Lewis Maclean August 2017

SMARTEN UP YOUR HOME

It’s the middle of summer, and you’re at home relaxing. Suddenly it occurs to you that your home isn’t at a temperature you’d like. Cool air simply isn’t finding its way into your home. The problem could be any number of things, but before you call a professional for help, here are a few things to check: THE AIR FILTER Over time, your HVAC system’s air filter will become increasingly clogged. The longer it’s left unchanged, the worse it will get. A dirty air filter will hurt the efficiency of your unit, and your A/C won’t be able to effectively cool your home. THE THERMOSTAT If you have the thermostat set to “on” or “cool,” but it doesn’t appear to be responding to input, it might be time to check the batteries or wiring. THE ICE Yes, ice. Sometimes, ice will form on the A/C unit itself, even in summer. This can be caused by poor airflow over the evaporator coils, or it can be caused by low refrigerant levels. Again, check air filters for airflow, then check for refrigerant leaks. Either way, if you see ice, turn off the unit until the issue is diagnosed and fixed. THE CIRCUIT BREAKER It’s not uncommon during the summer months for your home’s circuit breaker to trip while you’re running the A/C along with other appliances. When the A/C fails to kick on and nothing else seems to be working, check the circuit breaker, and, if necessary, reset it. When all else fails, call a professional. If you can’t figure out why your A/C isn’t delivering the cool air you deserve, or the issue is causing you too much trouble, a professional service technician will help you diagnose the problem, get it taken care of, and get you back on your way to a cool summer. Here’s What to Check A/C NOT WORKING PROPERLY?

THE LATEST IN HOME TECHNOLOGY

We’ve all had those days when you leave the house, a cold chill runs down your spine, and your mind is flooded with doubt. Did I leave the stove on? Is the door unlocked? Luckily, like many common problems, the tech world is trying to make these worries a thing of the past. There are now a

variety of apps that allow you to control nearly every aspect of your home from your phone, no matter where you are.

At the simpler end of the spectrum are Belkin’s WeMo products. WeMo makes smart plugs that allow you to remotely operate any device that plugs into the wall. They’re great for products like hair straighteners that can pose a fire hazard if left on unattended. Another company at the forefront of household tech is Nest, best known for their thermostats. Nest thermostats are not only fully customizable based on time and weather conditions, but they can also program themselves through the Nest Learning System. Using the product is also energy efficient, saving you money on the electric bill. If you want your house to be fully teched out, then SmartThings is the best option. The SmartThings hub allows you to connect an infinite number of devices to your phone. These devices can even “talk” to each other once they are part of your SmartThings system. If you want your coffee pot to turn on the moment you start running the shower, you can do it. You can also connect SmartThings to voice assistants like the Amazon Echo, which will allow you to turn on appliances with the sound of your voice. Interconnecting your home appliances will only grow easier in the coming years. Whether you want to dip your toe in the water or dive in fully, there’s a product out there for you.

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