5 “Smart” Ways to Prepare Your Home for Summer

June 3, 2020
Summer home backyard patio TV

The summer season is finally upon us, which means more time spent outside, hotter temperatures, and a busy family schedule! Make sure your house is summer-ready with these five smart home tips and devices that will help you save money without breaking a sweat.

Smart home thermostat module

1. Install a Smart Thermostat

Air conditioning is the ultimate home necessity during the summer months, but too often, the arrival of the hot season means a skyrocketing of our energy bills. No sweat – a smart, programmable thermostat can work in your favor, keeping you cool while you’re home and turning off automatically during your working hours. Plus, you can save your go-to comfort settings so that the temperature is always just right. Do you prefer it cooler at night and warmer while you’re awake? Store these settings all from your smartphone and enjoy customized comfort and savings.

TIP: “You can save as much as 10% a year on heating and cooling by simply turning your thermostat back 7°-10°F for 8 hours a day from its normal setting.” – energy.gov

Summer home backyard patio TV

2. Take the Entertainment Outside

There’s nothing like kicking back and enjoying fresh air and a cool breeze with the family. Get your backyard ready for the perfect summer stay-cations with professionally installed TV and outdoor audio systems. Plan a movie night under the stars or set your barbecue to the perfect soundtrack. Outdoor-specific televisions are built to withstand the elements, reduce glare from the sun and offer a crisper image! And, landscape speakers can blend in with your backyard aesthetic while providing high-quality sound throughout your property.

TIP: Always use technology that is specifically designed for the outdoors to avoid hazards! “Mother Nature is tough on electronics, and regardless of where you live, there will be extreme weather at some point in the year to contend with.” – Control4.com

kids sliding down home stairs

3. Keep an Eye on the Kids, From Anywhere

While many of us have opted out of Summer Camp this year, we may find that our kids are spending more time without a parent in the house over the summer. But that doesn’t have to mean they’re unsupervised! With live Video Surveillance and intuitive home security alerts, you’ll always know when a door has been opened and be able to keep up with their activities. Working from home? Sometimes we aren’t able to take the time to play tag in the backyard with them. Let the kids have their fun, while outdoor security cameras keep eyes on them for you, in real-time.

 TIP: According to a poll conducted by Alarm.com, 13 is the age that kids should be allowed to stay home alone!

motorized shades in summer home

4. Invest in Motorized Smart-Home Shades

During that midday peak, when the sun is glaring and your air conditioning has to work extra hard to keep things cool, a little shade can go a long way. Smart home shades can be programmed to automatically close during certain times of day, and open back up when you want to let some light in. Keep your home at a comfortable temperature all day while reducing energy costs, especially during the summer.

TIP: Using landscaping tricks can also help you keep the sun out. “Strategically placed shrubs, trees, and vines can block sunlight from your windows, roof, and walls, saving you $100 – $250 per year in cooling costs.” – smartenergy.com

video camera and family playing

5. Keep Track of Open Doors and Windows

When it’s a nice day out, it’s hard not to want to let some of that fresh air in. Of course, all it takes is a simple distraction to make you forget to close it throughout the day. Door and window sensors are a great way to have automatic reminders and alerts when something has been left open – keeping your family safe and potentially saving you on energy costs too! 

TIP: With an integrated smart home system, your thermostat and window sensors can talk to each other! “Window sensors can notify you if a window is left open and communicate with your thermostat to help modify the temperature setting if left open for too long.” – Alarm.com

Ready to upgrade your home?

Reach out to us at 678-566-2640 or sales@phoenixsystems.tv and a Phoenix Rep will be happy to discuss your needs and options!

Lighting is an essential and powerful element of any home’s design. When designed with intention, lighting can not only make your home feel warmer and more welcoming, but it can increase productivity, highlight your favorite areas of your house, and add character. Plus, choosing the right bulbs and fixtures from your home can impact energy efficiency. 

There are four main types of lighting you should keep in mind when designing or revamping your home. Each serves its own purpose and comes in a variety of options.

Ambient Lighting

Ambient lighting provides the overall illumination and sets the mood for a room. Typically, it floods the room with lighting from above, from ceiling-mounted lights and ceiling fans. Wall sconces can also provide enough lighting to brighten a room.

Of course, ambient lighting can come in a variety of styles which can work well in larger rooms like kitchens and living rooms. Ceiling lights can be dome-shaped flushed fixtures, or recessed lights for a sleeker and more minimal look. They can be a part of a ceiling fan or stand alone for a bold statement-making chandelier. Or, tall floor lamps can provide excellent ambient lighting, especially in rooms with high ceilings.

Accent Lighting

Accent lighting is more dedicated to style than function. With the use of directional track lights or spotlights, you can guide the eyes toward artwork or architectural elements within your home that deserve special attention.

This type of lighting can add character to your home, setting the stage for your favorite spaces and pieces to shine. Options like cove lighting can be installed near your tray ceiling or crown molding to bring those features to life.

Task Lighting

There are a lot of tasks and activities we perform in our homes on a daily basic. From cooking and preparing your morning coffee to reading, writing, and working at home. Task lighting can illuminate the necessary areas for you to do your best work. 

Under-cabinet lighting is a great way to brighten up the counter tops when you’re prepping meals, while also highlighting your beautiful backsplashes, countertop décor, coffee bar, and more. Then, when it’s time to settle in for the night, task lighting by your bedside can help you crack open a good book to wind down.

Natural Lighting

Never underestimate the power of natural lighting within your home. Sunlight streaming in through your windows can instantly make a home feel more welcoming and comfortable. Of course, while we have no power over the sun outside, we can manage the ways we incorporate it into our lighting design through smart shading.

With a variety of fabric options, you can let just enough light in to brighten your home, while also controlling unnecessary glares, or even keeping your bedroom dark and cozy.

Source: Control4

Get Smarter About Lighting

The lighting in your home should feel intuitive and comforting, not cumbersome and overwhelming. With so many lights in your house, it can help to integrate them all into your smart home system. This way, you can manage them all from a single app, or even automate them based on your routines and energy-management needs. Smart lighting systems can even make your home safer, so you never come home to a dark house, and you can deter intruders while you’re on vacation.

 Phoenix Systems offers free consultations with our smart home pros to help design and install lighting solutions that work for you.