnight.
If you have an occasional need to provide access to your smart home to dog walkers or sitters, enable a Nest Tag. This allows guests or trusted neighbors, for example, to enter without codes. Sized for a keychain, the fobs are water-resistant and may be turned on or off with your Nest app.
Have a larger home and need to boost connectivity? The Nest Connect works with the Nest Secure system to maintain contact between the Nest Guard and the Nest Detect. Power out? No worries. The Nest Connect uses a battery backup.
Smart Home: Nest Lock
Tamper-proof with alerts to inform you if someone tries, the Nest x Yale Lock is a keyless deadbolt. Set passcodes for family members. You can even set temporary codes with an expiration date for the vacation pet sitter.
Lock and unlock it using your smartphone or with your voice and Google Assistant. Lock up your smart home with Nest!
Smart Home: Nest Smoke and CO Alarms
Introducing Nest Protect. This second-generation “smart” smoke and carbon monoxide alarm uses a split-spectrum sensor to test itself automatically. Homeowners are encouraged to test alarms monthly, but the majority don’t.
Nest Protect handles it, testing its batteries and sensors over 400 times a day. To preserve your sanity, it quietly tests its speaker and horn once a month. According to the National Fire Protection Association, three out of five home fire deaths happen in properties without functional smoke alarms.
In fact, the risk of dying in a home fire is reduced by 50 percent in homes with working smoke alarms. If the Nest Protect is triggered by a non-emergency, you can shush it from your smartphone.
If it detects carbon monoxide, the Nest Protect signals your Nest thermostat to immediately shut down the furnace as well as alerting you to the presence of the toxic gas.
At night, the green glow confirms everything’s tested and you’re good to sleep through the night with no beeps at 3 a.m. because of a dead battery.
Take Care of Your Smart Home with an Electrical Evaluation
It’s easy to take care of your home with Apollo Home. How? Join the Apollo Care Plan. Members enjoy convenience and value with included services, discounts and perks. Each member has two seasonal heating and cooling tune ups each year.
Apollo Home calls to schedule an air conditioning tune up each spring and a heating tune up each fall. A complimentary annual plumbing and annual electrical evaluation are included as well.
These visits are an excellent opportunity to ask questions and to learn more about your home’s mechanical systems, especially for new homeowners. Stay on top of preventive maintenance and catch little problems before they become big emergencies.
Have an emergency? Members have a VIP priority scheduling phone number. Apollo Home is your partner in keeping your house in top shape for years to come.
Apollo Home Makes Your House a Smart Home
In conclusion, there are many products available to turn your house into a smart home. From smart thermostats to home security and safety, to video doorbells, we have the products and the know-how to make it happen.
For nearly 110 years, Apollo Home serves the home comfort needs of the greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky area. With heating, air conditioning plumbing and electrical services as well as air quality solutions Apollo works every day to better serve Cincinnati residents.
Apollo Home has received an A+ Accredited Business rating from the Better Business Bureau and awards such as “Best in Cincinnati” for Home Services from Cincinnati City Beat, Angie’s List Super Service Award and Contractors of the Year from the Air Conditioning Contractors of America. Ready to live in a smart home? Contact us for more information today.
"Ernie & Mike did a superb job on my new furnace and A/C installation. Despite having more than a day’s work to do, they came in and stayed until the job was done. They were organized, efficient, and protected the rest of the house well. Got both furnace and A/C installed the same day. Ernie was courteous, informative, and clearly knew his job better than anyone I’ve encountered before. The units look so good guests now get The Tour of our new system. Apollo is clearly not a fly-by-night company. I would recommend them to anyone in need of a new furnace and/or A/C."
- Jerry A.
"I called Apollo because of a water leak I thought I had in our upstairs shower going into the kitchen. Robbie came and assured me everything was fine & looked at all the other plumbing. He ended up changing a few pipes for our washer & clearing a drain. He was very nice & knowledgeable with all my questions. I ended up signing up for the care plan & was very happy with my service."
- Cassandra B.
"The team at Apollo exceeded my expectations. As a business owner, my attention to the details and commitment to providing excellent service is high. From the sales rep. to the installation team, everyone’s performance was outstanding. For example, the installation team went to great lengths to protect our floors, placing floor runners and across the wood floors and up the stairs. They even were spot washing walls upon their departure. I highly recommend this company."
- Randy B.
"We scheduled an estimate AND a tune-up. We knew something was wrong with our furnace, but hoped we could make it through the rest of the season. Upon telling Bill what our furnace was doing, he warned us immediately what the possible outcome was going to be; a cracked heat exchanger. He watched the flames roll backward, tested carbon monoxide levels, which were so high they meter’s last reading was 5,600 before saying “high”. He immediately shut it down, tagged it, and explained that with levels that high and children in our home he wanted off right away. He continued his inspection and showed us via a camera that not only was it cracked in multiple places, but had holes all over it. He gave us a few options for repairing it; his knowledge as well as genuine concern was beneficial and refreshing. Luckily we also scheduled an estimator, Micah, to come too and we were able to get costs between repairing and replacing (with several options). We decided to replace with a much higher efficiency furnace and one sized properly to our home. Hands down, not only did they both provide us great service and knowledge, but without sounding dramatic, they may have saved our lives. This was our first time calling Apollo, but it won’t be our last."
- Sarah B.
"Apollo is an excellent company. I always receive great service. Alex A. was professional and friendly. He kept me informed during the process of checking my furnace and heat pump to make sure they were working properly. The company makes sure you are notified who is coming and when they are on the way. All my interactions with the company have been wonderful."
- Beverly S.