In the not-so-distant past, for even a basic security system with integrated controls, homeowners would pay as much as
Smartphones and other advancements in wireless technology like Z-Wave have brought that price down and more accessible to an array of devices.
"Cost-wise, it's literally 10 to 20 percent of the cost it would've been a few years ago," said Burgess. "Almost every one of our installations now has some sort of integration and automation, and they are controlling it by phone."
The speed and ease at which these extra "whiz bang" technologies have come about lately amazes
"Our customers love the new capabilities," Nolte said.
The security system Alert Alarm offers is a Honeywell brand that's controllable from any Internet access point or smartphone at a cost of about
Thermostat controllers that can be computer or remotely controlled are also available from power companies and home improvement stores, but they would not be integrated into the home security system. And other wireless interface technologies like Insteon, UPB (Universal Powerline Bus), X-10, and PLCbus are interchangable with Z-Wave.
"Pretty much anything the customer can dream up, if you can put a sensor on it, you can control it from your phone," Burgess said.
The most logical and popular options to remotely connect to a home security system are the lights, locks and security camera, or cameras. An option more likely to be used on far-away vacation homes, Burgess says, is the ability to control the water lines in the event of a freeze.
Z-Wave wireless technology is being used for applications homeowners never thought possible just a short while ago, Nolte said. The
The integrated security systems, Nolte adds, also allow connection to the smoke and fire alarms. In the event of a fire, the fire alarm goes off, all of the lights are turned on, doors are unlocked, and the HVAC unit is shut off to keep from feeding the flames.
"It's very effective, you just have to pay for it," Hughes said of the integrated systems.
For those planning to build a home, or remodeling, Hughes mentioned the annual
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